Meet the Cluster Community: Tamara Rathcke

1. Why are you studying inequality?

Personally, I have gathered plenty of experience with being treated unequally, because of my gender or my language - these are the two main issues that my research is trying to address.

2. What are you working on?

Our cluster project researches the perception of politicians from a traditionally marginalised background (in terms of their language, gender, ethnicity) and tries to understand how such individual characteristics might affect impressions of charisma in politicians. Understanding a charismatic effect in politics is particularly important in a post-truth society we are living in.

3. How did you end up here?

I have always been curious about ongoing research across disciplines neighbouring with linguistics, and the cluster seems like a perfect place to get some fist-hand input from a variety of world-leading researchers in social and political sciences.

4. Recent highlight?

I discovered that CineStar Konstanz has regular screenings in English which made my day because I don’t like dubbed films.

5. Dream project?

Our current project is trying to create animated avatars of politicians for an experimental study of isolated personal characteristics. This is pretty cool, though also very hard to implement. My interdisciplinary team brings all the necessary expertise, and I enjoy seeing my methodological dream develop slowly but steadily.

Tamara Rathcke is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Konstanz and PI in the Cluster project "Perceptions of Political Charisma in Low-Status Speakers". Her research interests include phonetics and laboratory phonology.