Meet the Cluster Community: Thomas Kurer

1. Why are you interested in studying Inequality?

I have always been fascinated by how differently the advantages and disadvantages of major structural changes in the workplace (e.g., digitization and automation) are distributed, and how this unequal distribution of resources affects political behavior.

2. What are you working on? 

A few weeks ago, we sent a survey into the field in which we asked a whole cohort of apprentices in office occupations in their final year of apprenticeship about their expectations for entering the labor market. We are particularly interested in how the role of digitization is experienced in everyday life, whether it is seen more as an opportunity or a risk, and from which side the young people hope for support when entering the workforce. We will then survey this group again in a year's time to compare their expectations with reality.

3. How did you end up here?

The cluster offers great opportunities for truly interdisciplinary research on the core topics of my work.

4. Dream research project?

Linking administrative data on wealth, income and employment biographies with individual political behavior would certainly be very revealing - and from a data protection perspective, of course, a huge nightmare!

Dr. Thomas Kurer is Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence "The Politics of Inequality" at the University of Konstanz, where he leads the research group on "The Politics of Labor Market Inequality and Occupational Mobility". His research interests include the impact of occupational change and economic modernization on social hierarchies, changes in the economic and societal position and their effects on political behavior and the changing composition of the labor force and its impact welfare state policy in post-industrial democracies.