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Social inequalities in contemporary societies. New empirical evidence and methodological innovation

Monday 01 September 2008 — Saturday 06 September 2008

The network of excellence on Economic Change, Quality of Life and Social Cohesion (Equalsoc), funded by the EU Commission under the 6th Framework Programme, and the European Consortium for Sociological Research (ECSR), decided to bring together their respective expertise and cooperate in arranging a joint 2008 Summer School.

The Summer School was intended to offer to EU Ph.D. students theoretically informed and empirically based analyses on the current features of social inequality in the contemporary EU, as well as some key interpretations of its trends. As in the past tradition of the Summer Schools, there were also lectures on the most advanced statistical techniques used by social scientists to study these inequalities.

The Equalsoc and ECSR joint Summer School was devoted to an analysis of how globalisation processes and recent changes in labour market regulation have affected the shape of social disparities among social groups and the relative weights of class, gender and generation in determining individuals’ life chances. These changes have important policy implications in several fields of social life (such as education, labour market participation, family formation processes, income and wealth distributions, gender division of labour) and can affect both the performance of national welfare systems and the degree of social cohesion of the EU countries.

Because of their importance for the analysis of social life and the design of social policies, the Equalsoc and ECSR joint Summer School attached importance to bringing young scholars up-to-date about the recent progress by sociologists in implementing sound and reliable technical tools devoted to the study of these issues, using currently available large scale comparative and longitudinal data sets (such as ECHP, EU-SILC, European Social Survey, time budget data).

The Summer School was also an opportunity to discuss PhD students’ and young researchers’ projects and papers.

As stated above, the Summer school was arranged around a set of substantive lectures and a set of methodological lectures. They were as follows:

Substantive lectures Methodological lectures

Equalsoc was responsible for the substantive lectures, while ECSR organised the methodological lectures.


The Equalsoc and ECSR joint Summer School was held in Trento from Sunday evening the 31st of August 2008 to Saturday the 6th of September 2008. It took place in the Conference Centre of the University of Trento. About thirty Ph.D. students and young researchers were hosted. Equalsoc and ECSR funded, following their own rules, the Ph.D. students coming from the respective institutions. Other Ph. D. students not belonging either to Equalsoc or ECSR were selected according to the quality of their proposed papers.

More information: [email protected]