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Using survey data and combining multilevel modelling with propensity score matching the study presented in this video examines the effects of social networks among parents on their children’s educational attainment in different social environments. The existing knowledge on the influence of parents’ networks is confirmed and refined, as ANETTE FASANG explains. The networks’ effects are not exclusively positive, as often assumed, but vary with the status of the families. Closed social networks multiply social disadvantage as much as advantage.


Anette Fasang is Head of the Research Group ‘Demography and Inequality’ at the Social Science Research Centre Berlin (WZB), as well as Professor of Microsociology at Humboldt-University Berlin. Her fields of research are gender relations in the family, the welfare state, and social inequality.

Between 2008 and 2011, Fasang spent time as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course, Yale University, and at the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Columbia University. Fasang’s research on the family and social inequality considers social networks among parents and their advantageous or disadvantageous effects on children.


Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

In 1810, Wilhelm von Humboldt’s idea of founding a new type of university became a reality. The combination of teaching and research, academic freedom and the comprehensive education of students was not only a model for the Prussian university but for the world as well. And a new era for universities and academic research began. Each year, over 6,000 people decide to study at Humboldt-Universität located in the heart of Berlin. There are few other places where you can choose from 190 degree programmes, from Agricultural Science to Asian Studies. The university is first and foremost dedicated to fundamental research. Humboldt-Universität’s strengths in particular are in research on antiquity, history, philosophy, and quantitative economics as well as the life sciences, especially theoretical biology, neurology and immunology. It also has strengths in mathematics, material and optical sciences, and climate and sustainability research. These key strengths are shaped by twelve collaborative research areas, nine graduate research clusters and eleven interdisciplinary centres. Three integrated research institutes strongly connect and coordinate different research areas while developing focused topics for the future. (Source: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)
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Original publication

Social Closure and Educational Attainment

Fasang Anette E., Mangino William and Brückner Hannah
Sociological Forum
Published in 2014

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