Anette Fasang How Do Parents’ Social Networks Affect Their Children’s Educational Attainment?

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.

Area of Research

Social Demography, Stratification, Life Course, Family, Quantitative Methodology

Anette E. Fasang. "Intergenerationale Fertilitätstransmission in Ost- und Westdeutschland." Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie 67 (2015): 11-40.  
Anette E. Fasang and Marcel Raab. "Beyond Transmission: Intergenerational Patterns of Family Formation in Middle Class American Families." Demography 51 (2014): 1703-1728.  
Anette E. Fasang. "Retirement Patterns and Income Inequality." Social Forces 90 (2012): 685-711.  
Silke Aisenbrey and Anette E. Fasang. "New Life for Old Ideas: The ‘Second Wave’ of Sequence Analysis. Bringing the ‘Course’ Back into the Life Course." Sociological Methods & Research 38 (2010): 420-462.  

since 2014

Professor for Microsociology

Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) (more details)

since 2011

Head of Research Group

Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB)

Demography and Inequality


Assistant Professor for Demography

Humboldt University of Berlin (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) (more details)

Department of Social Sciences


Postdoctoral Associate

Yale University

Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE), Department of Sociology


PhD in Sociology

Jacobs University Bremen


Master in Sociology

Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

- Acta Sociologica

- Advances in Life Course Research

- American Sociological Review

- British Journal of Sociology

- Comparative Population Studies

- Demographic Research

- European Sociological Review

- International Journal of Comparative Sociology

- Journal for Labour Market Research

- Journal of Happiness Studies

- Journal of Urban Affairs

- Journal of the Royal Statistical Society

- Journal of Social Policy

- Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie

- Oxford University Press

- Research on Aging

- Social Forces

- Social Science Research

- Sociological Forum

- Sociological Methodology

- Sociological Methods & Research

- Sociological Theory

- Soziale Welt

- Zeitschrift für Soziologie

- American Sociological Association (ASA)

- Population Association of America (PAA)

- German Sociological Association (DGS)

- ISA RC28 on Social Stratification and Mobility

- German Section on Family Sociology


- Board Member of the European Consortium of Sociological Research (since 2015)

- Member of the Curriculum Committee Humboldt University of Berlin (2015)

- Member of the Academic Council Humboldt University of Berlin (2015)

- Committee Member of the ECSR Best Dissertation Award (2014)

- Committee Member of the Poster Selection Committee at the Conference ‘Life Course Transitions after Separation: Stepfamilies, Lone and Non-Residential Parenthood.’ Berlin (2013)

- Member of the Faculty Council Humboldt University Berlin (2012-2014)

- Committee Member of the Clifford Clogg Award for the Best Graduate Student Paper of the ASA Methodology Section (2012)

- Member of the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences Faculty and Council (since 2011)

- Conference Funding “The Third Decade of Life”, Schloß Herrenhausen Hanover (with Heike Solga and Marlis Buchmann) from Volkswagen Foundation (2013)

- Funding for Project Group “Demography and Inequality”, WZB Berlin Social Science Center (2011)

- Grant for Six Months Research Visit from the Max-Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock (2013)

- Structured Graduate Program “Health and Welfare in the 21st Century” (with Ellen Immergut and Gabriele Metzler) from Humboldt Initiative Structured Graduate Programs (2013)

© Heike Zappe/ HU Berlin

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)


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.

LT Video Publication DOI:

Social Closure and Educational Attainment

  • Anette E. Fasang, William Mangino and Hannah Brückner
  • Sociological Forum
  • Published in 2014
Anette E. Fasang, William Mangino and Hannah Brückner. "Social Closure and Educational Attainment." Sociological Forum 29 (2014): 137-164.