Author Archives: Lars Leszczensky

2 PhD researcher positions for three years

I am hiring two PhD researchers (three years, 65%) for my new project “Religion, religiosity, and the social-emotional integration of Muslim youth”. The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and directed at the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).

The project examines the mechanisms that drive the social-emotional integration of Muslim youth. For this purpose, (longitudinal) secondary data analyses (e.g., CILS4EU, FIS, NEPS), choice experiments, and group discussions will be conducted. The main aim is to better understand to what extent religion and religiosity matter for friendship choices and the development of national identification of young Muslims. It will also be examined whether non-Muslim youth exclude their Muslim peers, and, if so, what consequences this has for their social-emotional integration.

Click here for the call for applications (and here for the German version). The deadline for applications is March 31, 2018. Further information about the project is found here. Please feel also free to email me.

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Organized Session on the Causes of Segregation at the Sunbelt Conference

Together with Tobias Stark, Hanno Kruse, and Sebastian Pink I am offering a session on the causes of segregation and intergroup relations in social networks at the XXXVIII Sunbelt conference. The conference will be held in Utrecht and take place June 26 to July 1, 2018.

If you’re interested in presenting, please submit your abstract until February 1. Our call follows below.

Intergroup Relations in Social Networks: Causes of Segregation

More and more researchers use social network analysis to study intergroup relations. Various methods, including ego-centered, cross-sectional (ERGM), and longitudinal (SAOM) network analyses show that friendship networks are segregated along ethnic, cultural and religious lines. However, research has only begun to exploit the potential of social network analysis for understanding the causes and processes leading to segregation. Even fewer studies exist on interventions that aim to reduce segregation and promote positive intergroup relations. This is partially due to theoretical and methodological challenges that are specific to the network approach. For instance, people may identify with multiple groups, intergroup contact preferences contact may vary between groups, and members of multiple groups in a network have to be modelled at once. This session invites theoretical, methodological, and empirical contributions that address these and other challenges in order to deepen our understanding of how segregation arises, with a focus on intergroup relations.

New Publication on Young Immigrants’ Host Country Identification and their Friendships with Natives

My article “Young immigrants’ host country identification and their friendships with natives: Does relative group size matter?” is now available at Social Science Research. Click here to read the paper.

In short,  I argue that immigrants’ host country identification only affects their own friendship choices in schools with high shares of immigrants, because only in those schools they can be picky about befriending natives. Stochastic actor-oriented models support this notion, pointing to an interplay of preferences and opportunities in shaping the relation between host country identification and interethnic friendships.


New Publication on Gender Differences in Selection and Influence Effects in Academic Achievement

Our article “Selection and influence processes in academic achievement—More pronounced for girls?” is now available at Social Networks. Click here to read the paper, which is co-authored by David Kretschmer and Sebastian Pink.

In short, in line with theoretical arguments, we find selection effects on academic achievement only among girls. By contrast, influence effects contribute to achievement similarity among both boys and girls.

New Publication on Ethnic Differences in Friendship Preferences and Social Influence Regarding Academic Achievement

Our article “Are there differences in ethnic majority and minority adolescents’ friendships preferences and social influence with regard to their academic achievement?” is now available at Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft. Click here to read the paper, which is co-authored by Tobias Stark and Sebastian Pink.

Dissertation Prize & Research Award

I am honored to report that my dissertation has been awarded with the Lorenz-von-Stein prize. The prize is awarded each year by the Lorenz-von-Stein Foundation for the best dissertation in Political Sciences, Social Psychology, and Sociology at the University of Mannheim. Here’s the press release (in German), and below is a picture of me smiling.

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I am also very happy to have received this year’s research award of the Prof. Dr. Anna und Prof. Dr. Jörg Jiri Bojanovsky Foundation. The foundation supports the empirical research of young scientists in the field of social, inter-individual, or cultural processes. I received the award for our article in which Tobias Stark, Andreas Flache, Anke Munniksma and I disentangle the relation between young immigrants’ host country identification and their friendships with natives.