The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on scientific work in German sociology

Tim Sawert, Maria Keil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Whereas some scientific disciplines such as epidemiology and virology are experiencing high media attention during the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific work is at the same time highly affected by the governments’ measures taken to reduce the spread of the virus. With closing colleges and universities as well as kindergartens, scientists all over the world had to adapt to new forms of working procedures. In May 2020 we conducted a survey with professors and postdoctoral researchers in the field of German sociology to research how the COVID-19 measures constrained their work. In this research note, we present the results of this survey. They show that the position in the sociological field as well as demographic factors affect the degree to which sociologists feel constrained in their work. Postdoctoral sociologists feel more restricted in their work than professors, qualitatively working sociologists more restricted than quantitatively working sociologists. Moreover, being a woman and having children under the age of 14 years increases the probability that sociologists expect to research less substantially. Our empirical results shed some light on the effect of COVID-19 measures on work and inequality in Higher Education during the pandemic. Finally, our results can be discussed in the light of epistemic and social impacts on scientific knowledge production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalZeitschrift für Soziologie
Publication statusSubmitted - 2021

Structured keywords

  • Covid19


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