Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

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Zertifikat "audit berufundfamilie"

Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Geld und Karriere



"Research on couples frequently determines inequality between partners according to the existence and extent of individual access to monetary and material resources. Here the presumption is often made that (not) having one's own money at one's own disposal gives indication of the existing balance of power and equality within the partnership. If research into inequality does not wish to degenerate into 'structural naturalism', then it must take into account the fact that inequalities, as perceived and perceivable facts, always rest on socially effective attributions of meaning which are accepted as true and that 'inequality' rests on weighty construction processes of assessments and valuations. In a qualitative panel study which uses the biographical case studies of couples, the sub-project B6 of SFB 536 is researching the connections between money, power and inequality for career-orientated couples. Our findings show that the same or higher income in no way automatically results in greater (inner-relationship) power or opportunities of influence - for within the context of partner relationships money (and material goods) always assume an idiosyncratic symbolic significance and act, as a result of interactive negotiation processes, as subjectivated 'relationship currency. In this way the distribution of power and the opportunity to wield influence can be understood in and through the relationship as the result of interactive practices of attribution of meaning about money, love, events relevant to one's life, as well as social and institutional framework conditions that produce inequality. The emergence of such relational forms of social inequality within partner relationships has an effect - as a 'partnership effect' and communicated via individual career decisions and paths - on the social structure of inequality. Only in and through the arrangement of the lived-in world of the partner relationship with its specific order of (living)time and (relationship-)currency for particular phases of life are the options and limitations of action relevant to inequality made experienceable for individuals in partner relationships and subjectively or partnership-biographically significant. From an individualisation-theoretic perspective this results in the inference, that at first sight seems paradox, that it is not the individual but the various forms of partnership relationships which in their relation to the living world become a central mechanism of selection for matching relationships between the subjective worlds one lives in and career-relevant institutional (time-)regimes." (Author's abstract, GESIS-Doku) ((en))


Bibliographical information

Hirseland, Andreas; Herma, Holger (2006): Money and career * equality norms and biographical synchronization among career-oriented couples. In: K.- S. Rehberg (Ed.), Soziale Ungleichheit, Kulturelle Unterschiede. Verhandlungen des 32. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in München 2004. 2 Bände, Frankfurt am Main: Campus Verlag, pp. 4729-4734 & article on CD-ROM.