Johanna Häring

Institut für Soziologie


University of Leipzig,
Institut für Soziologie
Beethovenstraße 15
04107 Leipzig

Office H4 1.04
Telephone +49 (0)341 / 97-35609
E-Mail katharina.mueller[at]

Office Hours: By arrangement (by phone or mail).

Fields of Research

  • Inequality research
  • Social structure analysis
  • Change of attitudes and behaviour as a consequence of status uncertainty
  • Prosocial behaviour

Curriculum Vitae


  • 2014-2012: M.A. Sociology, University of Leipzig
  • 2012-2009: B.A Sociology & Educational Science, University of Potsdam

Academic Occupation

  • since 02/2015: research assistant with Prof. Dr. Holger Lengfeld at the University of Leipzig (chair: Institutions and Social Change)
  • 2015-2013: staff/student assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Department of Developmental and Comparative Psychology)
  • 2014-2013: student assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (Department of Social Neuroscience)
  • 2013-2012: test coordinator at the DPC (StEG Study, Berlin Study)


Project Middle Classes, Institutional Change and Status Uncertainty (ProMIS)

Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Holger Lengfeld

Research assistants: Stephanie Pravemann, M.A.; Katharina Müller, M.A.

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (413.000 €)

Duration: 15.02.2015 - 14.02.2018

ProMIS is part of OIKON, a project group located at the Center of Globalisation and Governance (CGG) at the University of Hamburg.

Research Questions:

Since the early 1990s, profound institutional changes can be observed in the labor market, welfare state, and wage policy, such as the increase of flexible employment, changes in social security schemes and variable payment. These changes are associated with the extension of employment-related risks, weaker upward mobility and income fluctuations. At the beginning of the 21st century, signs of status uncertainty in the middle classes became apparent, which are characterised by the fear to lose one’s own wealth position. It is assumed that the described changes have led to an institutional non-complementarity within the German model of coordinated capitalism, which caused an increase of status uncertainty and a fear of falling, especially in the middle classes.

ProMIS will raise the following research questions:

  1. To what extent do people perceive the institutional arrangement described above as non-complementary, and to that extent does it affect subjective status uncertainty, especially for the middle classes?
  2. What is the impact of these perceptions on long-term binding choices in the life course?
  3. What are people’s beliefs about re-complementation, meaning the restoration of the institu-tional balance?
  4. How do institutional variations at the nation-state level impact the relationship between institutions, perceived status uncertainty, and behavioural consequences for different social classes?

Research Method:

Based on a theoretical clarification of the relationship between these institutional changes and emerging (non-)complementarities in Germany we will develop assumptions about how social classes differ in perceiving and coping with these changes. Subsequently, two CAWI surveys based on a randomly stratified sample of 3000 German adults belonging to the workforce will be carried out.

First Publications:

  • Lengfeld, H. (2012): Paradoxien des Kapitalismus: Effekte variierender Arbeitsmarktinstitutio-nen auf Unsicherheitsempfindungen von Beschäftigten, in Soeffner, H.-G. (Hg.): Transnationale Vergesellschaftungen. Verhandlungen des 35. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Wiesbaden, VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften (CD-ROM).
  • Lengfeld, H./Kleiner, T.-M. (2009): Flexible Beschäftigung und soziale Ungleichheit – Eine Synthese des Stands der Forschung. Arbeit, Zeitschrift für Arbeitsforschung, Arbeitsgestaltung und Arbeitspolitik 1: 46-62
  • Lengfeld, H./Hirschle, J. (2009): Die Angst der Mittelschicht vor dem Abstieg. Eine Längsschnittanalyse 1984-2007. Zeitschrift für Soziologie 38, 5: 379-399.