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Discussing society trends in the 21st century

Globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change: the new coordinates?

This section of innovations-reports examines the latest scientific findings in the fields of social sciences as it relates to globalization, demographic change and equal opportunity. Controversially discussed and thoroughly researched, we track current discussions detailed in studies, publications and announcements from renowned organizations and institutes. We address unsolved issues within key topics such as globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change, which are of paramount interest regarding their impact to society and the individual.

How will globalization occupy us in the future?

Globalization, a meanwhile overused expression, refers to the worldwide integration of economies, politics, society, culture and environment . Globalization, equal opportunity and demographic change are phenomena that mean different things to different people the world over. Some scientists view globalization as a process that began with the first species of man. Others date globalization back to the 15th century as European conquerors fanned out across the world. Still others accept it as a tide that was initiated at the beginning of World War II.

The fact is, globalization has transformed the planets into a village affecting all parts of life. The far-reaching structural transformation of overall society triggered by globalization has positive as well as negative impacts. The world continues to be divided into industrial, emerging and developing countries as globalization spreads. Globalization also means mobility and the opening up of national identities. Globalization is the sharing of common global challenges as illustrated by demographic change and equal opportunity. While some welcome globalization as economic progress, others dismiss globalization as neoliberalism.

Are we overestimating or downplaying the significance of demographic change on society?

Demographic change is the new challenge facing society. The post-World War II baby boom generation is aging and a new one is not on the horizon. In Germany, demographic change is viewed as a social, economic and cultural threat. Experts predict that demographic change will shrink Germany's population by 7 million by the middle of the century. The impact of an aging population on society is illustrated by the limits of growth. Structural transformation, redistribution, economic collapse, job exodus: demographic change and the forthcoming population declines will force societies to drastically restructure and reshape. Demographic change will also give momentum to globalization and equal opportunity.

While all of the signs so far point to "big", will demographic change acquire a new modesty? Demographic change and globalization are tightly interleaved. Calls are being made for demographic change and its already entrenched realities to be resolved at the highest level of decision making and understood as a non-partisan challenge for the present and future.

Has the equal opportunity mandate really arrived in practice?

No one accepts discrimination. Regarding the gender question, equal opportunity for minorities and abolishing discrimination based on ethnic or ideological traits, equal opportunity and the equal opportunity legislation introduced in 2006 have established benchmarks. The question is, has this already led to a well-established mindset of equal opportunity among the population? And is equal opportunity actually being practiced in business, politics and society against the backdrop of globalization?

We are reminded that if the pursuance of equal opportunity is left to those who hold the power in society, then equal opportunity for women in the workplace will make hardly any progress worth mentioning. Equal opportunity and demographic change is not a generational question. The obligations that equal opportunity will impose on all societal forces, how individuals can contribute to equal opportunity and how equal opportunity can be realized within the context of globalization and demographic change - all of these issues will continue to keep us in suspense.

Social Sciences

This area deals with the latest developments in the field of empirical and theoretical research as it relates to the structure and function of institutes and systems, their social interdependence and how such systems interact with individual behavior processes.

innovations-report offers informative reports and articles related to the social sciences field including demographic developments, family and career issues, geriatric research, conflict research, generational studies and criminology research.

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High disease load reduces mortality of children

Trans-generational defense mechanism in humans proved

Children who have been conceived during a severe epidemic are more resistant against other pathogens later in life. For the first time this has been proved by...

18.04.2014 | nachricht Read more

Results of gender equality research have very limited impact on cantonal legislation

Fiscal policies and social transfer measures hold the potential to improve the compatibility of paid work and family commitments. But cantonal authorities do not sufficiently consider the available knowledge. This is the conclusion of a study conducted by the National Research Programme “Gender Equality” (NRP 60).

Gender equality is affected by policies in many areas, one of which is fiscal policy. Switzerland's federal system makes it difficult to fully understand the...

15.04.2014 | nachricht Read more

Health, Qualifications and Motivation

Heidelberg scientist investigates preconditions for longer working lives

Health, qualifications and motivation are the crucial factors determining whether, as a consequence of demographic change, wage-earners can or should go on...

07.04.2014 | nachricht Read more

Integration: Why Canada Does Better

The Berlin Institute has published an English-language update of its 2012 study “Leading on Points – What Germany Can Learn from Canada’s Immigration and Integration Policy”.

Germany and Canada are among those countries with the largest shares of immigrants worldwide. But whereas in Germany the majority of immigrants have low-level...

26.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

Reasons for Becoming Self-Employed in Later Life Vary by Gender, Culture, MU Researcher Finds

Older male workers may choose self-employment, whereas older female workers may seek self-employment because of financial necessity
Self-employment can allow older workers to stay in the labor market longer and earn additional income, yet little research has addressed if reasons for... 20.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

Language vitality barometer toolkit for detecting endangered languages now freely available online

Tools and database of the EU project ELDIA now generally accessible / Wake-up call to policymakers to help save endangered languages
The EuLaViBar language vitality barometer is a tool that can be used to determine the extent to which a language is threatened with extinction.

Academics from... 11.02.2014 | nachricht Read more

Long-Term Study PIAAC-L approved by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

The Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences (GESIS), the Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi), and the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) are together conducting one of the world’s first internationally comparable long-term studies on competencies in adults and their significance over the life course.
How do individual competencies impact on the employment careers of people living in Germany? How are person abilities interrelated with occupational mobility?... 10.12.2013 | nachricht Read more

New research identifies why young adults return to the parental home

Researchers from the ESRC Centre for Population Change (CPC) at the University of Southampton have identified key 'turning-points' in young adults' lives which influence whether or not they return to the parental home.
Dr Juliet Stone, Professor Ann Berrington and Professor Jane Falkingham have found that factors such as leaving full-time education, unemployment, or a... 12.11.2013 | nachricht Read more

Hartz IV reform did not reduce unemployment in Germany

Impact of the Hartz IV reform on curbing unemployment in Germany proved to be exceptionally low
The Hartz IV reform of the German labor market has been one of the most controversial reforms in the history of the reunited Federal Republic of Germany. It... 07.11.2013 | nachricht Read more

How do traditional societies change as a result of contact with the modern age?

A Treasure from the Archives
How do traditional societies change as a result of contact with the modern age? You can only tell if you know what they looked like before that. For the rural... 06.11.2013 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Dance of Black Holes

A pair of supermassive black holes in orbit around one another have been discovered by an international research team including Stefanie Komossa from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.

This is the first time such a pair could be found in an ordinary galaxy. They were discovered because they ripped apart a star when ESA’s space observatory...

Im Focus: The malaria pathogen’s cellular skeleton under a super-microscope

A first step towards tailor-made drugs against the infectious disease

The tropical disease malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite. For its survival and propagation, Plasmodium requires a protein called actin. Scientists of...

Im Focus: Key milestone for brown fat research with a ground-breaking MRI scan

The first MRI scan to show 'brown fat' in a living adult could prove to be an essential step towards a new wave of therapies to aid the fight against diabetes and obesity.

Researchers from Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust used a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) based method to...

Im Focus: World's first successful visualisation of key coenzyme

Japanese researchers have successfully developed the world's first imaging method for visualising the behaviour of nicotine-adenine dinucleotide derivative (NAD(P)H), a key coenzyme, inside cells. This feat could ultimately facilitate the diagnosis of cancer and liver dysfunction and help to elucidate the mechanisms of neurological disorders.  

A Japanese research team led by Drs. Hirokazu Komatsu and Katsuhiko Ariga of the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics, in collaboration with...

Im Focus: Earthquake simulation tops one quadrillion flops: Computational record on SuperMUC

A team of computer scientists, mathematicians and geophysicists at Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and Ludwig-Maximillians Universitaet Muenchen (LMU) have – with the support of the Leibniz Supercomputing Center of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (LRZ) – optimized the SeisSol earthquake simulation software on the SuperMUC high performance computer at the LRZ to push its performance beyond the “magical” one petaflop/s mark – one quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Geophysicists use the SeisSol earthquake simulation software to investigate rupture processes and seismic waves beneath the Earth’s surface. Their goal is to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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