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Jan-Philip Steinmann

Postdoctoral researcher

Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN)

My name is Jan-Philip Steinmann and I am head of the research unit “Aetiology of Deviance” at the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony (KFN) and affiliated postdoctoral researcher at the Research Institute Social Cohesion (RISC) at the University of Bremen, Germany. I consider myself a sociologist, on the edge of cultural sociology and social structure analysis. My research interests, in the broadest sense, relate to causes and consequences of (decreasing or increasing) social cohesion. Thereby, I mainly focus on social inequalities, migration processes and immigrants’ integration, right-wing populism, and deviant behavior. Across all these topics, I investigate paradoxical effects of religion. Although I am mostly using quantitative empirical methods, I am also conducting mixed methods research.

I hold a doctoral degree from the University of Goettingen, Germany. I have been visiting student/researcher at Utrecht University and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) in The Hague.

My work appeared in several journals including European Journal of Criminology, International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie.

I am a reviewer for several journals, such as Ethnicities, European Journal of Criminology, European Sociological Review, Frontiers in Sociology, International Migration Review, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, Migration Studies, Nordic Journal of Migration Research, Political Psychology, Race and Social Problems, Social Science Research, Zeitschrift für Religion, Gesellschaft und Politik, and Zeitschrift für Soziologie.

Work in Progress

Explaining the relationship between religiosity and anti-diversity attitudes among Christians in West Germany

Research on whether religiosity promotes or reduces prejudice has produced plenty of paradoxical findings. In this article we address the relationship between religiosity and anti-diversity attitudes (xenophobia and homophobia) among Christians in West Germany. We ask what the relationship between religiosity and anti-diversity attitudes is and how it can be explained. Two (complementary) theoretical explanations are presented: the religious-ideology explanation emphasizes the role of fundamentalism, and the loss-of-privileges explanation underscores the importance of perceived disadvantage. Our analysis is based on a representative sample of Christians in West Germany and provides evidence of a curvilinear religiosity-prejudice relationship. Up to a certain level of religiosity, xenophobia and homophobia decrease as religiosity increases; however, the relationship then reverses—anti-diversity attitudes are particularly pronounced among the highly religious. The level of xenophobia among the highly religious is fully explained by fundamentalism and perceived disadvantage, whereas their level of homophobia is only partially explained.

Has immigration slowed down secularization in Germany? Empirical evidence from 2014 to 2021

The aim of this data visualization is to answer the question whether immigration has acted as a counter-secularization force in Germany in recent years. The hypothesis is based on the tendency of first- and second-generation immigrants to exhibit higher levels of religiosity compared to the host populations. Simulation analysis involving more than 15,000 respondents of data from the 2014 to 2021 “German General Social Survey” (GGSS) indicates that the increase in the immigrant population during this period does not emerge as a substantial counterforce to religious decline in both East and West Germany. An effective slowdown in secularization in Germany would have required a more substantial increase in immigration and a notably higher level of religious engagement among new arrivals and their descendants than was observed.

Religious well-being benefits in times of crisis. Religiosity, social integration, and changes in subjective well-being during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany

A large body of literature highlights the benefits of being religious in terms of subjective well-being. We examine changes to these so-called religious well-being benefits during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany and address the role of (formal and informal) social integration when explaining these changes. We empirically test two contrasting scenarios: The first scenario predicts a decrease in religious well-being benefits (convergence hypothesis), while the second scenario predicts an increase in religious well-being benefits (divergence hypothesis). We adopt a potential outcomes framework and apply marginal structural models and inverse probability of treatment weighting to nationally representative, longitudinal data including both pre- and during-pandemic periods, Thereby, we show that initial religious well-being benefits declined during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany. This decline was partly due to religious individuals’ perception of decreasing social integration. Our results challenge the widespread idea that religious individuals are better protected against crises.

Misperceptions of the foreign-born population size in European societies. The role of immigration-related national discourses

In this article, we contribute to the question on how cross-national differences in misperceptions of the foreign-born population size come about by adding national discourses on immigration to the explanation. We provide theoretical reasoning why such discourses articulated by politics and media should have an effect on individual (mis)perceptions. Thereby, we differentiate between salience and valence of national discourses and consider the interplay between such discourses and individuals’ actual exposure to political and media debates. Based on 2014 European Social Survey (ESS) data, multilevel analyses are conducted. Empirical findings indicate that mere salience of national discourses on immigration is not decisive when explaining (mis)perceptions of the foreign-born population size. Instead, overestimating the number of foreign-born people is less likely to occur when discourse by politicians is more inclusive towards immigrants. However, such discourses may also lead to more pronounced underestimation. Effects of immigration-related national discourse on individual misperceptions are not conditional on people’s exposure to politics and media. We conclude that politicians may prevent Europeans’ overestimation of the foreign-born population size by addressing immigration in a positive way.

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