Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften – Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft Project “WealthTalks: The (Re-)Production of Wealth Inequality in Everyday Conversations”Research assistant (postdoc) (m/f/d) full-time job limited to 4 years Entgeltgruppe 13 TV-L FU reference code: WealthTalks_01 Bewerbungsende: 24.07.2023

  • Contract
  • Anywhere

Free University of Berlin

Why does the public oppose wealth inequality but not support measures to change the distribution of wealth? Funded by VW Foundation, WealthTalks offers a novel perspective on the production and reproduction of wealth by examining how ordinary citizens discuss wealth and inequality in everyday conversations. WealthTalks will describe the form, conditions, and effects of everyday conversations on wealth and inequality in Botswana, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, and the US. We will produce a large corpus of transcripts of everyday conversations by collecting data from debates in social media, organizing a series of deliberative focus groups, and running moderated dialogues in public places. Subsequently, we will run iterative rounds of online experiments in which we test the effects of frames and argument sequences on people’s beliefs and attitudes about wealth inequality and redistribution. We will not only take a dynamic approach that dissects sequences of frames and arguments but will also pay particular attention to the role of various social identities.

The postdoctoral research fellow will work in an international lab that consists of two other postdocs, student assistants, and a group leader, as well as a team of principal investigators and project partners spanning across the globe: Chana Teeger (London School of Economics), David Schieferdecker (Freie Universitat Berlin), Flavio Alex de Oliveira Carvalhaes (Federal Universidad de Rio de Janeiro), Jeremy Seekings (University of Cape Town), Jonathan Mijs (Boston University), Graziella Moraes Silva (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies), Franziska Mager (Tax Justice Network), and John Makgala (University of Botswana).

What we offer:
– Remuneration according to the tariff (TV-L E13) and a monthly ticket for public transport at reduced rates
– Office space in lively Berlin
– Close collaboration with a large network of up-and-coming as well as senior international researchers in an interdisciplinary research team
– Flexible working hours, and ability to work remotely
– No teaching obligation
– Fully paid conference travel and research stay at a university of our lab members
– Individual budget for methodological training and career development
– Fair authorship and the opportunity for first-authored publication

Your application (in English and preferably in one pdf-file) shall contain:
– a motivation letter that describes (a) your interest in the topic or methods of the project; (b) prior experience relevant to the study; and (c) how working in our lab fits your career trajectory.
– a CV that includes a list of your relevant career stages, publications and presentations
– up to two examples of your writing
Job description:
In close collaboration with the other members of the lab, you will collect and analyze data and help disseminate project findings. Specific tasks include:
– Literature review and development of the research design
– Collection of quantitative and qualitative data
– Text analysis (mostly quantitative)
– Drafting journal articles for publication and presenting research findings at international
– Planning and organization of team workshops
– Writing reports for the funder (Volkswagen Foundation)
– Mentoring student assistants

– Degree: a doctorate/Ph.D. degree in communication studies, political science, sociology, social psychology, economics, data science, or a related field

– Language: Proficiency in verbal and written academic English
– Expertise: Experience conducting empirical social science research
– Data collection skills: Experience with collecting original data for text analysis and/or scraping social media data; experience in data collection in difficult contexts and-or the project countries is a plus.
– Analytical skills: Experience with conducting quantitative text analysis; experience in computational and/or qualitative text analysis is a plus.
– Publications: Publications (or submissions) in international journals and presentations at international conferences; publications related to the project focus (economic and social inequalities, conversational dynamics) are a plus.
– Language: Fluency in English; knowledge of Portuguese, German, or one of the other languages spoken in the project countries is a plus.
– Availability: Able to start work between October and December 2023
– Interpersonal skills: High motivation to work in a team that will primarily collaborate virtually; experience in working in transnational and transcultural settings.
– Travel: Willingness to travel to international workshops
For further information, please contact Dr. David Schieferdecker ([email protected] ).

Applications should be sent by e-mail, together with significant documents, indicating the reference code, in PDF format (preferably as one document) to Herrn Dr. David Schieferdecker: [email protected] or postal to

Freie Universität Berlin
Fachbereich Politik- und Sozialwissenschaften
Institut für Publizistik- und Kommunikationswissenschaft
Project “WealthTalks: The (Re-)Production of Wealth Inequality in Everyday Conversations”
Herrn Dr. David Schieferdecker
Garystr. 55
14195 Berlin (Dahlem)
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