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ESRA 2023 Preliminary Glance Program

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Survey research in pilot-municipalities projects

Session Organisers Dr Andreas Hartung (University of Kaiserslautern)
Professor Annette Spellerberg (University of Kaiserslautern)
Mr Benjamin Stefan (University of Kaiserslautern)
TimeTuesday 18 July, 16:00 - 17:00
Room U6-01b

Working in and with pilot municipalities is a well-accepted approach to study specific populations (older people, refugees, etc.) and to develop research-led recommendations in various practice-oriented areas. Focusing on a few communities allows for in-depth research in local contexts and close cooperation with local stakeholders. Surveys within the communities are one of the central instruments in such projects. They help to gather information and to evaluate solutions the project aims at. In transdisciplinary projects, they are used to take into account the needs and demands of the target groups (e.g. climate adaptation measures, transport transition or local volunteering).
This session addresses challenges of survey research in pilot municipalities. We invite contributions to the following thematic areas:
• Comparability of survey data taken from single pilot municipalities: Surveys in the local context are often subject to singular (administrative) decisions of organisational and technical nature (sampling, time window, target groups). Therefore, we are interested in concepts and techniques of comparing survey data taken from participating communities.
• Combining surveys with data from complementary sources: municipalities can provide various data, e.g. geodata, that can be linked to surveys. Furthermore, research in pilot municipalities is usually interdisciplinary, and survey data need to be integrated with data produced in other areas. We invite contributions that present application examples for technical aspects of these procedures.
• Generalisation of project results: recommendations developed in pilot projects are intended for broad implementation. Therefore, we are interested in ways of representative selection of the participating municipalities as well as further conceptual and data-driven technics of result transferability.
With this session, we want to encourage a discussion about survey research in pilot municipalities and outline the distinctiveness of this approach, e.g. close cooperation with municipalities, inter- and transdisciplinarity and intensive use of complementary data sources

Keywords: pilot municipalities; communities; local contexts; practice oriented; policy advice; interdisciplinarity; transdisciplinarity; geodata

Online and Offline Survey Participation of Older Adults dependent on Municipality

Mr Benjamin Stefan (RPTU / Stadtsoziologie) - Presenting Author
Professor Annette Spellerberg (RPTU / Stadtsoziologie)
Dr Andreas Hartung (RPTU / Stadtsoziologie)

Surveys are a common tool to gather social data on an individual level in municipalities. These are often paper-based and therefore expensive and time-consuming. Online questionnaires are seen as a cheaper and faster alternative to survey modes like CAPI, personal or telephone interviews. Yet they are regularly criticized for creating a participation bias. In particular, this mode tends to under-represent women, people with lower education and older adults, allegedly due to differences in internet affinity . These biases may differ between municipalities since these demographic characteristics vary between urban and rural areas and between suburbs and the city centres. The objective of our presentation is to demonstrate how spatial inequalities combined with socio-demographic inequalities determine the participation of older adults in online or offline surveys . In our presentation, we want to answer the following questions:

Is participation less biased in more urban areas than in more rural ones and can we identify differences between the outskirts and the city centre? Do composition effects according to gender, education, and age explain these differences? Does internet affinity mediate differences in online-offline-participation?

For our empirical analyses, we analyse own data on the quality of life of 50- to 75-year-olds in seven pilot urban, suburban, and rural municipalities in Germany. The representative samples were drawn from the population registers. The participants had the choice to fill out the questionnaire either offline or online.

We anticipate a diverse picture between different municipalities depending on the composition of this cohort (age, gender, education). Nevertheless, we expect that, in general, online surveys are more biased in rural municipalities and the suburbs mediated by the internet affinity. We will discuss the implications of our findings for the practical application of online surveys in pilot municipalities.

Housing Environment Preferences in a Challenged Neighbourhood

Professor Sören Petermann (Ruhr University Bochum) - Presenting Author

The starting point of the contribution is the finding of segregation research that low-income and socially discriminated households live enforced segregated and in disadvantaged neigh-bourhoods characterised by, among other things, low rent or social housing. The presenta-tion takes a challenged neighbourhood as the starting point of an empirical investigation and asks what housing environment preferences the residents have. Above all, it is about the relevance of different characteristics of the living environment. This brings a previously ne-glected aspect of segregation research into focus: the determination of relevant housing needs. They are difficult to determine, because before a move, preferences can be strongly influenced by unrealistic wishful thinking or the importance is low for people who are not planning a move. Survey of preferences after a move obscures the restrictions that underlie the decision to move. A potential solution to these problems lies in the innovative instrument of the factorial survey, with which the importance of individual aspects of housing can be determined, at least in relation to each other. Furthermore, these housing environment preferences can be related to the current housing conditions, which makes it possible to es-timate the extent of forced segregation.
The question is tested using a small data set of 130 residents of a challenged neighbourhood. It turns out that geographical characteristics (location and accessibility) as well as order characteristics (cleanliness, safety) are of very high importance, while social composition is also important but of lesser importance.