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Sociology: People


Anna Schneider

Anna Schneider
Anna Schneider
Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Socio-cultural change, Quantitative research, Social Exclusion, Historical sociology


My research is aimed at examining the social statuses of Germans throughout their later life. The longstanding stereotype still pictures older people as less active, less involved in their social environments than younger people. At the same time, there are qualitative studies showing that they are in many cases vital parts of their local communities.

How can we even define 'old age' and determine who has reached that phase in life? What if we choose not to make this distinction but instead look at later life as yet another part of adulthood?

My PhD research project looks at soci(et)al roles of older adults with the help of secondary analysis of the German Ageing Survey.

The focus lies on four areas of activity:

  • volunteering,
  • care-giving,
  • childcare, and
  • social leisure activities.

Are there groups discernable amongst the population age 50+ that are more active than others? Is this connected to the social roles they had before retirement?

Has the distribution of social participation changed in recent cohorts and does it change with growing age? In what ways?

To answer these questions, I work with the data from all available waves of the German Ageing Survey, making use both of the cross-sectional data and the panel data.


Prof. Dr. John MacInnes

Mr. Ross Bond

Previous Degree

2010 Diploma (German degree equal to MSc) in Sociology from Dresden University of Technology.

Topic of diploma thesis:  'The anticipated death - the prospect of death and its consequences from sociological perspective'.

Research Experience

04/16 - 06/16: Centre for South Asian Studies, Centre for Cultural Studies, University of Edinburgh - Research Assistant for the research project ‘Digital Citizenship in Pakistan’ commissioned by the British Council, reporting to Prof. Roger Jeffery and Stuart MacDonald.

01/16 – 06/16: Social Anthropology Department, University of Edinburgh - Research Assistant for the research programme ‘Comparative Analysis of the Documentation of Torture and Ill-Treatment in Low-Income Countries’, reporting to Prof. Tobias Kelly.

08/2012 - 12/2014: Research Assistant in the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh - Project 'A blended learning course in quantitative methods for UK sociology, social policy and political science undergraduates' led by Professor Ailsa Henderson.

06/2013 - 03/2014: Research Assistant (University of Edinburgh Social Policy department) - Project 'Families And Societies - Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations' led by Dr. Alison Koslowski.

02 - 08/2010: Researcher for the German Red Cross in Saxony, Germany -  Conceptionalisation and conduction of 44 interviews with people with handicaps (see publication below) as part of the project 'Zukunft (mit)gestalten durch persönliches Geld' (shaping future through personal money). This project aimed to make people with handicaps more aware of a government scheme that gives them the chance of self-determining the care services in their lives.


Peer reviewed:

Schneider, Anna (2014): Age and variations in the attitude towards Scottish independence - an exploration of cohort and lifecycle explanations. In: Scottish Affairs 23.1, p. 55-78.

Research report:

Schneider, Anna (2010): Bericht über die Befragung von Menschen mit Behinderungen im Rahmen der Evaluation des Gemeinschaftsprojektes 'Zukunft (mit)gestalten durch persönliches Geld' des AWO- und DRK-Landesverbandes Sachsen e.V.

Book review:

Lury, Celia (2011): Consumer Culture. In: Sociological Review Online 17/1.


09/2014 'The Myth of Old Age' (co-authored with Jeroen Spijker and John MacInnes) presented at the 43rd annual conference of the British Society of Gerontology.

06/2013 'Trends in Attitudes towards Scottish independence in different age groups' with Dominika Dykiert at AQMeN event 'Through the Public's Eye: Researching attitudes on Scotland's constitutional future with the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey', Our Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.

01/2013 'Activity and Social Participation in Later Life' - Presentation of first findings from PhD research; Work in Progress Seminar Series, University of Edinburgh.

04/2012 Presentation of Doctoral Research Plan; New Directions Conference, University of Edinburgh.

Teaching Experience


01/2014 and 01/2015: 4 lectures in the university-wide undergraduate course 'Statistical Literacy' on the shape of data, univariate statistics and graphical representation of data.

Course Coordination:

09/2014 - 05/2016: Senior tutor for the courses Sociology 1A + 1B (undergraduate level), School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh - Organising tutorials for ca. 500 students and 16 tutors, managing tutor and student inquiries, managing the online literature resource list, organizing tutor meetings, disseminating marking information, contributing to assessment design.

05/2014: Assistant to Alison Koslowski, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh - Coordination of the Q-Step conversion course for undergraduate students

12/2012 - 05/2013: Teaching Assistant to Alison Koslowski, Social Policy Department of the University of Edinburgh - Assisting in the preparation of the courses 'Comparative Analysis of Social and Public Policy', 'Contemporary Feminist Debates', and 'Social Inequality and Social Protection'.

Postgraduate Tutoring:

2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16: Tutor on the course 'Core Quantitative Data Analysis'.

2013/14: Tutor on the course 'Research Design'.

Undergraduate Tutoring:

2012/13, 2014/15, and 2015/16 Tutor on the course 'Sociology 1A'.

 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, and 2015/16 Tutor on the course 'Sociology 1B' .

2012/13 Tutor on the course 'Statistical Literacy'.

Tutoring of Teenagers

06/2014 Floating Tutor in "Headstart" (Summer school programme introducing the basics of social statistics with R).

Research Training

06/2016 Training Course ‘Exploring and Visualising Geographic Information for Social Scientists' by AQMeN

03/2013 Training Workshop on Working with Longitudinal Survey Data by AQMeN and ScotCen - held by Prof. John Curtice, Prof. Lindsay Paterson, and Dr. Jan Eichhorn

06/2012 'Scottish Graduate School/AQMeN Summer School on Multilevel Modelling' - held by Dr. Paul Norris, Prof. Lindsay Paterson, and Ms. Rebecca Pillinger

05/2012 'Latent Variable Modelling of Categorical Data' - Training Workshop held by Dr. Jouni Kuha, Dr. Irini Moustaki, Dr. Jonathan Jackson, and Dr. Sally Stares from the London School of Economics and Political Science


Member of the German Sociological Association.

Member of the British Society of Gerontology.

Member of the Quantitative Methods Group of the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh.

Community Engagement

04/2013 - 03/2014 Postgraduate Representative of the Edinburgh University Sociology Society

04/2012 - 03/2013 Secretary of the Edinburgh University Sociology Society

01/2010-09/2010 Full time involvement in several projects of the social work department and the youth division of the German Red Cross in Saxony (placement and voluntary social year)