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Cultural and Social Anthropology

Chair for Social Anthropology – Professor Dr. Erdmute Alber

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Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the family and work situation of members of the University of Bayreuth (CovCare@UBT)

Funding: Funded from the budget for innovative equality measures of the Equal Opportunities Department

Duration: 2020 - 2022

Project lead: Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber

Research associates: Anna Madeleine Ayeh, Tabea Häberlein


The COVID-19 pandemic and its diverse consequences have fundamentally changed everyday university life. The shift to working from home; digital teaching and learning; and restricting personal contacts between students and colleagues and with international research partners are just a few of these changes. The reorganization of academic and infrastructural work also has had an impact on family life, leisure time and private care relations for university affiliates from all departments.

Building on preliminary studies that described the pandemic as a magnifier of social inequality based on an evaluation of data for all of Germany, CovCare@UBT is investigating these effects in the context of a single institution, the University of Bayreuth, and by taking various factors of social differentiation into account. For which status groups at our university does the pandemic pose a severe burden? What roles do employment type, gender, social status and family situation play in determining who will make it through the pandemic (well)? To what extent do members of UBT perceive their institution as caring in this crisis? Does the delimitation of private and public spheres currently being discussed also show up in the university environment?

Using a mixed methods approach, CovCare@UBT combines quantitative and qualitative methods to research changes in our immediate work environment and its social relations.


  • 20.04.2021: Corona & Care - Die Universität Bayreuth als Lebens- und Arbeitsraum in der Krise. Lecture at the Anthropological Lecture Series of the University of Bayreuth
  • 18.06.2021: The Lecturer’s Gain is the Student’s Pain? Chances, Challenges, and Ambivalences of Working Remotely as a Stratified University Community. Lecture at the conference “(Remote) Work and Covid: Mobility, Safety, and Health at the Time of the Pandemic” of the University Tallinn
  • 23.06.2021: UBT zwischen Home und Office: Ergebnisse einer Studie zu Arbeit und Fürsorge in der Pandemie. Contribution within the lecture series „Einblicke“ of the Equal Opportunities Department at the University of Bayreuth
  • 03.02.2022: Intersectional Perspectives on Wage and Care Work in (the) Crisis: Insights from CovCare@UBT. Lecture at the Lecture Series “Intersectionality Studies and Diversity Competence” of the University of Bayreuth

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