Mirjam Fischer is a PhD student at the Sociology department of the University of Amsterdam and affiliated with the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) and the programme group Institutions, Inequalities and Life courses (IIL). Mirjam’s research focuses on social connections of same-sex couples in European societies; her research interests include social inequality, tolerance, well-being, and citizenship issues.
Same-sex couples are a relatively ‘new’ union type that has gained visibility in European societies and on social science research agendas over the past few decades. Many countries are also seeing a growth in acceptance of homosexuality and a manifestation of this support in anti-discrimination laws and increasingly enabling family policies, while others trail behind. Empirically, little is known how these developments affect persons who are in same-sex unions. In this landscape of varying support I compare same-sex couples to mixed-sex unions in the degree to which they are integrated in different social circles: (i) their families, (ii) friends and colleagues and (iii) the wider public in the form of civic engagement and/or leisure involvement in communities. Special attention is paid to the conditions of integration, the distinction of in- and out-group ties with regard to gay subculture(s), openness, the role of (homosexual) group identification, and possible effects on well-being.
Supervision: Prof. Dr. Matthijs Kalmijn and Dr. Stephanie Steinmetz