Karl Ulrich Mayer

Director emeritus


Phone: +49 30 82406-316
E-Mail: mayer@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

Short CV:

Karl Ulrich Mayer (*1945); Academic training in Sociology, Philosophy and German Language and Literature from 1964 to 1968; Doctoral degree from the University of Constance (1973); Habilitation from the University of Mannheim (1977). He was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2013 by the University of Rostock.

From 1979 Karl Ulrich Mayer was the Director of the National Survey Research Center (ZUMA) in Mannheim, and from 1983 to 2005 Director at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, heading the Center for Sociology and the Study of the Life Course. The main areas of research were the interdependencies between education, training, labor markets and families, and their outcomes in regard to individual life trajectories and life chances. The empirical basis of the project work was mainly the Institute’s German Life History Study (GLHS).

Karl Ulrich Mayer is Founding Editor of the European Sociological Review. From 1993 to 1999 he was Member of the Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) and from 1996 to 1999 chairman of its Academic Council. In 2003 he was appointed Professor of Sociology at Yale University, USA, where he became the Founding Director of the Center for Research on Social Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE) and chaired the Department of Sociology from 2005 to 2010. Karl Ulrich Mayer was also President of the Leibniz Association from 2010 to 2014 and is Stanley B. Resor Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Yale University, USA.

Karl Ulrich Mayer is Member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences; and Fellow of the British Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academia Europaea, the American Association for the Advancement of  Science, and the European Academy of Sociology.

Information on access to the data held by the German Life History Study (GLHS) can be found at GESIS

Research Interests:

  • Social stratification and mobility
Comparative analyses of social structures

  • Sociology of the life course

  • Structures and processes of the labor market
Go to Editor View