Racism in Switzerland? Yes.

Oddly enough we still seem to discuss whether there is racism in Switzerland. Yes, there is.

Here a few hard facts from the NCCR on the move.

  • Job applicants with Black skin colour on their picture and a name from Cameroon have to send 30% more job applications to get invited for a job interview. They are Swiss citizens. Blog.
  • Job applicants with a name indicating Kosovan ancestors have to send up to 50% more job applications to get invited for a job interview. They are Swiss citizens. Blog.
  • 18% of the Swiss population entitled to vote are of ‘immigrant origin’. In 2015, 13% of the candidates for the National Council had a name suggesting ‘immigrant origin’ — only 6% got elected. Blog.
  • If your name suggests Turkish or Kosovan ancestry, you’re 3-5 percentage points less likely to be invited to view an apartment: There are landlords who do not want to meet you. Blog.

We also have tons of material on the experience of discrimination, experiencing racism, or negative attitudes to immigrants and foreigners.

Image credit: CC-by-sa Quinn Dombrowski

readODS and column specifications

The R package readODS allows you to import ODS spreadsheets to R. It’s slow, but it works. In an attempt to speed up things, I thought providing column types would help. I didn’t find an improvement, but I noticed that the documentation wasn’t really clear (“refer to readr::type_convert to specify cols specification”). It seems like you do need to refer to type_convert to understand how to specify column types, and then feed them to readODS like this:

col_types=cols(VAR1 = "f", VAR2 ="i")


So an entire call would be:

data = read_ods("spreadsheet.ods", col_names=TRUE, col_types=cols(VAR1 = "f", VAR2 = "i", VAR3= "-"))

Note: I had to explicitly use library(readr) before calling read_ods(), otherwise the cols() function was not available.

Unfortunately, the short approach using col_types=as.col_spec(“fi-“) does not seem to work.

NCCR Postdoc opportunity in Geneva

Postdoctoral Position in Sociology 60%

The nccr – on the move and the HETS School of Social Work of Geneva are seeking applicants for a Postdoctoral Position in Sociology to carry out research and contribute to research projects in the area of post-retirement international mobilities, transnational lifestyles, and care configurations. Applications should be submitted before the 10th of June 2020.

Mixed methods, Stata or similar

Deadline: 10 June (!) 2020

Further Information