The exploration of a wide range of phenomena, practices and processes associated with “cultural transformation” is what defines the overarching research and teaching profile of the Institute of Sociology at Justus Liebig University Giessen. Having adopted a dynamic, difference-based concept of culture, the Institute of Sociology analyses and communicates culturally based change processes or those that have a cultural impact within and between societies.
In so doing, the Institute of Sociology sets its understanding of sociology in times of global crisis. This is particularly so with regard to intercultural comparisons. The Institute of Sociology places importance on developing a view of society that specifically also includes trans-European perceptions of a globalised society. We accordingly understand sociology as an international and interdisciplinary science. On the one hand, that means demolishing the narrow, traditional subject boundaries while, on the other hand, assuming ‒ in the interests of an approach to sociology that is self-aware and critical ‒ that every technical, scientific, natural and political development cannot be understood without the application of the interpretative skills pertaining to sociology.
In focusing on sociological research and teaching in the field of cultural transformation, we at the Institute of Sociology see culture as being threefold in nature: culture is both the source and the subject of conflicts and is also a central means of removing conflicts. Unlike institutions and organisations, social culture is not directly accessible but nonetheless omnipresent. The thorough examination of the wide variety of cultural phenomena and practices is thus a key aspect of determining and understanding social realities in the present era. The critical analysis to which this gives rise can be considered a never-ending process as transformations are culture’s normal state.