Profile


The section for social theory and social psychology is envisioned as one contributor to an interdisciplinary faculty committed to teaching and research. It has an avid interest in the development of social and cultural theories which play a role in the interdisciplinary degree programs across the many fields included in the faculty and facilitate the translation and integration of research findings across disciplines. In addition, the section is responsible for research and classes in social and cultural psychology with an interdisciplinary focus.
 
In addition to a fundamental command of the theory of action and social and cultural theories interdisciplinary degree programs require proficiency in methodologies which allow for competent assessment of empirical research findings and the independent planning and execution of research projects. Here, too, the chair makes a significant contribution, especially in regards to teaching the techniques of qualitative and interpretative analysis. A central element here are the research training projects (at the bachelor’s level, the so-called “empirical module” and, at the master’s level, the “research module”) which operate on the principle of research as a basis for instruction and learning.
 
Notable positions and discussions within the field of social and cultural theory are addressed in a variety of classes and tutorials. Recent trends in social and cultural psychology play an especially important role here: Anglo-Saxon scholars have spoken of a “narrative” or “social constructionist” or even “discursive” psychology for some time, and German researchers are now taking up these concepts and developing them in new directions. The same can be said of cultural comparative perspectives and interest in the problems and potential inherent in intercultural communication, coexistence, and competence.


 
The members of the department strive to incorporate these developments into their teaching and research, which is accordingly grounded in an international and interdisciplinary interpretation of cultural and social psychology. An avid exchange with colleagues in other fields, including philosophy especially but also empirical disciplines like ethnology (social and cultural anthropology), sociology, and pedagogy, as well as literary studies and linguistics and recent fields of interdisciplinary research like cultural studies, postcolonial studies, regional studies, feminist/queer studies, etc., is central to this aim.