Seminars and Lectures

a. Guest professors

The basic programme of post graduate training is supported by a range of outstanding visiting guest professors. In the last few years these have included:

Gabriele Christmann (Leibniz-Institut für Regionalentwicklung und Strukturplanung e.V. (IRS), Erkner), Adele E. Clarke, (University of California, San Francisco), Jochen Clasen (School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh), Marianne de Laet, (Harvey Mudd College, Claremont), Andreas Diekmann (ETH-Zentrum Zürich), Uwe Flick (Alice-Salomon-Fachhochschule, Berlin), Udo Kelle (Philipps-Universität, Marburg), Karin Knorr Cetina (Universität Konstanz), Beate Krais, (Technische Universität, Darmstadt), Andreas Reckwitz (Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder), Theodore Schatzki, (University of Kentucky, Lexington), Robert Schmidt, (Freie Universität, Berlin), Elizabeth Shove, (Lancaster University), Dvora Yanow (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam), Nira Yuval-Davis (University of East London).

b. Departmental teaching programme

The staff of the department offers a series of seminars on the topic of "Sociology of Social Practices" which include new approaches to employment and work, education, gender issues,the sociology of economics and consumption, the sociology of space and the relationship between nature and society.

c. Individual research project

Scholars at the Sociology Department are expected to carry out individual research resulting in an interim report in the first and second years and a final report at the end of the third year. These reports are at a doctoral level. We welcome interested candidates who wish to apply a practice-oriented research perspective in their doctoral thesis, on a theoretical as well as on an empirical level. On the theoretical level practice-oriented approaches helping to describe and to analyse developments, changes and effects of specific social practices in the empirical field under study are possible.

Along with individual supervision by the faculty, there is the opportunity to join small "work groups" on different themes, where the project outlines and findings can be discussed on an on-going basis along with methodological and practical problems arising from the research. Admission to the second and third years is conditional on the timely delivery of the interim research reports. The reports are evaluated by the Teaching Faculty of the Department. A positive evaluation is the precondition for admittance to the following year. Completion of the final report in due time as well as a satisfactory record of course work is the precondition for earning an IHS diploma in Sociology.

The faculty is always available for consultation; students are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas and concerns with their tutors and supervisors. The department has a flexible approach towards accommodating the particular circumstances of individual students. Academic achievements are reviewed regularly by the Teaching Faculty of the Department. Failure to maintain good progress may necessitate withdrawal from the Programme.

d. Basic and advanced training in social research

At the beginning of the three-year programme, the Sociology Department offers a series of seminars and lectures on practice theories and research methods, which cover the basic issues and techniques in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. This is taught partly by departmental staff and partly by invited external professors. Additional methodological seminars are also offered as required.
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