The Faculty of Sociology at Bielefeld University was founded in 1969. It holds a unique position in the Federal Republic, because it is the only autonomous Faculty of Sociology in Germany. It is also one of the largest academic institutions for sociology in Europe (28 professors, associate professors, and junior professors). The Faculty in Bielefeld also integrates other subjects in the social sciences such as political science and social anthropology into its research and teaching contexts that are organized into working areas. Currently, the Faculty contains 10 working areas:
- Theoretical Sociology
- Society and Politics
- Social Structure and Social Inequality
- Transnationalization and Development
- Science, Technology, Media
- Didactics of the Social Sciences
- Work and the Economy
In teaching, the Faculty offers three BA degree programmes (BA Sociology [sociology alone); BA Social Sciences [interdisciplinary], and BA Political Science [with a sociological profile]) and four (in part, interdisciplinary) MA degree programmes (MA Sociology; MA Political Communication; MA Gender Studies, and MA History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science). It also participates in two further MA degree programmes (MA Interdisciplinary Media Studies, MA Inter-American Studies). Moreover, the Faculty provides the option of gaining a doctorate either independently or within the framework of a structured postgraduate programme at the Bielefeld Graduate School in History and Sociology (BGHS) that is being funded within the Excellence Initiative.
Alongside the BGHS, the Faculty is involved in three central academic institutes, the Institute of Science and Technology Studies (IWT), the Interdisciplinary Centre of Women's and Gender Studies (IFF - in German), and the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (IKG). The Faculty is the main contract partner for the Centre for German and European Studies (ZDES) in St. Petersburg financed by the DAAD [German Academic Exchange Service].
The size and significance of the Faculty is also reflected in the research topics and the clusters of topics that have shaped its profile. In recent years, the topic of globality/global society has consolidated into an important focus of research. This brings together research on the theory of the global society, the globalization of social policy, migration, politics, and microstructures in the global society. This focus draws on the Faculty's own Institute for World Society Studies, in which members of other faculties also work, along with the closely cooperating Research Training Group RTG 844: World Society - Making and Representing the Global. A further focus of research is on analysing the role of science and the media in contemporary society (together with the IWT).The Faculty is also involved in projects at the IFF as well as the Collaborative Research Centre CRC 584: The Political as Communicative Space in History (SFB 584). The differentiated profile of research topics is also reflected in the remaining research specializations of the Faculty's working areas. These include research on the role of organizations in society, economic sociology and the sociology of work, and inequality studies. The Faculty completes its unique profile in Germany with two professorships each (and relevant research) in the didactics of the social sciences, methods of empirical social research, and sociological theory.
Currently, the Faculty is preparing two major research networks that have not yet been approved: a Collaborative Research Centre addressing diversity and inequality and a Cluster of Excellence on Communicating Comparisons. In addition, several members of the Faculty are preparing a Cluster of Excellence on Signatures of Threat.Homepage Faculty of Sociology