Structure and profile of the Institute of Social Sciences

The main emphasis of the Department of Social Sciences lies on the tension between individual actions and social structures. Furthermore, the Department of Social Sciences in Oldenburg connects sociology and political sciences focusing on the main difference between those two sciences: Whereas sociology analyses the social order in terms of conditions and consequences of individual actions, the main interest of political science is the scientific study of political processes and thus the conditions and consequences of collective action. 

The profile of the Department of Social Sciences in Oldenburg is based on operationalizing the structure-agency problem by emphasizing the interplay between institutions and societies using different theories and methods. We specify this question by focusing on two more narrow fields of research:

In one field, the tension between institutional structures and societies is analyzed through the lens of Europeanization and transnational processes from an intersubjectively objectified perspective. The transformation of moder­n institutions and integration processes in a social space that is, simultaneously, de-bordered and re-bordered requires taking into account social processes above and below the level of the nation state.

The second field looks at the interplay between institutional structures and society-building from an event-driven and processual perspective. Under the header "Constructions of the Self Between Inclusion and Exclusion", the specific multi-level inclusion and exclusion regimes characterizing modern societies are addressed. These regimes are analyzed both separately and in interrelation to each other. Also the relevance of inclusion and exclusion regimes for the modern subject's construction of its self, identity and life forms is investigated.

Both fields culminate in empirical analyses of society-building and regulatory processes (e.g. in dissertation projects and externally funded research projects).