​ Microsociology, Social Psychology, and Culture


How does society enter the subject and how does the subject, despite all external influences, develop into a self-determined and distinct individual? How do social integration and individual development in democratic societies interrelate? How are sociocultural orders created, stabilized, transformed in practice? How do collective horizons of significance grow to become a matter of course?
As members of this research unit, our joint interest is the analysis of the microfoundations and psychosocial effects of sociation. At the focus are social situations, interaction orders and institutional practices as well as subjectification, individuation and socialization processes. Concentrating on these levels of the social, we do not reduce social reproduction to intentional, rational or calculated action. However, we see a whole spectrum of experience, knowledge forms and involvements, which equally includes the unconscious as well as implicit or embodied knowledge.
Microsociology, socialization research and social psychology unite conceptual, theoretical and methodological foundations which include interpretative, praxeological and structural approaches as well as post-colonial analysis which also examines critically culture and ideology.
Our goal, in research as in teaching, is to relate the many and varied dimensions of an observable and experiencable sociality to social conditions and processes of change. We are aimed at exploring them in a concrete and empirical manner by means of interpretative approaches, whereby the focus of the investigation may be on gender relations, generational orders, intimate groups, such as families, or vulnerable groups.


The research unit is responsible in teaching for the modules on “Culture, Subject, Identity” in the re-accredited Bachelor programme in Sociology and “Microsociology, Social Psychology, and Culture” in the re-accredited Masters programme in Sociology.
Aspects of social psychology, socialization theory and microsociology are also addressed in the basic science and educational science modules in the teaching degree programmes, (e.g. Module C “Education“ – areas of specialization 2 “Social, Cultural and Gender-specific Living and Learning Conditions”  and 3 “Communication and Conflict”).

Spokesperson: Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Sutterlüty