Sociological Theory – Prof. Dr. Thomas Schwinn


For reasons of tradition, Heidelberg sociology is committed to cultivating and developing the works of Max Weber. The research focus "Sociological Theory" under the direction of Professor Thomas Schwinn as well as editing the Max Weber Edition bear witness to this living intellectual heritage.

Central theoretical efforts of this research focus expand on questions of fundamental concepts, which are object-adequate for the description and analysis of the social world. The goal is the further development of a Weber paradigm, especially in confrontation with competing current theoretical approaches and referring to international debates. In addition, a second focus of research lies on the theoretical interconnection between theories of differentiation and theories of social inequality as the two major sociological traditions within the general theory of society. Another explanatory focus pursued is based on the question how Weber's research program of a historical and cultural comparative analysis of the genesis of modernity must be further developed for the current problem of a global spread of modernity.


Research foci

The Weber Paradigm
Differentiation and Dedifferentiation
Social Inequality and Differentiation
Multiple Modernities
Religion and Disenchantment
Max Weber-Edition


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