Institute for the Study of Social Sciences

Studies of Social Structure and Socio-Cultural Transformation

This research unit includes the fields of sociology, social research, sociolinguistics and transnational sociology; the main focus here is on the dynamics of social structure and social culture. Our study staff specialize in a variety of sociological areas such as linguistics, religion, culture, the history of everyday life, social surveys, social class and caste, gender, ethnicity, the family, labour, urban/rural sociology, war and peace, ethnicity, migration, development, and globalization.
All these diverse subjects can be broadly divided into two main research fields--Sociology (including sociolinguistics) and Transnational Sociology. Collective social life in its various forms is studied by the former, with social theory and social research both seen as indispensable tools for gaining social knowledge. The latter focuses trans-border processes like migration, ethnic conflicts and their social impacts, as well as the emergence of social space beyond the framework of nation state.
Furthermore, this research unit focuses on three important linkages outlined below:

  • Building linkage between macro societal dynamics at the systemic level and micro dynamics at the level of people's daily life in both theoretical and methodological terms.
  • Linking theory with empirical research in each subfield of sociology.
  • Synthesizing critical thinking and creative practices: i.e. we try to help our students learn how to advance their social knowledge to actively engage in social practice for social development by seeing through social reality and anticipating social change while staying clear of epistemic dogmas and passing academic fashions as much as possible.