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Treppenhaus im Haus 7
Photo: Maxi Genthe

The Department of Sociology at the University of Potsdam offers a Bachelor as well as a Master in Sociology, unique in the Berlin-Brandenburg region. We thus provide students with the rare opportunity to get to know the discipline in its breadth and to study it in a concentrated way.

The Sociology Department currently comprises six professorships and two functional positions, each of which represents a different substantive focus and thus offers the subject in its substantive breadth. Methodological diversity and theoretical plurality are among the hallmarks of Potsdam’s sociology. Research orientation and excellent teaching are combined with the theoretical traditions of the subject as well as with innovative forms of teaching.

Research interests include:

  • Historical social research
  • Sociology of social inequality
  • Work and family
  • Sociology of gender inequality and gender relations
  • Sociology of digitalization
  • Intersectional Gender and Queer Research
  • Organizational change and diversity
  • Citizenship Studies and Closure Theory
  • Sociology of political-economic knowledge
  • Migration and integration of immigrants and refugees
  • Quantitative evaluation research and causal inference.
  • Survey Research Methods
  • Quantitative and qualitative field and discourse analysis

Research activities and cooperative partnerships

Refugee Integration Policy in Germany

The research project aims to shed light on how housing refugees affects employment, language skills, and contacts.

Childhood Economic Resources and Mature Adult Health (mit University of California at Riverside)

This collaborative project, conducted with David Brady and Bruce Link, examines the long-term health consequences of socioeconomic endowment in childhood.

TubeWork - The new professional field of YouTubers (DFG funded)

In the project “TubeWork,” the professional practice of YouTubers is put under the microscope, and we examine inequality and self-economization.

Who cares? Paid and Unpaid Care Work (together with WZB)

In the course of changing work and living arrangements, care and nursing tasks have been increasingly outsourced, but also redistributed between men and women. This project examines the effects.

Organizational implications of digitization (DFG funded)

The research project examines the extent to which organizational change is taking place in the course of digitization and the extent to which post-bureaucratic structures are becoming established.

Social-democratic participation as a dimension of academic success (BMBF funded)

This collaborative project examines changes in political attitudes and participation over the course of study.

Increase immunization coverage in migrant communities

The average vaccination rate, e.g. for COVID-19 vaccination, is lower among people with a migration background. The project explores the reasons for vaccination behavior and vaccination skepticism.

The Organization of Consumer Protection (DFG funded)

It examines how the asymmetry between companies and consumers is counteracted by interest organizations, and what role law and gender play in this.

Care in Transition (together with Charité)

Immigration and (partial) academization are increasing the cultural and qualification diversity of care teams in Germany. CareTrans examines the effects.

Research Centers

Haus 6
Photo: Maxi Genthe

Centre for Citizenship, Social Pluralism and Religious Diversity

The Centre for Citizenship, Social Pluralism and Religious Diversity is a space of international, critical and vivid sociological and interdisciplinary debate on today’s worldwide major economic, political, social and cultural problems and challenges.

Research interest encompasses the analysis of the transformation of citizenship as a concept, the impact of neo-liberalism on democracy, the rise of right-wing populism, the de-democratization of cities and spaces. Research also focuses on major rights issues such as gender and sexual minorities’ rights in a context of aging societies, religious conflicts and migration.

Haus 6
Photo: Maxi Genthe

Potsdam Center for Quantitative Research

The primary goal of the Potsdam Center for Quantitative Research (PCQR) is to network the research of the professorships of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences and thereby increase the research output. In addition to advanced data analysis and applied empirical methods for the academic staff, the PCQR lecture series was established, in which internal and external scientists take turns to present their research.

The spokesperson of the research center is Prof. Dr. Ulrich Kohler.

Study & Teaching

The goal of the study of sociology is the scientific preparation for professional activities in various fields of practice. Sociological knowledge is applied in the sectors of education and research, associations and political parties, in non-governmental and non-profit organizations, in public administration and private business enterprises, in welfare state institutions, in the field of cultural management and in the media.

The study program of the Sociology Department includes a Bachelor’s and a Master’s program. In addition, sociology can be chosen as a supplementary subject in two other study programs (bachelor’s program in economics and bachelor’s program in history, politics and society).

Degree programs

Scientific qualification and networking

DfG-Network Political Sociology of Transnational Fields

The network “Political Sociology of Transnational Fields” facilitates a cross-project collaboration of young scholars on the study of transnational socialization processes with the aim to capture policy-related transnationalization processes, to systematize methodological insights from different research contexts, and to identify basic theoretical mechanisms of transnationalization.

Doctoral Program “Good Work in a Transformative World

At the end of 2020, the doctoral program “Good Work in a Transformative World” was launched at the WZB, in the context of which fellows are doing their doctorates on the topic of work in the context of digitalization, globalization, demographic change, and ecological sustainability. Academic staff can take advantage of the program’s offerings (e.g., the “Writing Workshop”).

Members of the specialist group


Spokesperson of the specialist group

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mackert
Chair of General Sociology
Campus Griebnitzsee, Building 7, Room 3.30
E-Mail: jü | Tel.: +49 331 977-3390 02