Sociological Thought and the Struggle for a Better World

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 12:30-14:00
Location: Auditorium Maximum (Main Building)

Language: English

Around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, Austria was a fertile breeding ground for innovation in social sciences, including economics and wider realms of science and culture. Based on this tradition the plenary will address two key topics: One is to determine/follow/explore traces from then to contemporary sociological thought on socio-economic development and societal challenges of the 21st century. The other is to highlight the potential of sociology in networks of transformative science, citizen science, participatory design and co-creation of knowledge in change-making social movements. The current concept of social innovation – evoked by ongoing shifts in societies, yet also driving change – provides opportunities for sociology to guide varieties of innovations in the public, private and third (civil society) sectors, advancing prospects for a better world. Just as economics became essential for the classic notion of innovation in the corporate sector, sociology may attain a more effective role in society as a whole and may withstand the ‘imperialism of economics’ (Granovetter).
Session Organizers:
Josef HOCHGERNER, Center for Social Innovation, Austria and Frank WELZ, Innsbruck University, Austria
Frank WELZ, Innsbruck University, Austria
Towards a Universal Social Science. Sociology in Dialogue with Neighboring Disciplines
Dieter BOEGENHOLD, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Austria
Sociology Between Historicity and Present-Day Relevance: The Case of Early Austrian Social Thinking
Gertraude MIKL-HORKE, Vienna University of Economy and Business, Austria
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