Master's Program in SociologyCopyright: Christina Laut
The Master's program in Sociology at RWTH Aachen University comprises a spectrum of technology-related sociological research, including:
- Sociology of Technology
- Futures Studies and Innovation Research
- Technology and Diversity
- Organization and Technology
Furthermore, the program provides knowledge in the areas of "Sociological Theories" and "Methods of Empirical Social Research". On the basis of these three pillars, students learn to grasp the dynamic interrelationship between technology and society in a methodologically controlled way and to reflect it theoretically.
The embedding of the study program in the research environment of a technical university enables the intensive examination of technical developments. These are dealt with in other faculties from a scientific and technical perspective. In this context, sociology focuses on demand and acceptance in terms of technical innovations, decision making, opinion-forming and impact assessments.
It examines the expansion of organizational control through the use of technology and the way in which organisations disseminate new technologies to society. In the context of artificial intelligence, it deals with the question of the extent to which machines can "act", i. e. are accepted by human actors as "communication participants". And we are interested in how socio-technical structures of order are "gendered" in our society at the same time, i. e. arise in an interrelationship with gender concepts and are thus anchored institutionally and symbolically.
Close Relationship with Natural Sciences and Engineering
By being embedded in one of the leading technical universities, the RWTH's Sociology Master's program is able to set itself apart from other sociological courses of study in Germany. Topics and developments that are researched at the university from an engineering or natural science perspective place sociology at the centre of their own professional interest.
The search of technical sciences for "intelligent" fibers in the sociological context raises the question of the commercialization of basic nanotechnological research: How are scientific findings from a university environment transported into the environment of companies, which is characterized by market processes and profit orientation? How are universities and companies in the field of nanotechnology interwoven as two different "spheres of innovation"? The interdisciplinary integration is reflected in the teaching of the Master's program. In individual courses, the opportunity may arise to participate directly in a technology-related interdisciplinary research project.