The German society for sociology (DGS) today organize around three thousand members whose technical interests in 35 sections. 870 presentations at the recent next sociological Congress took place offered in Göttingen. As usual, the Motto of the conference “Complex dynamics of global and local developments promised” everything and nothing. To the outside of the tray appears to be just as diverse and colorful as the researched company. Nevertheless, the German sociology is torn currently by a dispute that threatens to split.

of Course, there have always been confrontations between the different social scientific directions, in particular between the representatives of the high-hermeneutic approaches and those of the quantitatively-metrifizierenden procedures. But endangered unequal career opportunities, and unequal access to research funding, as well as the theoretical and methodological differences of the sociological schools, the unit of the subject? No, because since the positivism dispute of the sixties, also none of these directions more a claim to sole representation for the subject has logged in.

variety of sociological approaches

The institutional Openings of the German sociology has always been based on the consensus, the diversity of the different approaches as a horizontal to be regarded, not as a hierarchy of scientific and less scientific approaches to society. So, tolerance of diversity, instead of accumulation of Knowledge about the stock. But the polycentric culture of the modern society, because the more demanded as the normal form of a project shaped science operation?

The Konstanz sociology Thomas Hinz wants to offer more. He even speaks of a new downfall, the threatening, the sociology. So he thinks the “mistake” that the “variety of sociological approaches” in the DGS serve the progress of Knowledge. No, Hinz, diversity will become a Problem if approaches for their own sake and without reference to the Findings of other methods and theories researched. Diversity will lead to arbitrariness and profile loss, and in the end was no longer visible, what could testify to the sociology to the discussion in politics and society on the basis of reliable research.

To this fatal end, as did Hinz founded, together with other representatives of the empirical-quantitative in the direction of his subject in the past year, the “Academy for sociology” (AS). Since then, its members pursue a course of profiling against the DGS, and this, in turn, against the AS. Not since the Göttinger next sociological Congress took place, it’s going to be a threat of division of the German sociology.

Qualitatively or quantitatively: Who represents the field of sociology?

at Least on the institutional level, the conditions are given for it in the meantime, finally, the AS has successfully completed the current unique position of the DGS in the subject of the College of social Sciences of the German research Foundation (DFG). The DFG has acknowledged the AS in spite of the protest of the GSA as a more professional society for the Department of Empirical social research – in addition to the DGS. Thus, the AS is now entitled to make proposals for the forthcoming elections of the members of the College.