Cultural Studies and Social Research
Subject Areas and Methodology
Newly established in May 2002, the Department of Cultural Studies and Social Research is exploring the following research topics: (1) extraordinary individual and collective experiences, esoteric, occult and magical practices as well as alternative belief-systems; (2) individual, social and governmental reactions to extraordinary experiences, everyday practices and alternative belief-systems; (3) the public discourse about paranormal experiences and extraordinary incidents as well as the proliferation of parapsychological and esoteric interpretations in mass and network media; (4) the formation and social organization of esoteric, occult and religious groups, scenes and subcultures.
The department pursues an interdisciplinary approach working with a broad spectrum of research methods from the field of social and cultural research. Depending on the research topics, questions and the state of knowledge, research strategies range from phenomenological to hypothesis-testing to theorybuilding approaches. To ensure the neutrality of empirical research, the work cautiously follows the principle of paradigmatic openness.
last revision: 26 apr 07