The purpose of the Social Theory Workshop is to bring together philosophers interested in the social sciences with theorists from fields like sociology, anthropology, political science, and history. The guiding idea behind the workshop is that the richest periods in sociological history (as at the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research and the Heidelberg Institute for State and Social Sciences before 1933) involved intense interaction between philosophy and the social sciences. The primary aim of the workshop is to discuss papers and research proposals that directly engage with issues of social theory and which contribute to current interdisciplinary discussions in the social sciences and humanities.
The regular participants in the Michigan workshop in social theory since its beginning in 2010 include philosophers Elizabeth Anderson and Dan Little, political philosophers Lisa Disch and Lawrence Scaff, historian Howard Brick and sociologists Fatma Muge Göcek, Robert Jansen, Margaret Somers, George Steinmetz (2013-2014 faculty organizer), as well as Michigan sociology graduate students Avi Astor, Jay Borchert, Jose Bortoluci, Mariana Craciun, Matt Desan, Ryan Gittins, Sarah Gram, Asli Gur, Claire Herbert, Camilo Leslie, Atef Said, Matt Sullivan and Michelangelo Trujillo. As examples of the works discussed in the workshop, two of the presentations in 2010, by Lawrence Scaff (Wayne State University) and Jean-Louis Fabiani (EHESS and Central European University), consisted of chapters from books that appeared last year: Fabiani's Qu’est-ce qu’un philosophe français: la vie sociale des concepts (1880-1980) (What is a French Philosopher: The Social Life of Concepts (1880-1980)), and Scaff's Max Weber in America. Andreas Glaeser (University of Chicago) presented a paper on a hermeneutic approach to the problem of agency, and anthropologist Ghassan Hage (University of Melbourne) presented a paper on Pierre Bourdieu. Camilo Leslie presented his research project on the roots of trust in cases of financial fraud, and Matt Desan presented a Marxist critique of Bourdieu’s concept of capital.
In 2013-14, the Social Theory Workshop will be offered in both the Fall and Winter semesters.
- Culture, History, Politics Workshop
- Demography Workshop
- Economic Sociology Workshop
- Gender Workshop
- Inequality and Family Working Group
- Qualitative Methods Workshop
- Quantitative Sociology Workshop
- Social Movements Workshop
- Social Theory Workshop
- Graduate School and Beyond
- Undergraduate Events
- Conversations in Michigan Sociology