50 Years Anniversary of the Institute for Sociology

The Institute for Sociology at the University of Innsbruck celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2021. Here you can find a review of the institute's 50th anniversary celebration as well as a presentation of the commemorative publication in honor of the anniversary.

Anniversary Publication

Buchcover: 50 Jahre Institut für Soziologie

The anniversary publication provides insight into the founding history and development of Sociology in Innsbruck during the past decades and honors the current research and teaching at the Institute. People who are interested can purchase the publication at the institute office for 10 Euros. 

Hannah Jordan, Anna Larl, Kristina Stoeckl (Hrsg.)
50 Jahre Institut für Soziologie an der Universität Innsbruck
Innsbruck: IUP, 2021. 106 S. 


50th Anniversary Celebration of the Institute of Sociology

The road to the foundation of the Institute of Sociology in Innsbruck in 1971 was a rocky one, on which the discipline had to assert itself against old structures and traditions. Since then, Sociology has grown steadily and has become an integral part of Innsbruck's teaching and research landscape. The 50th anniversary of the institute is therefore a reason to celebrate.

On Thursday, 14.10.2021, the past, present and future of the Institute and Sociology in general were discussed in a festive atmosphere in the Kaiser-Leopold-Saal. In his greeting speech, the Rector of the University paid tribute to the development of the Institute, which is representative of the diversification of the Austrian university landscape since the 1970s. The commemorative publication "50 Years of the Institute of Sociology at the University of Innsbruck", edited by Hannah Jordan, Anna Larl and Kristina Stöckl, which was presented on this occasion and is the centerpiece of the anniversary celebrations, also takes a look at the past. The commemorative publication offers extensive and often surprising details of the prehistory and history of the Institute's founding and early years. In keeping with this retrospective, sociologist Bettina Mahlert gave a lecture on sociological research in the history of the Institute.

But the present also played a major role, both in the evening and in the anniversary publication. Especially the latter is dedicated to the institute's life and research today: all current staff members are mentioned and their research is presented. Such as the view of the students, the administrative staff and the graduates. The lists of habilitations, dissertations and master theses at the end of the book give an impression of the great variety of topics covered by sociology in Innsbruck.

A look at the present shows not only an institute that has grown from originally five to meanwhile 23 colleagues, but has also gained in breadth of content without losing quality in the depth of research of the topics. Sociology in Innsbruck is successful in all three "missions" of university activity. In the area of research, it lives and emphasizes the important interplay between theory and empiricism. In the area of teaching, it passes on this knowledge to students in BA, MA and PhD programs and maintains the most successful BA program at the faculty. And thirdly, the institute manages in an exemplary manner to carry this knowledge - in keeping with the tradition and task of the social sciences - into society. The former director of the institute, Heinz-Jürgen Niedenzu, gave an lecture on the subject of sociology in teaching at the University of Innsbruck.

A look at the present also shows a justifiably self-confident organizational unit that has found its place at the university and occupies important future topics. Far-reaching questions about the future were discussed between members of the institute in a panel discussion led by Bernhard Weicht on the tasks of sociology today and in the future. Between insights into the history, current stock-taking and outlook on the future, the festivities were rounded off with musical interludes and gratulations

In its anniversary year 2021, the Institute of Sociology continues to face challenges due to the Corona pandemic. As in its founding years, the life of the institute has not stood still despite this exceptional situation; on the contrary, student numbers have increased and the institute has grown. Thus, after a successful evening, one can look forward to the next 50 years.

(Quentin Erren)

Video of the Anniversary

Program of the Anniversary


Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Kristina Stoeckl, MA, former Head of the Institute of Sociology

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. mult. Tilmann Märk, Rector of the University of Innsbruck

Assoz. Prof. Dr. Franz Eder, Dean, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences

PD Dr. Alexander Bogner, President of the Austrian Sociological Association


Musical interlude

Thomas Mitterhofer, MA and Jakob Geier, MA (alias: Simple Men)


Sociological research in the history of the institute
Ass.-Prof. PD Dr. Bettina Mahlert

Sociology in teaching at the University of Innsbruck
ao. Univ.-Prof. retired Dr. Heinz-Jürgen Niedenzu

The tasks of sociology in today's society
Panel discussion with members of the institute
chaired by Ass-Prof. PD Dr. Bernhard Weicht


Musical interlude


Students congratulate the institute (video)

Presentation of the Festschrift
Hannah Jordan, BA, Anna Larl, BA, and Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Kristina Stoeckl, MA


Musical finale

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