Research at the Department of Sociology revolves around wide range of topics. The central issues include general theory of society as well as sociological methodology, crime and domestic violence, social inequality, family, health, public opinion, organizational development, political participation and urbanization. Economics is another research area, in terms of history of economic theories as well as current applicability (e.g. evaluation of non-market goods). So far, this wide range of research interests has been integrated under the general theme of the strains between the individual and the society (including transversal issues such as globalization, deviation, risk and trust). In the long run, the Department aspires to maintain a wide choice of topics and approaches, drawing, among other things, upon the diversity of specializations among PhD students.
In the field of criminology, an ongoing project Youth Victimization (2014-2016) focuses on distribution, forms and social context of victimization among the Czech youth. The Department has also been a part of two surveys (2007 and 2014) within the international ISRD project on delinquency and victimization among youth. The study has two primary objectives: to observe and compare differences, similarities, and trends in offending and victimization between countries; and to explore and test theoretical issues related to juvenile delinquency and victimization. The Department is also the Czech partner of the World Internet Project, an international initiative involving more than forty countries from six continents. Its aim is to track the diffusion, use and impact of Internet-related technologies. The Department has been participating in this project since 2006. Since 2013, it also serves as the key Czech institution in the project World Internet Project – the Czech Republic II: Analysis of Social and Political Aspects of Unequal Internet Access. Recently, a report about Internet use in the Czech Republic has been published within this project. Among the projects significant at the national level, the Department took part in the project entitled Historical Consciousness (research team led by Jiří Šubrt), which resulted in several publications on perception of historical events and periods from the Czech history and on the theoretical background of the concepts of historical consciousness and collective memory.
Major Publication Projects
The Department is responsible for publishing the thematic issues Studia Sociologica in the journal Acta Universitatis Carolinae – Philosophica et Historica, appearing approximately once in every two years. Other publishing activities include articles in international peer-reviewed journals and non-periodic monographs related to the research conducted by the members of the Department (e.g. Youth Delinquency – Trends and Contexts or Domestic Violence on Men, both published in 2015) and to the educational practice (including textbooks of sociology and economy). A series of six edited volumes on key authors, concepts and theories in sociology, Contemporary Sociology, edited by Jiří Šubrt, is a significant contribution to the Czech sociological literature.
On the national level, the Department collaborates with partners in both science and business to provide the students with practical experience and internships. Recently, the Department has taken part in drafting the National Strategy for Increasing Digital Literacy between 2015 and 2020, which has been agreed upon by the Czech government in July 2015. Among foreign partner institutions, the Department cooperates closely with the Center for the Digital Future at the University of Southern California (the coordinator of the World Internet Project) and with Verwey Jonker Instituut, Netherlands (the coordinator of numerous outstanding projects and our partner in ISRD 2 and 3 and AAA-Prevent). We also encourage our students to study abroad and offer them several possibilities in this respect, including Sciences Po in Paris, University of Winchester in the UK, University of Washington, University of Hamburg and other institutions in Europe, USA, and Canada.
The Department has recently (2014) organized the 14th annual conference of the European Society of Criminology. Members of the Department sit on executive bodies of the Czech Sociological Association and co-organise a number of its events (e.g. conferences and specialized seminars of the Sociological Theory section).
In 2015, the Department celebrates its 50th anniversary. The turbulent history of the Faculty of Arts in general and of the Department of Sociology since its foundation in 1965 will be commemorated by a selection of texts by former and current members of the Department, panel discussions with students and alumni, and other events.
We value the work and distinctness of our students, who have been successful in competitions and grant applications both at the university level and at national level. We are keen to involve them in our projects and events and we cherish the friendly, positive environment we create together. As a small Department, we select our students carefully with the single goal to take a genuinely individual approach to everyone and to provide them with opportunities and guidance to their individual personal and professional development. This strategy reflects the current demands of the labour market which favours flexible, independent professionals who at the same time exhibit such traditional educational values as free inquiry and personal development.