Socioanalysis and Interpersonal relations (Theory, Empiricism, and Clinical Practices)


  1. Mission statement

The master's programme ‘Socioanalysis and Interpersonal Relations (Theory, Empiricism, and Clinical Practices)' is facing the future and the pragmatic problems that it poses to us. Since the 1990s we are living in a society of incalculable risks and a deep crisis of the welfare state. Human beings and human relations are quite overwhelmed by completely unexpected challenges, brand new types of ‘social suffering' and forms of personal uncertainty; from the everyday psychopathologies of those considered to be a ‘surplus to society' and the social suffering of the so-called ‘Precariat', from the traumatic problems of  ‘assisted death', ‘old age loneliness' and ‘children at risk' and through to the thorny challenge of the new intergenerational crises and the ambivalent gender identity that confront us in the forms of same-sex marriage, for instance. These problems cannot but be challenges to sociology and the humanities. This also applies to the therapeutic practices that are increasingly in need of a renewed sociology, which should be fit to perform the duties a science of man in his particular situation needs – whereby man is both free for existential possibilities, as well as positioned within social lines. Thus emerges the field of clinical sociology, in which socioanalysis enters into a critical dialogue with the disciplines and analytical techniques of psychoanalysis and psychiatry in order to implement the transfer of scientific knowledge into the practice of human relations.

Hence the lecture courses that we have chosen for the master's programme: from theoretical introductions in socioanalysis, psychoanalysis and psychopathology (with their methodologies), to more empirically oriented disciplines - such as ‘Sociology of Social Suffering', ‘Socioanalysis of the Gift and the Revenge', ‘Socioanalysis of the Personality'; and from there to clinical practices -  such as ‘Socioanalysis and Psychiatry', ‘The Psychopathology of Everyday Life' ‘Socioanalysis of Age'  or ‘Inheritance, Self-inheritance and Biographical Trajectories'. In fact, the logic of this transition lies in the very name of the master's programme.

  1. Qualification, its characteristics and career prospects

The MA programme ‘Socioanalysis and Interpersonal Relations (Theory, Empiricism, and Clinical Practices)' relies on the best lecturers on these issues – from the Department of Sociology and Human Sciences and the Institute for Critical Social Research at the University of Plovdiv (together with our colleagues from Sofia), as well as scientists from Western Europe, collaborating with the Institute. Along with this, we rely on the efforts of the students themselves to learn to think about - both theoretically and empirically – the future thrust upon us. We rely on them to be clinical sociologists – socioanalysts, pragmatically coping with its challenges; therefore, didactically  we will bet not only on training that is flexibly balanced between sociology and the humanities of the XXI century, but also in the education towards a new sociological sensitivity in ‘thinking against inertia', without which the socioanalytical clinical practices are impossible. The students' efforts will be generously rewarded: once they complete the programme, they will be worldwide experts with global currency who will flexibly respond to these challenges.

This means that they will be able to work at any place where the rapidly changing market of sociological work spreads: as experts in social suffering caused by new forms of employment and labour conflicts (for example, in the privatization of formerly public institutions such as schools, hospitals and prisons); as therapists – socioanalysts (or to expand a bit more: clinical sociologists) who exercise previously unknown clinical practices, for example consultants in cases of the so-called ‘assisted death' or the ‘deinstitutionalization' of psychiatric treatment;  as clinically oriented social workers dealing with the so-called ‘children at risk' or issues related to ‘socialization in old age' or the ever-deepening problems of the brand new generational crisis of ambivalent gender identity, etc. This means: not only will students acquire sociological knowledge, but also the skills to themselves influence changes in the market - to offer new and much needed, but still non-institutionalized or semi-institutionalised sociological professions that are facing the future.

The master's programme started in the version of ‘expert' and ‘non-professional' education at the beginning of the winter semester of the academic 2013/14 (in October 2013).

The programme is administered by the Department of Sociology and Human Sciences at the Faculty of Philosophy and History. Head of the programme is Assoc. Prof. Stoyka Penkova, PhD. Contact details: (032) 261 491 and (032) 261 396