Sociology and Human Sciences
‘Sociology and human sciences' is a university degree course which has been accredited with the highest mark possible. It is facing the future and the pragmatic problems which it poses to us. Since the 1990s onwards, we have lived in a society of incalculable risks: an economy that threatens the ecology; a policy that fails to help the economy to solve its problems; poverty that threatens not so much those considered to be ‘dispossessed' but those who are represented as a ‘surplus to society'; biotechnologies which both fill us with hope and scare us; a new uncertainty due to the expansion of terrorism. This completely new society also requires a brand new sociology – hence one of the modules of the programme – namely, ‘Biopolitics and Insecurity.'
In this society a person is facing problems which have swept us after the deep crisis of the ‘welfare state': brand new forms of ‘social suffering' and personal insecurity; labour conflicts due to the entry of the business ethos in all public fields (a process that the capitalism of the twentieth century was unfamiliar with); the everyday psychopathology of the ‘surplus to society'; new forms of resistance against this capitalism (environmental, alter global, etc.); a change in clinical practice, in which psychiatry and psychoanalysis badly need socioanalysis. This means that the renovation of sociology requires also the renewal of the human sciences - hence the other module of the programme is ‘Socioanalysis and Psychoanalysis.'
The BA programme ‘Sociology and human sciences' relies on some of the best lecturers on these issues from the eponymous Department and the Institute for Critical Social Research at the University of Plovdiv (together with our colleagues in Sofia), as well as on scientists from Western Europe, cooperating with the Institute . Along with that, it also relies on the efforts of students to learn to think - both theoretically and empirically - about the future thrust upon us, and to deal pragmatically with the challenges posed by it.
These efforts will be amply rewarded: once they complete the programme, future specialists will become worldwide experts of global currency who will be able to flexibly respond to these challenges. This means they will be able to work at any place where the rapidly changing market of sociological work spreads:
- As experts who advise politicians and businessmen about imminent risks – for example, ecological imbalances or terrorist acts;
- As researchers and media analysts of the aforementioned risks;
- As mediators in the resolution of new forms of labour conflicts (e.g. in the privatization of formerly public institutions such as schools, hospitals and prisons);
- As consultants to the new forms of civil resistance;
- As therapists and socio-analysts exercising previously unknown clinical practices (e.g. as consultants in the so-called ‘assisted death');
- As social workers dealing with the so-called ‘children at risk' or the issues related to ‘socialization in old age', etc.
Above all, graduates will gain not only sociological knowledge, but also skills that will enable them to influence in their own right changes in the market - to offer new, demanded, but not as yet institutionalised sociological professions that are required in that market.