International Scientific Network "Social Science and the Sea"

The sea is certainly not one of sociology's favourite research topics. As a result, a lack of systematic sociological reflection on the theoretical and empirical implications of the sea, the ocean and the maritime realm is affecting the understanding of society. Such a gap is particularly relevant when one thinks of the economic, cultural and social relevance of the sea for the development and functioning of society, both in a historical and contemporary perspective.

This network is the first attempt to fill this gap, by bringing together scholars and researchers from sociology and related fields, to start up a comparative and inter-disciplinary discussion on the different scientifically productive interrelations between society and the sea.  The aim is on the one hand to explore the way that sociology and social science more generally can think of the sea as a significant object of study from different points of view. On the other hand, to reflect on the theoretical, methodological and empirical implications of a maritime perspective for sociological thought. That is to say, to leave some old paradigms “ashore” and stay temporarily away from “safe harbors” by putting sociology “at sea”.