PhD student (Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies)


Weltbeziehungen / C19.03.15

Visiting address

Universität Erfurt
Nordhäuser Straße 63
99089 Erfurt

Mailing address

Universität Erfurt
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Personal information

  • 2023-2024: Adjunct lecturer at the Chair of Sociological Theory and History of Ideas | Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz
  • Since Jan. 2023: Research employee | IGS "Resonant Self-World Relations" | University of Erfurt | University of Graz
  • Since 2020: Adjunct lecturer at the Chair of General and Theoretical Sociology | Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • 2021-2021: Predoc scholarship | Max-Weber-Kolleg | University of Erfurt
  • 2017-2021: Master's programme in Social Theory ( Master of Arts degree) | Friedrich Schiller University Jena
  • 2018-2019: Visiting student at the Department of Philosophy | New School for Social Research | New School University | New York
  • 2017-2022: Master's programme in Philosophy | Technical University of Dresden
  • 2012-2017: Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy | Technische Universität Dresden
  • 2011-2012: Bachelor's degree in Protestant Theology and History | Dresden University of Technology

Research interests:
Critical theory of everyday life, critical theory of the subject, sociology of world relations, depth hermeneutics, documentary method

Research project

Cracks within everyday life. Investigations at the Foundations of the 'Societal Divide'

In my dissertation project, I would like to use the sociology of self- worldrelations to contribute to the analysis of the socio-political conflicts of the present. In this sense, I am particularly interested in the phenomenon of the so-called 'societal divide'.

The talk about the 'societal divide' expresses - in the media, in politics as well as in the everyday consciousness - the experience and concern that in the context of socio-political disputes, there is an accelerating tendency, to find ever-new fields and objects of conflict, for which a reasonably satisfactory compromise seems to be unforeseeable.

Examples of this kind of dispute are the recent debates on climate policies and global warming, on language and equality policies, on anti-racism and identity policies, and – even so it now already seems to be ages ago – on state protection and prevention measures in relation to the Corona pandemic. Discussions that can be assigned to these general issues tend to lead to a very strong polarization, which then hardly allows for any intermediate tones. The polarization of political discourse challenges very strong valuations and demands clear avowals from the discussants. Thus, regarding those social-political conflicts, the position of the opposing side is quickly perceived as a veritable threat to one's own way of existence and a clear example of an overall society-destroying project.

With the sociology of self and worldrelations in mind, I would like to focus especially on this apparent ‘existential threat dimension’ of the socio-political conflict and therefore want to reconstruct a determining layer beneath its thematic structure.

The sociology of self- and worldrelations assumes that the normative expectation horizon of a person is closely related to culturally and socially mediated world relation patterns, which at a precognitive level determine the attitude of the individual towards the world, as well as to itself. The way in which various segments of the social world appear to its participants, as well as the overall way in which they feel situated within their political community is thus decisive for their respective normative horizon of expectations and for their overall perspective on society, as well as on the possibility of its transformation.

In my dissertation, therefore, I first want to reconstruct the conflicting normative horizons of expectation that I assume to be a central and silently effective background of the so-called 'societal divide'. I then would like to reconstruct the embeddedness of those normative horizons within the societal and cultural mediation of patterns of self and world relations. Based on this reconstructive work, I want to formulate a sociological diagnosis of the socio-political conflicts of the present with special attention to the perceived phenomenon of the ‘societal divide’. A sociological diagnosis that is able to speak to the essential cultural and societal framework of the conflicts.


  • Hofer, Heinrich: Die Verabsolutierung des Alltags, in: Bredtmann, Bastian: Widerspruchsgeist. Contributions to Social Theory. Edition Kritik, 2023, pp.113-167.
  • Hofer, Heinrich and Neef, Adrian [o. A.]: Gründe und Abgründe regressiver Kapitalismuskritik, in: Berlin TKA (ed.); (K)eine Diskussion. Antisemitismus in der radikalen Linken; Berlin 2018, pp. 29-40.