Fellow Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulf Tranow

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Ulf Tranow

Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf

  Fellow am CAIS from October 2019 to February 2020


Community Building and Conflict in the Digital Sphere from a Ritual-theoretical Perspective

How do (polarized) political identities emerge on the Internet? How does digital conflict mobilization work, and how do conflicts escalate? The project addresses these questions from a ritual-theoretical perspective. Rituals are understood as focused and rhythmically coordinated social interactions with the potential to build solidarity among the participants as well as moral feelings and emotionally charged collective symbols. Ritual theories offer an understanding of the interrelationship between community building and conflict. Since they refer to face-to-face interactions and ascribe special significance to physical co-presence, the question remains to what extent digital interactions can be understood as interaction rituals. Empirical studies point in the direction that this is possible, but so far there is no theory of digital interaction rituals. The objective of the project is to apply Randall Collins’ theory of interaction rituals to the digital sphere and to develop hypotheses in relation to the questions raised above.

Main Research Topics
  • Solidarity and Conflict
  • Political Integration
  • Social Norms
  • Action Theory
Curriculum Vitae
  • Since 2013: Assistant Professor for sociology, HHU Düsseldorf
  • 2010: Dissertation „Das Konzept der Solidarität: Handlungstheoretische Fundierung eines soziologischen Schlüsselbegriffs“ (The concept of solidarity: Action-theoretical foundation of a sociological key concept), HHU Düsseldorf
  • 2004 – 2013: Research Associate, HHU Düsseldorf
  • 2002 – 2004: Research Assistent in the project „Public interpretation of the global climate change”, FZ Jülich
  • Tranow, U. & A. Schnabel (2019). Solidarität und Sozialstaat: Theoretische Perspektiven und empirische Fragen. In D. Baumgartner & B. Fux (Hg.), Sozialstaat unter Zugzwang? Zwischen Reform und Neuorientierung (S. 19-42). Wiesbaden: Springer.
  • Tranow, U. (2019). Solidarity as a System of Norms. In J. Althammer, B. Neumärker & U. Nothelle-Wildfeuer (Eds.), Solidarity in Open Societies (S. 25-56). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  • Tranow, U. (2018). Kontext als analytisches Konzept aus der Perspektive einer akteurszentrierten Soziologie. In M. Reddig, A. Schnabel & H. Winkel (Hrsg.): Religion im Kontext. Ein religionssoziologisches Handbuch (S. 23-44). Baden-Baden: Nomos.
  • Escher, T., Frieß, D., Esau, K., Sieweke, J., Tranow, U., Dischner, S., Hagemeister, P., & Mauve, M. (2017). Online Deliberation in Academia: An Evaluation of Quality and Legitimacy of Cooperatively Developed University Regulations. Policy & Internet, 9(1), 133-164.
  • Tranow, U.; T. Beckers & D. Becker (2016). Explaining and Understanding by Answering ‘Why’ and ‘How’ Questions: A Programmatic Introduction to the Special Issue Social Mechanisms, Analyse & Kritik. Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory, 38(1), 1-29.