The Institute of Sociology was founded in 1962 by Prof. Dr. Hans Linde, who acted as the director until his retirement in 1981. His successor was Bernhard Schäfers as chair and director of the Institute starting in the summer semester of 1983, and onward through the establishment of the Institute of Sociology, Media and Cultural Sciences on January 1, 2005.
Prof. Schäfers had also been a member of the Faculty of Architecture since 1985, and regularly offered events for urban development and sociological architecture.
From the beginning, the Institute of Sociology saw itself as an empirically-operating and interdisciplinary-oriented facility. Only in this way was it possible, at a technically-oriented university, to provide the necessary cooperation in order to give students from all faculties, both in courses and in research projects, basic knowledge of the structure of modern society and its unique fields, such as population and family, business and city, art and culture etc.
Noteworthy here are the contributions of Prof. Linde for the creation of the sociology of technology, and of Prof. Schäfers for the analysis of the city and structure of the German and European society. Prof. Schäfers also wrote and published the most comprehensive pocket dictionary of German society (in 2nd ed. 2001), an encyclopedia of sociology (appeared in 9th ed. 2006), and various sociological textbooks for the broadly-based needs of university teaching. The sociology teachers also participated in these.
The Department of Sociology, Media and Cultural Studies is currently at the start of a new beginning in terms of personnel, and on a spatial and technical level.
After the retirement of long-time chair holder Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schäfers, the chair has been filled by Prof. Nollmann since the summer semester of 2008.
Futhermore, per target agreement between the State of Baden-Württemberg and the University of Karlsruhe (TH), the “House of Competence” (HoC) established a W3-professorship for sociology on March 17, 2006, with the special emphasis on the acquisition of skills, and integrated it into the Institute of Sociology, Media and Cultural Sciences. Dr. Michaela Pfadenhauer was appointed to this professorship on August 1, 2007, and upon her departure to Vienna in October 2014, the professorship has been filled by Dr. Alexander Lenger. Since April 2018 Prof. Dr. Christian Ebner is representing the professorship.