In this specialization area, students exam the complex processes of societal change and cultural dynamics which characterize the development of Latin American societies and their complex inclusion in transregional and national processes as well as in global structures in the past and present. Here, the perception of Latin America as a “crisis continent” and at the same time a “laboratory of modernity” represent a special focus.
Besides an understanding of the varying methods of the social sciences and a critical examination of various developmental and transformation theories, Latin American academic traditions and knowledge production receive special attention. The treatment of the problems of transformation research and the examination of the meaning of global economic and social developments for international and respective national policies is carried out on the basis of social, economic and cultural expertise as well as transdisciplinary cooperation. At the same time, the reception and application of theories and methods of gender studies is emphasized.