Prof. Dr. Boris Traue

Boris Traue

Full professor

Fakultät oder Zentrum Fakultät für Geisteswissenschaften, Erziehungswissenschaften und Sozialwissenschaften
Department Fachbereich Erziehungswissenschaft und Sozialarbeit
Postadresse Université du Luxembourg
Maison des Sciences Humaines
11, Porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette
Büroadresse MSH, E03 35-030
Telefon (+352) 46 66 44 9945

Boris Traue is sociologist and full professor of Social Work and Social Pedagogy. His works on the making of the modern self through psychosocial interventions, the transformation of social relations through media of communication, and the relevance of amateur practices delineate the power of institutions, technologies, and collective action in shaping the knowledge and agency of individuals, groups, and collectives. He has contributed to theoretical and methodological innovations in the social sciences, interdisciplinary studies of subjectivation, and visual studies. His research has been widely published in German, English and French. Books and special issues include Das Subjekt der Beratung (Transcript, 2010), Handbuch Interpretativ Forschen (Beltz Juventa, 2018), Visibilities and Visual Discourses (Qualitative Inquiry special issue, 2019), Following the Subject (Springer, 2022) and Positioning the Subject (Springer, 2023). He is co-editor of the book series Studies in Subjectivation (Springer).

A graduate of Freie Universität Berlin (2002, sociology, philosophy and psychology), he received his Doctorate (Dr. phil, 2008) and venia legendi for sociology (2018) from Technische Universität Berlin. After working as a research assistant at Max Planck Institute for Human Development, PhD researcher at Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences and lecturer as well as principal investigator at Technische Universität Berlin, he became researcher at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University Lüneburg. In 2017 he was appointed substitute Professor of General Sociology at Technische Universität Berlin. 2009-2011 he was visiting researcher at the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) at Goldsmiths/University of London. His research has been funded by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation, the German Academic Exchange service, and the German Research Foundation. He serves on the board of the sociology of knowledge section in the German Sociological Association.

Boris Traue joined the University of Luxembourg in February 2020 and currently serves as Head of the Institute for Social Research and Interventions as well as the Director of the Bachelor en sciences sociales et éducatives. His current research focuses on participatory processes and pedagogies as well as on relational social theories and methodologies.

Last updated on: Montag, den 11. Juli 2022

Research Interests

My research focuses on questions raised in social work, the sociology of knowledge, and studies in identity and subjectivation. Drawing from phenomenological traditions, analyses of power and agency as well as relational thought, I am interested in the interplay of power and the capacity to act in the contexts of organisations, cultures, and welfare states. I have conducted research on occupational cultures, the history of therapeutic interventions, power and agency in the welfare state, digital practices and youth culture, visual communication and collective action, medical knowledge and disability, as well as the innovation of methodologies of the social sciences.

Presently, I am conducting research in the following fields: 

-          Psychosocial and socio-educative interventions
-          The formation of the self
-          Collective action and the distribution of authority in the digital society
-          Visual and musical practices and interventions
-          Interpretive and participatory methodologies of the social sciences

Research Projects and research networks

  • PATHLUX: Pathways into the labor market of young people with disabilities in Luxembourg: Drivers of and barriers to successful transitions (Co-PI, with Robin Samuel and Justin Powell), in review
  • Network Empirical Subjectivation Research, from 2019
  • Audiovisuelle Kulturen der Selbstthematisierung (PI). German Science Foundation, 2011-2014
  • Audiovisuelle Kulturen der Selbstthematisierung (PI). DAAD, 2009-2011
  • Diskurs und Biographie (research network, with Inga Truschkat and Lisa Pfahl). Hans-Böckler Foundation, 2005-2007
  • Berufliche Sozialisationskulturen (collaborator). German Science Foundation, 1999-2000


2016          Imaginarium/Université Lille 3, Lille, France: International Guest Lecturer
2013          Goldsmiths/London University, London, UK: International Guest Lecturer
2009-2011 Centre for Invention and Social Process, Goldsmiths/London University, London, UK: DAAD Postdoctoral Researcher
2005          Sociology Department, Goldsmiths/London University, London, UK: Doctoral Research Fellow
1992–1993 Congress-Bundestag Exchange Programme


Last updated on: 18 Mai 2020

At the intersection of sociology and social work, I have taught diverse seminars (in German and English) at Freie Universität Berlin (Germany). Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), University of London (UK), Universität Bremen (Germany), Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht (Germany), Leuphana Universität Lüneburg (Germany), Karl-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck (Austria). 

Since 2020, in Luxembourg, I have taught in the following programs of study:

  • BA Bachelor en sciences sociales et éducatives (BSSE)
  • MA Social Sciences and Educational Sciences (MASSES)

Furthermore, I am Course Director of the BSSE Programme.

Last updated on: 18 Mai 2020