GEMAS brings together sociologists engaged in research and teaching (principally at Paris-IV) and attracts numerous doctoral and post-doctoral students. The aim of the institute is the extension of empirical sociological knowledge within an evolving theoretical framework. There are three dominant registers of reflection : general sociological theory ; the epistemological and methodological foundations of the social, physical and life sciences ; and finally, the application of theory and methodology to the domains of collective action, norms, values, culture, mores, argumentation, knowledge, education, art, and social stratification.
Concern for sociological theory is linked to : (1) dimensions of social action ; and (2) specific forms of knowledge and rationality, and their consequences. The distinction between instrumental and axiological rationality comprises one of the institute’s central research orientations. GEMAS researchers notably seek to contribute to the sociological understanding of the epistemology and methodology that underpins the social, physical and the life sciences.