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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

Sommersemester 18

Hier finden Sie eine Übersicht über das Programm des Think&Drink Kolloquium im Sommersemester 2018. Das Kolloquium findet in der Vorlesungszeit zweiwöchentlich immer Montags von 18 bis 20 Uhr in Raum 002 in der Universitätsstraße 3b statt. Es kann im Verlauf des Semesters zu Abweichungen vom Rhythmus kommen, bitte achten Sie auf die Ankündigungen.

Eine Gesamtübersicht über das Think & Drink Programm in diesem Semester ist hier als pdf downloadbar.



Montag, 23.04.2018

Arjun Appadurai, New York University

Joerg Niewöhner, HU Berlin

Urban matters - an anthropological conversation with Arjun Appadurai













In a conversational mode open to the audience, this session will explore anthropological perspectives on the urban condition today. Two aspects are of particular interest: What is the role of 'the material' in shaping urban conviviality? And how can we begin to understand cities as intimately connected to local Umland and global Hinterlands. We will draw on examples from Germany, India and the US to better understand, how established problems of justice, governance and planning may be appearing in a somewhat new light through recent shifts towards new materialisms. Is this changing the way we conduct our own research?



Montag, 30.04.2018 - kein Think and Drink


Montag, 07.05.2018

Lígia Ferro, Universidade do Porto

Moving Cities: Interdisciplinarity and ethnography in approaching urban life

Since the Chicago School, the urban studies field is being built from a very intense interdisciplinary dialogue, nurtured by diverse theoretical concepts and methodological approaches to urban settings. Following this line, joint work was developed at the European Sociological Association Research Network 37 – Urban Sociology. One of the main results of the multiple collaborations established within this research network from 2015 to 2017 is the book “Moving Cities: Contested Views on Urban Life” (Ferro, Poziemska, Gómez, Kurtenbach, Pereira & Villalón, 2018, Springer). In this talk, the speaker will focus the notions of interdisciplinarity and ethnography. Particularly ethnography as an holistic and integrative methodological approach to urban life, supports the different practices of interdisciplinarity. Starting from the 12 chapters of the book “Moving Cities”, written from projects carried out in different spaces and scales, these notions will be explored and proposed to the audience for further discussion.


Montag, 14.05.2018

Joanna Kusiak, Universität Wien / University of Cambridge

Right to the City and Law in the City: The ambiguous politics of legal engineering


Is law a sustainable tool for urban justice? The lecture points at the level of informality hidden within highly formalized legal and judicial systems. Analysing the contested process of urban property restitution in Warsaw, I show how seemingly neutral legal technicalities are used to smuggle in neoliberal agendas. Yet can we also co-opt the grey zones of the law and employ legal technicalities for our progressive struggles?









Montag, 21.05.2018 - kein Think and Drink


Montag, 28.05.2018

Johanna Hoerning, TU Berlin

The Politics of Space of Non-Governmental Organizations

The presentation deals with the transformative role of formally organized collective actors for the spatial structuring of housing and refugee politics. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have been said to undermine the territorial logic of nation states and other state bodies, as well as of international organization, through their action strategies based on exchange and circulation. But not only do the policy areas differ greatly in the extent to which they are applied to and refer to certain scales; it is also the organizations themselves that show varying forms of organization, goals and target publics.







Montag, 04.06.2018

Nir Cohen, Bar-Ilan University

'Do they even care'? The micro-politics of urban empathy in Tel Aviv

Enmity in on the rise in Israeli cities. Hostile, hate-filled exchanges are visible between distinct socio-political groups across the country. Skirmishes between orthodox and seculars over the closure of businesses on the Jewish day of rest, leftists and rightists over the deportation of African migrants, and lower and middle classes over the magnitude of urban renewal projects dot its contemporary urban landscape. Scholars have often employed a justice-oriented framework to account for these clashes, explaining their unfolding against the backdrop of dwindling rights for socio-physical goods and services – or the threat thereof – perceived by either group, or both.
In this talk, I set to critique the rigorous centering on material rights as a leading approach for explaining urban antagonism in Israel. Employing an ethics of care paradigm, I suggest instead that animosity is frequently induced by the perception of marginalized groups that powerful segments are unwilling (or unable) to take their perspective. Urban resentment is further exacerbated when the perceived misidentification of dominant groups is interpreted within an 'elitist' discourse of cosmopolitan values, like environmentalism or human rights.
Using insights from three case studies in the Tel Aviv metro area, my talk explores the micro-politics of urban care. Drawing on qualitative methods it examines the ways in which members of different residential groups narrate their (often unrealized) quest to be acknowledged and sympathized with. It is this purported 'empathy deficit', it argues, that largely sustains animosity between urban groups divided along class, ethnic and religious lines.


Montag, 11.06.2018 - kein Think and Drink


Montag, 18.06.2018

Walter Nicholls, University of California

Cities and Social Movements: How Cities Matter in the Fight for Immigrant Rights


The presentation addresses a simple puzzle: How is it that extremely precarious groups like undocumented immigrants and refugees grow into a potent political force? These people face a number of barriers, including deportation and violence, that make public resistance difficult if not impossible. Nevertheless, we find many instances in Europe and North America where highly precarious people overcome serious obstacles and mount potent mobilizations for dignity and rights.  Drawing from our book (with Justus Uitermark) Cities and Social Movements, this presentation maintains that urban environments are well suited for transforming precarious individuals into empowered and contentious political groups. Large cities provide emergent activists safe spaces and propinquity needed to cultivate strong and trusting relations. Cities also provide many opportunities for emergent activists to develop connections to various allies in possession of a range of resources (economic, political, cultural, symbolic capital). While strong tie relations among precarious individuals allow them to “come out of the shadows”, weaker tie relations with diverse allies enable the acquisition of resources needed to bolster their position within the political field. The presentation does not suggest that all precarious people resist or that all resistances are successful. It simply maintains that the relational conditions in cities facilitates the political emergence of these groups and their development into forceful mobilizations.


Montag, 25.06.2018 - kein Think and Drink


Montag, 02.07.2018

Javier Ruiz-Tagle, Catholic University of Chile

Urban marginality and institutional effects: Disinvestment, inefficacy and stigmatization in Santiago de Chile

The 'neighborhood effects' thesis assumes that social environments of concentrated poverty lead to a number of social problems (school dropout, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, drug consumption and trafficking, domestic violence, single parenthood, and the like). Despite the wide usage of this thesis, several scholars have questioned its poor theoretical grounding and its intimate relation with policies of poverty dispersion, public housing demolition and social mix.

Drawing on literatures on 'total institutions', 'institutional geographies', urban marginality and urban political economy, we propose an alternative perspective rooted on a critique of the practices of external institutions that have an influence on marginal neighborhoods. We hypothesize that institutions can affect the life chances of poor and excluded communities through three interrelated mechanisms: (1) investments and disinvestments, (2) inaction and inefficacy, and (3) symbolicbranding and stigmatization. We have worked with this hypothesis through a large mixed method, case study of three marginal neighborhoods in Santiago de Chile.

After the second year of this three year-long research, we have found the following evidence. Regarding investments and disinvestments, there is an absence of several important institutions configuring what has been called 'Red Zones'. This happens when public, private and civil institutions, for different reasons, refuse to enter marginal neighborhoods and to deliver their services, which generates a variety of social, economic and symbolic effects from this institutional abandonment. Regarding inaction and inefficacy, social organizations in these formerly active communities have waned, as a consequence of different interventions from local governments, such as incentives for internal competition, divisive strategies, social control and political clientelism, just to name a few. These actions have modified their behavior and modes of organization, bringing a generalized feeling of distrust between citizens and the State (in its different forms and scales), which complicates any public intervention and deeply affects the relationships among residents. And regarding symbolic branding and stigmatization, there is a critical symbolic degradation of these neighborhoods from the media and other powerful actors, and different submission strategies from residents (e.g. mutual distancing, dissimulation, etc.) that validate and amplify the discredit of place. These symbolic processes have both subjective and objective consequences in turn, such as the (re)production of the mentioned 'Red Zones', the weakening of social bonds and place attachments, the degradation of identities, and a generalized naturalization of inequalities, precariousness and violence.