Neighborhood Social Boundaries – New Challenges for Studies on Communication, Knowledge and Culture
In contemporary global condition unprecedented expectations are directed toward neighborhoods. Already the Chicago school portrayed neighborhoods in ambivalent terms. On the one hand, neighborhoods were cohesive social units that existed without formal organization; on the other hand, they were considered unstable arenas of tensions and interest conflicts, and realms of segregated racial, cultural and vocational groups. This session addresses the questions concerning neighborhood knowledges and social group formation. We are interested in finding out how social group and neighborhood boundaries are drawn, how conflicts and processes of balkanization (aggressive segregation) emerge or are solved, how people constitute knowledges on who “they” are and who “we” are, how do they draw boundaries between “us” and “them”, and what are the forces influencing upon the boundary work.
Recently digital communications surpass territorial boundaries and make available cultures and knowledges linking local and remote parts of the globe. These developments pose challenges to efforts to build social cohesion, and sometimes modern societies have seen to be undergoing a shift towards polarization as a result of diversifying localities, uncontrolled media landscapes, and consequent socio-political developments. Notions like second modernity or transmodernity and superdiversity acknowledge anyhow a possibility for the increased reflexivity and aim to enable a revitalization of both modernity and traditions. New insights also stress the importance of neighbourhood life and communities, which are transnationally connected and socio-economically differentiated. We open the question of transmodern neighborhoods and the new fabrics of social groups under global condition and intensified media sphere.
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