Social practices always happen somewhere. They take place. Concepts of space, of how space is constituted and of the relationship between space and action and culture differ from theory to theory: Aristotle (eg. Heuner 2007) described space as a void in which action takes place. Henri Lefebvre (1974) insisted on space as socially produced, while recent Science and Technology Studies scholars such as John Law (2004) suggest we replace space by spatiality in order to describe the spatial quality of practice, objects and subjects.
Space has always been central to social anthropological methodology. Doing fieldwork was originally understood as implying the researchers’ movement from home space to foreign space. In later years anthropologists have realized that in a globalized world “anthropology of the world system” (Marcus 1995) may involve a different kind of travel, as well as different spatial conceptualization. Similarly, the Internet and virtual ethnography (Hine, 2000) have challenged concepts of space in ethnography, and questioned traditional ways of doing fieldwork.
Concepts of space are sometimes explicit, but often only implicit in theoretical and methodological literature. The aim of the seminar is to learn to differentiate between concepts of space, discuss the consequences of different space concepts and to enrich the students imagination of how to handle space concept when doing ethnographic work.
Das Seminar wird auf Englisch angeboten!