20 Jun, 2023, 17:00

Public lecture series
  • Dr. Christine Neubert (Universität Hamburg)

    Construction sites as urban practice: Negotiating everyday life

  • Image © Christine Neubert.


    As part of her research project, Christine Neubert uses construction sites as an anchor point for the analysis of everyday life in urban space. In particular, road construction sites are interpreted as a paradigmatic case and an opportunity for research practice to discover and understand urban space in its unseen and hidden everyday interdependencies. The research is guided by a practice-theoretical paradigm, through which everyday life in urban space is fundamentally understood as a network and linkage of different performances. Human actors such as residents, traders, and traffic participants as well as non-human actors such as fauna or urban trees all enter into negotiation processes about everyday space through and by means of spatially unfolding practices. It is assumed that social practices such as living, working, and consuming, but also providing nutrients to the soil and securing habitat, sometimes create conflicting demands on space. One of the aims of this research is to explore the power relations of these practices beyond traditional differences in social class and milieu and to understand the construction site as a notable reference point for everyday practices that simultaneously drives their adaptation and transformation.

    In the lecture she develops a perspective on construction sites as an urban practice. To this end, she describes them in an empirically dense way in their significant, socio-material couplings to the urban environment while also elaborating the extent to which construction sites put everyday urban life into a new perspective – beyond their functions of maintenance and infrastructure work, in the continuous processes of negotiation and coordination that they require.

    About the lecturer

    Christine Neubert is a sociologist whose main focus is on qualitative methods; her research interests include everyday life, social practices, multispecies dynamics, architecture, urban space, and sociological theory. Since 2018 she has worked in the sociology subject area, in particular the Conduct of Life and Sustainability cluster, at the University of Hamburg Department of Socioeconomics. After studying cultural sciences and communication and media studies at the University of Leipzig, she did a PhD in architectural theory and criticism at TUD Dresden University of Technology.

    Christine’s recent publications deal with methodical reflections on researching architecture as a nonverbal experience in everyday life (‘Pocketing research data?‘, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 2021), with a praxeological approach to construction sites (Austrian Journal of Sociology, forthcoming 2023), and with the question, ‘Digital practices doing social problems?‘ (special issue of German Journal of Social Problems, forthcoming 2023).