Historical Social Research

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Petra Gehring & Andreas Großmann: Constructing Discursive Differences. Towards a “Logic“ of Cities [Abstract]

The article examines an example to consider how the research approach focusing on the “intrinsic logic” of cities can be linked with the methodology of a Foucauldian discourse analysis. The discourse paradigm is related to the empirical base of a corpus analysis of urban “problem discourses”. In statements about “problems”, these discourses implicate, along with the question of power, the question of the perception and construction of the individual city as a social-spatial form of meaning and practice. This can be demonstrated in exemplary form in the problem discourses of the cities Frankfurt am Main, Dortmund, Birmingham, and Glasgow. The authors suggest that the findings yielded by the methodologically innovative link between philosophical and empirical analysis should be used not only for the research approach “intrinsic logic” of cities as presented here, but also more broadly inasmuch as differences in social space and discursive differences are closely intertwined.

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