Historical Social Research

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Hubert Knoblauch & Martina Löw: The Re-Figuration of Spaces and Refigured Modernity – Concept and Diagnosis. [Abstract]

In this essay we want to make a contribution to developing further the spatial research in social theory by looking at spatial processes of change and the tensions involved conceptually and diagnostically as re-figuration of spaces. Starting from an outline of the key concept “re-figuration,” we go on to argue that re-figuration is not just a general concept adapted to spaces, but a fundamental spatio-temporal concept. In a third and fourth part we will address relations between spatial figures and introduce empirically sensitizing hypotheses on mediatization, translocalization, and polycontexturalization in order to show tendencies in the dynamics of change. We will speak of “re-figuration” to refer to various socio-historical processes of spatial change, while “refigured modernity” refers to the diagnosis of the increasing tension between different dominant social figuration as the reason for the current re-figuration which will be outlined on the basis of recent research.

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