Idealised values of common identification and consensus often attributed to urban neighbourhoods are romanticised, transfiguring and problematic. The socio-spatial construct of the neighbourhood is constituted not only by what we have in common and what we share, but also by dissent and conflict. We argue that conflict is not to be seen as deficient but can rather be constitutive and, in some cases, even productive for the socio-spatial (re)production of urban neighbourhoods. A research design that combines theory on social negotiations, rules and conventions in the public sphere with critical mapping techniques based on workshops conducted in the field helps to analyse the ambivalent role of conflicts in Berlin-Neukölln.
Leaving the house to talk in private. How COVID19 restrictions affected how and where we find someone to talk to.Prof. Dr. Talja Blokland
Talja Blokland, Robert Vief and Daniela Krüger ask how the political measures to slow down the coronavirus, especially by not meeting other people, affected how people organised their support for challenges they faced. Drawing on representative survey results from four neighbourhoods in Berlin in both 2019 and 2020, they show that, before the lockdown, a majority of their respondents communicated face-to-face to confront their most pressing personal challenges and did so outside of their home. Under COVID19 restrictions, digital exchanges became more important – but curiously, they did not make us stay home.