Publications

Castillo Ulloa, I., Schröder, D. J., & Helbrecht, I. (2021). Subject(ified) strategies for spatial(ised) ontological security in refigured modernity — Working Paper No. 7

Author(s)

Castillo Ulloa, I., Schröder, D. J., & Helbrecht, I.

Year of publication

2021

Place of publication

Berlin

Publisher

TU Berlin
  • Quotation (APA style):

    • Castillo Ulloa, I., Schröder, D. J., & Helbrecht, I. (2021). Subject(ified) strategies for spatial(ised) ontological security in refigured modernity — Working Paper No. 7. Berlin: TU Berlin.
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Subject(ified) strategies for spatial(ised) ontological security in refigured modernity

In this working paper, we elaborate on the concept of ontological security (Laing 1990 [1959]; Giddens 1990, 1991) through a spatial lens and building on the research findings of three subprojects (A01, B02 and A02) of the CRC 1265 “Re-Figuration of Spaces”. By and large, passages from lower to higher thresholds of ontological security in times of a refigured modernity (Knoblauch/Löw 2020) are, as the three cases reviewed show, noticeably dependent on the ability to devise and enact subjectified strategies. To that end, as expounded in Case A, three vital elements ideally become entangled with one another, thereby enabling the imagining and implementing of ontological security: (a) geopolitical imaginations, (b) contact with natural settings and (c) homeness-making practices. Cases B and C address such strategies through particular examples of new geopolitical imaginations – be it as a subjectified personalisation of the urban living-environment (case B) or as the possibility for subjects to make the ‘here’ converge with the ‘elsewhere’ (case C). All in all, the empirical circumstances examined suggest that there are more than a handful of hurdles placed along the way towards ontological security, which, in one way or another, comes down to the issue of self-agency. By the same token, we are currently confronted with exceptionally unsettled and unsettling times that curtail our selfagency, which begs a number of questions, such as: how controllable and thus reassuring can the future actually be, when, to paraphrase Paul Valéry, it is no longer what it used to be?