Subprojects | Project Area B | Spaces of Communication

Centres of Coordination: The Polycontexturalisation of Power in Control Rooms

The focus of the research project “Centres of Coordination” is on control rooms and coordination centres, in particular those of “Smart Cities” that are equipped with technical information and communication systems and infrastructures to monitor, record and regulate specific processes within a controlled area. Since these centres are an emblem for the translocalisation and mediatisation of spaces, the aim is not only to observe and explain particular changes, but also to use this information as an indication for the overall re-figuration of spaces in late modernity.

Considering recent developments of communication technology, we are, on the one hand, interested in the mediatisation of communicative actions within and between control rooms, as well as in transformations concerning the relation between control rooms and their external environment. On the other hand, we investigate the impact of ever-changing mediatisation processes on modes of control, the ways in which they influence communicative action in control rooms, and how this leads to changes in the way space is perceived, performed and synthesised.

In order to capture long-term changes since 1990, former control room data will be compared to videographic surveys from currently operating control rooms, in addition to research on advanced “integrated operations centres” in Smart Cities.

We are confident that our empirical analysis has ample potential to further clarify the polycontexturalisation of space, particularly in terms of shifts in social control and power.


Christmann, G., Knoblauch, H., & Löw, M. (eds.). (2020). Communicative Constructions and the Refiguration of Spaces. Theoretical Approaches and Empirical Studies. New York: Routledge.

Knoblauch, H. (2020). Einleitung: Die Refiguration der Religion. In Knoblauch, H. (eds.), Die Refiguration der Religion. Perspektiven der Religionssoziologie und Religionswissenschaft Weinheim: Beltz Juventa, p. 7-28.

Knoblauch, H. (2020). Religiöse Events, die Mediatisierung öffentlicher Räume und die kommunikative Konstruktion der Transzendenz . In Brunn, F. M., & Keller, S. (eds.), Teilhabe und Zusammenhalt. Potentiale von Religion im öffentlichen Raum Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, p. 123-140.

Knoblauch, H. (2020). Symbole und Räume. Soziologische Reflexionen der Corona-Krise — Working Paper Nr. 5.

Knoblauch, H. (2020). The Communicative Construction of Reality.

Knoblauch, H. (eds.). (2020). Die Refiguration der Religion. Perspektiven der Religionssoziologie und Religionswissenschaft. Weinheim: Beltz Juventa.

Knoblauch, H., & Steets, S. (2020). Von der Konstitution zur kommunikativen Konstruktion von Raum. In Reichertz, J. (eds.), Grenzen der Kommunikation. Kommunikation an den Grenzen Weilerswist: Velbrück, p. 134-148.

Knoblauch, H., & Wilke, R. (2018). Forschungsinfrastrukturen für audiovisuelle Daten der Qualitativen Sozialforschung – Bedarf und Anforderungen. In Riphahn, T. R. (eds.), Archivierung und Zugang zu qualitativen Daten Berlin: RatSWD Working Paper Series, p. 47-58.

Löw, M., & Knoblauch, H. (2019). Die Re-Figuration von Räumen — Working Paper Nr. 1.

Löw, M., & Knoblauch, H. (2019). The Re-Figuration of Spaces — Working Paper Nr. 2.

Löw, M., & Knoblauch, H. (2020). Dancing in Quarantine: The Spatial Refiguration of Society and the Interaction Orders. Space and Culture, 23(3), p. 221–225.

Löw, M., & Knoblauch, H. (2020). Dichotopie. Die Refiguration von Räumen in Zeiten der Pandemie. In Volkmer, M., & Werner, K. (eds.), Die Corona-Gesellschaft. Analysen zur Lage und Perspektiven für die Zukunft Bielefeld: transcript, p. 89-99.

Schröder, D. (2020). Visuelle Inszenierung von Gewissheit - Die Smartifizierung im Feld der Kontrollzentralen. In Dimbath, O., & Pfadenhauer, M. (eds.), Kongressband der 3. Kongresses der Wissenssoziologie.

Löw, M., & Knoblauch, H. (2020). Soziale Theoriebildung. Möglichkeiten von Interdisziplinarität in einem soziologisch geleiteten DFG-Sonderforschungsbereich. Soziologie, 49(1), p. 7-22.

Löw, M., & Knoblauch, H. (2020). The Re-Figuration of Spaces and Refigured Modernity – Concept and Diagnosis. Historical Social Research, 45(2), p. 263-292.

Project Managers:

Research Associates:

Student Assistants:

Former Project Members: