TU Berlin

Center for Metropolitan StudiesSteigemann, Anna

CMS Logo

Inhalt des Dokuments

zur Navigation

Anna Steigemann


Assistant Professor at the Chair for Urban Studies & Social research, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Bauhaus-University Weimar

Bauhaus Universität Weimar
Belvederer Allee 4, Zi. 105

Tel.: +49 (0) 36 43/58 26 47
Fax: +49 (0) 36 43/58 32 94
E-Mail: anna.marie.steigemann@uni-weimar.de    


Selling “Community”? Local Businesses, Public Characters and the Social Life in Metropolitan Neighborhoods

Global and local economic development, increased mobility and individualization, and demographic changes have fundamentally altered the basis for everyday social interaction in urban areas, which is why the social cohesion of inner-city neighborhoods and their residents is now often viewed as vulnerable. The strong socio-spatial changes are reflected in residential and commercial neighborhood structures - with wide implications for the neighborly coexistence.  For these reasons, it is important to give more scholarly attention to first the concrete places where neighborly interactions still take place and second, to how these interactions, i.e. social contacts and connections between and among various groups of residents, affect senses of belonging and the local social life.

So far, however, the great majority of research on this topic has focused almost exclusively on narrow and well-integrated primary relationships (such as family and closer friendly relations) among neighbors in residential settings, often neglecting the comparatively loose and unpretentious everyday interactions in public and quasi-public spaces and these types of relationships that nevertheless also contribute strongly to a sense of belonging and/or community on a neighborhood scale.  Likewise, most studies in urban sociology and planning have also ignored the role of local businesses and the wide range of functions they play in neighborhoods, including providing local supply, employment and opportunities for sociability.

In this context, Jane Jacobs's authoritative book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (1961) provides a key starting point for understanding the significance of loose social relations and functionally mixed neighborhood on the larger city, including the generation of local social capital. My dissertation project illuminates and explores the ordinary everyday interactions and social practices in and around local shops and gastronomic facilities on shopping streets. With a practice theory approach and using ethnographic methods, the dissertation examines the degree to which the owners and salespeople of these businesses continue, as Jacobs observed, to be "public characters" and/or provide "eyes on the street" on an everyday basis and explore whether this in turn affects meaningful social interactions within the local population.



August 2016
Defense Doctoral Thesis "Offer More? How Store Owners and their Businesses build Neighborhood Social Life", Advisors: Prof. Dr. Sybille Frank, Prof. Dr. John Mollenkopf, Prof. Dr. Dietrich Henckel, Grade: Summa Cum Laude

May 2016
Submission Doctoral Thesis "Offer More? How Store Owners and their Bussinesses build Neighborhood Social Life", TU-Berlin

Since 2012
Doctoral Student, TU Berlin

Rosa-Luxemburg Doctoral Scholarship (declined due to TU position) October 2006 – October 2009
Master-Student Social Sciences at Humboldt University of Berlin
Focus Areas: Urban Sociology/ Urban Studies, Gender Studies
Thesis: From Bakeries to Bars - Commercial Gentrification in East Williamsburg, NYC

2007 – 2008
DAAD Scholarship for an Academic Year at the Graduate Center of City University New York (CUNY), NYC

October 2002 - March 2006
Bachelor-Student Social Sciences at Humboldt-University of Berlin (minor subjects: Geography, Ethnology)
Thesis: Deprived Neighborhoods and Hip Hop. The affinity of deprived (migrant) youth for the culture of Hip Hop 


Since March 2015
Assistant Professor at the Chair for Urban Studies & Social research, Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, Bauhaus-University Weimar

March 2011- August 2012
Assistant Professor/  Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin at the Department of Urban and Regional Sociology, Institute for Sociology, TU Berlin

Since August 2011
Academic Consultancy for the development of a communication concept for Müllerstraße and Turmstraße for the Senate Administration for Urban Development of Berlin and the district administration Berlin Mitte

July - October 2010, July- August 2009
Research Assistance for Prof. Gerry Bloustien
Projects: 1. Harmonizing communities: The role of music in the formation of national communities and its potential for enhancing cross-cultural understanding; 2. Playing for Life, HU Berlin/UNISA Adelaide

June 2010,  June 2009
Organization, Research Assistance and Lectures for CUNY Summer School (Profs. Mollenkopf/ Häußermann/ Blokland), HU Berlin

October 2009 - September 2010
Research Assistance for Prof. Talja Blokland: Public Space and (In)Security, HU Berlin

May – August 2006
Editorial Assistance at Bayerischer Rundfunk (Radio), München

August 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002
Organization and Assistance Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Neuburg/Donau


WiSe 2016/17
"Jena Winzerla - Großwohnsiedlungen unter anderen Vorzeichen!?, BA Urbanism/Architecture, Project, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

"Diversity and the City", MA Urbanism/Architecture, Seminar, Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

WiSe 2015/16
"Migration statt Schrumpfung!? Wohnen und Leben von Asylsuchenden und Flüchtlingen in Gera." BA Urbanistik/Architecture, Project, Bauhaus-University Weimar

WiSe 2015/16
"Urban Governance & Planning", MA SeminarUrban Management, TU Berlin

SoSe 2015
"Werkstatt Sozialraum: Willkommensstädte", BA & MA Urbanistik & Architecture, Bauhaus-University Weimar

WiSe 2014/15
"Local Partnerships, Social Planning and Participation", MA Urban Management, TU Berlin

SuSe 2014
“Social and Spatial Inequalities in Berlin”, CUNY Summerschool, Talja Blokland/ John Mollenkopf, HU Berlin

WiSe 2013/14
"Local Partnerships, Social Planning and Participation", MA Urban Management, TU Berlin

WiSe 2012/13
"Local Partnerships, Social Planning and Participation", MA Urban Management, TU Berlin

SuSe 2012
"Forschungskommission", MA Urban and Regional Planning/ MA Sociology, TU Berlin

WiSe 2011/12
"Kernseminar Stadtforschung", MA Urban and Regional Planning/ MA Sociology, TU Berlin

WiSe 2011/12
"Local Partnerships, Social Planning and Participation", MA Urban Management, TU Berlin

SuSe 2011
"No Strings Attached?! Kontakte im öffentlichen Raum", Project, MA Urban and Regional Planning/ MA Sociology, TU Berlin

SuSe 2011
"Sozialstruktur, Geschlechterverhältnisse und räumliche Differenzierung", BA Social Sciences, HU Berlin

SuSe 2010
"Sozialstruktur, Geschlechterverhältnisse und räumliche Differenzierung", BA Social Sciences, HU Berlin

WiSe 2009/10 & SuSe 2010
Teaching Assistance Project Seminar  "(In)Securitiy and Public Space", MA Social Sciences, HU Berlin


October – November 2014
Research Stay, Center for Urban Research, Graduate Center CUNY, New York City

April 2014
Research Stay, Center for Urban Research, Graduate Center CUNY, New York City

Since August 2012 
DFG Fellow at the International Graduate Research Program, Berlin-New York-Toronto

October 2013 – December 2013
Visiting Scholar, Center for Urban Research, Graduate Center CUNY, New York City

2007 & 2008
DAAD scholarship for an academic year at the Graduate Center of City University New York, Department for Sociology


Paper "Vom Schrumpfen zur Integration? Thüringens Willkommenskultur und die sozialräumliche Integration von Flüchtigen in Gera" with Franziska Werner, Sektion Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie: Sozial-räumliche Integration von Flüchtlingen, DGS Kongress, Bamberg, September 26-30 2016
Panel Organization "City of Refuge - Refugee Accommodations and their Spatial and Social Consequences for the Urban", with Franziska Werner, International Association for Forced Migration Conferenz, Poznan, Poland, July 12-16 2016 

Paper “Vom Schrumpfen zur Integration?! Thüringens ‘Willkommenskultur’ als Paradigmenwechsel in der lokalen Stadtentwicklungspolitik?“ Konferenz: Wohnungsleerstände in Deutschland – Ausmaß – Wahrnehmung, in Kaiserslautern,  4-5 Februar 2016

Introduction to Empirical Research Methods in Social Sciences, IGK Methods Workshop, with Lisa Vollmer, Berlin, 21 January 2016

Paper "First arrivals in shrinkage. The physical, communication and social development of arrival infrastructures in Thuringia, East Germany", Urban Arrival Infrastructures. An International Workshop on Migration and Cities in the 19th and 21st Century, Brussels, 10-11 December 2015

Panel Organization:  "Ambiguous Imaginaries – Public Space in the Ideal City. Representations, policies, contradictions and challenges for tomorrow’s urban life." with Annika Levels & Christian Haid, RC21 Conference, Urbino, Italy, August 26-29 2015

Paper "‘Do I need to grow blond hair to become German?’ Place Making Practices of Business Owners on a “diverse” Berlin Shopping Street.", Panel "The Challenge of Diversity: Does Urban Diversity Contribute to the Ideal City?", RC21 conference, Urbino, Italy

Paper "Place Making Practices of Business Owners in the course of a Berlin Urban Renewal Program.", Panel "Networks and encounters in contested spaces" RC21 Conference, Urbino, Italy

Paper “'Do I need to grow blond hair to become German?' Place Making Practices of Small Business Owners”, 2nd Special Session Retail aspects in Urban Geography and Urban Planning I: Immigrant retail geographies, AAG Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA

Paper “Local businesses as socially inclusive leisure spaces”, Joint Session RC 23/RC 28, ISA 2014 Conference, Yokohama, Japan

Panel organization “Ambiguous Spaces: Moving beyond Dichotomies of Public Space”, RC 21, ISA 2014 Conference, Yokohama

Paper “Shopping for Community? Place Making Practices of Small Business Owners.”, AAG Annual Meeting, Tampa

Paper “Business Ballet. Ethnography of the Physical and Verbal Interactions in a Neukölln Café.” Ethnography Workshop with Prof. Susan Hall, Berlin

Paper "Shopping for Community?! Local businesses as main features of urban infrastructure and local social inclusion". Tagung Neue Kulturgeographie XI: Infrastrukturen der Stadt, Universität Bremen

Paper "Walking for community?! Shopping for community?! How local businesses fosterwalking activity and related social networking for neighbourhood residents.", Walk21International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities, Munich

Walking Tour "Neighbourhood management and policies in Berlin-Wedding ", RC 21 Conference 2013, Berlin

Panel Moderation "Colonization and Space: On the Politics of Gentrification, Segregation and Pacification", Empire, City, Nature: 2nd Annual Conference IGK, Toronto

Panel Moderation "Global Urban Luxury Industries and Metropolitanism", Grand Hotels at the Fin de Siècle: Global Dimensions, local Experiences, CMS Berlin

"Introduction to Qualitative Methods", IGK Workshop, TU Berlin

Panel Moderation "Urban Renewal and Citizen Protest", Urban-Activism-Scholarship: Global Discourses in Local, Historical and Contemporary Contexts, 1st Annual Conference CMS, TU Berlin

Paper "Segregation and Housing Politics in Berlin", Auto-Construction Workshop Mexico/ Weimar/ Berlin

Paper "Leopoldplatz – Schauplatz einer neuen Bürgerlichkeit?" Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, TU Berlin

Paper/ Excursion "Socially Inclusive Planning in Berlin", Urban Management Summer School, TU Berlin

Paper/ Excursion on "Social Housing Policies and Socially Integrative City" for CUNY Summer School, HU Berlin

Organization/ Excursions "Contacts in Public Space", Copenhagen/ Malmö, TU Berlin

Paper/ Excursion on "Urban Planning in Paris", HU Berlin


Steigemann, Anna/ Eckardt, Frank / Werner, Franziska (2016): A Welcoming Policy in post-socialist East Germany. Forced Migration Review 51:  67-68.

"Kommunikationskonzept Turmstraße - Bericht zur Stärkung der lokalen Identität", Bezirksamt Mitte/Senatsverwaltung für Stadtentwicklung

Project Report "No Strings Attached?! Kontakte im öffentlichen Raum", ISR TU Berlin

Book Review on Derek Hyra’s "The New Urban Renewal", International Journal for Urban and Regional Research

Master Thesis "From Bakeries to Bars - Commercial Gentrification in East Williamsburg, NYC". HU Berlin: unpublished Manuscript


RC21 - International Sociological Association (ISA): Urban Sociology
AAG - Association of American Geography
DGS - Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie, Sektion Stadtsoziologie
GK Stadtpolitik - Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
GEW- Gewerkschaft für Erziehung und Wissenschaft



Schnellnavigation zur Seite über Nummerneingabe