Subprojects | Project Area A | Knowledge of Space

Trajectories, Networks and Places of Disparate Infrastructures: Spatial Figures, Attitudes and Social Inequalities

The subproject investigates the question to what extent the spatial environment of central infrastructural facilities, as experienced in everyday life, influences attitudes towards social justice and redistribution as well as assessments of existing inequalities, which are becoming increasingly polarized and therefore seem to drive processes of refiguration. Hereby, the subproject conceives of environments of everyday life not as fixed container spaces, as is usually done in quantitative spatial studies of social inequality, but as individual entanglements of network and trajectorial spaces spanning different places. Looking at respondents’ places of residence and work, the subproject analyzes the relationship, interlinkage and overlap between them.

Since studies using quantitative survey data to examine social inequality in relation to space tend to maintain a one-sided territorial focus based around the respondents’ place of residence, other spatial dimensions have largely been ignored. The subproject aims to close this research gap by incorporating further spatial figures, both theoretically and empirically. For this purpose, the project uses the geolocation information of the quantitative survey data provided by the Socio-Economic Panel. In addition to providing data on specific administrative regions, linking the different data sources to the survey data at the level of exact spatial coordinates allows the subproject to use geocoded data to characterize the specific locations of infrastructures and to model their actual integration into the spatial network as well as the pathway patterns of respondents.

The subproject thereby reconstructs trajectory and network spaces around respondents’ places of residence and work in order to (1) form typologies, which are then (2) related to sociodemographic data on social inequality. In a further step (3), the subproject connects this data with attitudinal data on social justice and redistribution. This combination enables an examination of the influence of spatial figures on attitudes regarding redistribution, and on notions of justice and the associated conflicts. We anticipate that concrete spatial experiences of inequality are relevant in shaping attitudes regarding distribution and justice. The subproject thus offers an innovative contribution to the study of the relationship between space and social inequality. It examines the role of spatial figures and processes of refiguration associated with socio-spatial polarization with reference to normative spatial knowledge.