How to Read Space: Methods for a Spatial Analysis in Discourse Research

Sybille Bauriedl


Discourses are embedded in the social context of their evolutionary history and they are spatially embedded. Therefore a discourse analysis needs an historical and a spatial perspective. Working with these two perspectives implicates epistemological and methodological problems. To make conclusions about the spatial anchoring of discourses and about the relation of these discourses, have to transfer the terms "space", "place" and "locality" into the conception of discourse research. And there have to be developed a methodology which can measure the reflexive processes of construction and constitution of spaces and systems of signification. This contribution discusses methods, empirical practice and special problems with interpreting the empirical outcome of space sensitive discourse analysis with a case study. An empirical program to interpret spatial metaphors of a discoursive order will be introduced for the topic of the sustainability debate in Hamburg. The material productivity of sustainability discourses has been worked out by the example of an urban development project at the Hamburg waterfront, called HafenCity.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0702139


space; place; multi-layer analysis; sustainability; narratives; local stories; local discourses; mixed methods


Copyright (c) 2007 Sybille Bauriedl

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