Diversity of Cultures – Unequal City

A transdisciplinary research project on urban development, social cohesion, and transculturality

The transdisciplinary and international project explores cultural and socioeconomic diversity and inequality by analyzing spatial, social, and gender-related strategies of everyday life of girls and boys from an urban milieu characterized by experience of migration. These new urban life realities, where intercultural exchange and transculturality emerges and socioeconomic and cultural polarization is reinforced, create complex, and contextually differing structures of concomitance of modernization and fragmentation. Therefore, the interconnections between social, gender-related, and cultural dimensions of diversity and inequality and the chances and blockades of development for children and youth will be researched through activating, explorative and interactive methods in different contexts, schools, and countries.

The participating girls and boys and their role as experts of everyday life would be the key for a better understanding of the multidimensional dynamics of this contradictory phenomenon. Collaborative interpretation would be one of the main methods to achieve this aim. The research process was interactive because the experiential knowledge of the children and youth is the starting point for this investigation. The aim of this collaborative research was to verbalize and systematize this knowledge by identifying and specifying logics of action.

In a separate process of abstraction project assistants and graduating students would identify structures and institutions, which enhance or constrain different aspects of diversity and inequality. This is the basis for generating theories on social cohesion and understanding multidimensional processes, which create bonds, barriers, and bridges.

The generation of such structural models was the necessary framework to identify together with school students barriers and bridges, which facilitate or impede mobility and integration on the one hand and social cohesion and local identity-building on the other. This transdisciplinary projected furthermore aims at supporting girls and boys to better understand their structural embedding and identify new potential for agency.

This project has been completed.