The secret life of the neighbourhoods

Young researchers write urban history

In the project "Das geheime Leben der Grätzel" (“The Secret life of the Neighborhood”) young people of two Viennese schools became urban researchers and experts of their district. The focus of this participatory urban study was on the analysis of multilingualism in urban areas. Accompanied by an interdisciplinary team of researchers and students of the Vienna University of Education, the pupils explored their “Grätzel” and documented their own views on the multi-lingual city.

In the theoretical framework of the project, migration studies and urban sociology were combined with theories of multilingualism and notions of emancipatory pedagogy. In the participatory research process sociological insights were put into dialogue with the young people’s findings. This provided new impetus to scientific debates on urban transnationalization processes.

Based on the jointly produced knowledge and in transdisciplinary collaboration with experts and students of the Vienna University of Pedagogy, theoretically sound and practically proven teaching and learning material for multilingual education is produced in the project, which can henceforth be used for teacher education.

Project goals:
• Expanding young people’s knowledge, agency and strategies of appropriating space through research practice. Producing a “guided tour” through the neighborhood.
• New findings for urban sociology and migration studies through focusing on multilingualism and through a dialogical research approach, in which social science’s and young people’s gazes are combined.
• Developing and strengthening emancipatory pedagogy of multilingualism in school contexts through collaborative work with the Vienna University of Education and by the creation of multilingual teaching and learning materials.

This project has been completed.