7329321, The Art of Getting Lost: Qualitative Methods in Urban Studies, 5 cr
Languages of instruction
The Art of Getting Lost: Qualitative Methods in Urban Studies
The Art of Gett
Social and Public Policy
Form of study
Teaching designed for
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REMS Master's programme students and Master's students in social and public policy, sociology and social psychology
Walter Benjamin describes at the beginning of Berlin Childhood around 1900 the experience of getting lost in the own city as something laborious, something which requires ‘some schooling’. Without a method, it would be impossible to overcome the routines of our movements, when walking around and the stereotyped images, when thinking about the city. The main aim of this course is to familiarize with qualitative methods of social research in the urban context. This will be achieved through frontal lectures and workshops. We will systematically address qualitative methods that urban scholars developed to approach the city as a field of research.
We will learn how to use interviews, participatory observation, focus groups, but also how to analyse policy documents, maps, academic articles and conference minutes. We will practice new ways to ‘look around’ and develop a scientific critical gaze towards the urban environment. Urban representations from the media and from the cultural sector will also be taken into account, we will learn how to gain a wider understanding of some urban phenomena through a picture, a film or a pop song. In addition, we will also address present and past researchers and research groups to understand their methods and their approaches towards the city.