Institute of Historical and Cultural Anthropology


Cities are places where cultural change can easily be observed and experienced. Urban locations such as public squares, streets or shopping centers can be read as zones of contact between people who inhabit different milieus, and who have different mentalities, and who over the course of time do not have the same measure of power to take action or define terms. In the context of gentrification processes, one can observe how a working-class neighborhood metapmorphoses from an artists’ quarter into a high-priced residential area. This also means that cities, in their architectural development and their atmospheric charge, must also be understood as places of negotiation among people, institutions and materialities.
In the course of research, it is possible to adopt a great variety of perspectives: social inequality, multiculturality and multireligiosity, the city as a locus of consumption, the city as an experiential space, and many others. What all of the studies dealing with urbanity have in common, however, is a focus on the stakeholders who live in and create cities. In addition, the examination of the development of big cities such as Stuttgart, and also small and medium-sized cities in the surrounding area, provides clues that are essential for understanding present-day Baden-Württemberg.