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Methods of Social Research Local Conventions of Hairdressing. Intrinsic Logic of Cities and Economics of Convention

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Economic Practices

Lupe

Local Conventions of Hairdressing. Intrinsic Logic of Cities and Economics of Convention

This project is conducted by a research team of German sociologist led by von Nina Baur and Martina Löw. The project  seeks to combine the concept of „intrinsic logics of cities“ with the „economics of conventions”. Using the hairdressing industry as case study, the project investigates if and how economic sectors are structured by (the logic of) a particular city. The project examines the various ways in which economic actions and processes are organized by local conventions. Based on research conducted in the first two years of this project, we were able to show that economic practices differ widely from city to city. In the third year we shall pursue our quantitative survey aiming at integrating it into a theoretical framework. We propose that the intrinsic logic of cities can be described by the types of economic practices which are themselves shaped by the city they are located in. The city is thus not conceptualized as an echo chamber, but is itself an active player, affecting and shaping economic activity.

As a highly standardized economic sector seemingly independent of location, the hairdressing industry is an ideal critical case and object of research for our project.

In the first two years of this project, we studied the reproduction of economic „leitmotifs” using social pattern analysis („Verlaufsmusteranalyse”). Parallely, we conducted a comparative ethnography in two economically successful hairdressing salons per city from contrasting market segments (neighborhood salons and city salons).

We were able to show that (irrespective of the market segment they belong to) each city’s hairdressers share (1) beliefs in what „economic rationality” means, i.e. what has to be done in order to be economically successful. These doctrines reproduce path-dependently and result in typical local (2) conventions – i.e. ways of solving problems, especially of organizing the salon and everyday working life –; (3) forms of communication and interaction with customers and colleagues and (4) time-space-arrangements.

In the first two years of this project we explored which economic practices are specific for each city, systematized these across cities and developed hypotheses based on our analyses. In the third year, we want to test our hypotheses using cross-sectional survey data based on the whole population of the four cities’ hairdressing businesses.

While the above findings focus on the economic micro-practices, a second focus shall be the examination of the macro-level. Using the same survey data, we want to answer the following questions: How is the market field structured? How is the market embedded in the local urban economy and social structure? How can the organizational population be divided in market segments? How are local producer-supplier networks organized? How is the market structured spatially? We suggest that each city develops its own distinct logic of the market field.

A third focus of this final project phase will be theoretically integrating our findings.

  

Project Group

Lupe

The project is part of the project group PAK 659 “The Intrinsic Logic of Cities”, fundet by the DFG. The Project Group aims at investigating cities as units of specific socializing character. Referring to spatial theory, the Project Group defines „city“ as a form differing in density and heterogeneity and including people in various ways in urban contexts. According to the thesis, each city provides the basis for the development of specific and distinguishable constellations of interrelated expertise and expression which determine people’s practices in various ways. The term “intrinsic logic of cities” determines these hidden urban structures as locally grown and to the most part silently effective pre-reflexive processes with all their bodily-material connotations.

The intrinsic logic of cities may be analysed by comparison only. And so the Project Group compares different case studies on discursive and material practices in two German and two British cities (Dortmund, Frankfurt on the Main, Birmingham, Glasgow). First, it seeks to identify typical and recurring patterns of each city and, in a second step, it combines the results of the subprojects with respect to the theoretical and methodological questions as to whether and how the different practical structures allow conclusions on an intrinsic structure of the respective city.

Funding Period

05/2011 - 04/2012 phase I

05/2012 - 04/2013 phase II

05/2013 - 09/2016 phase III

    

Contacts

Linda Hering 

Research Associate
E-Mail:

Technische Universität Berlin
School VI: Planning Building Environment
Department of Sociology

Administrative Office FH 9-1
Fraunhoferstraße 33-36
10587 Berlin

Former Staff

Dr. Lars Meier
Research Associate
E-Mail: 

Anna Laura Raschke
Research Associate
E-Mail: 

Publications

Baur, Nina/Löw, Martina/ Hering, Linda/Raschke, Anna Laura/Stoll, Florian (2014): Die Rationalität lokaler Wirtschaftspraktiken im Friseurwesen. Der Beitrag der „Ökonomie der Konventionen“ zur Erklärung räumlicher Unterschiede wirtschaftlichen Handelns. In: Bögenhold, Dieter (Hg.): Soziologie des Wirtschaftlichen: Alte und neue Fragen.

Meier, Lars/Griem, Julika (2014): Beim Frisuer in Glasgow. In: Frank, Sybille/Gehring, Petra/Griem, Julika/Haus, Michael (Hg.): Städte unterscheiden lernen. Zur Analyse interurbaner Kontraste. Frankfurt am Main, Campus.

Baur, Nina/Hering, Linda (2016): Konventionen und Wirtschaftskrisen. Zur Wahlverwandtschaft zwischen lokalen Wirtschaftspraktiken und wirtschaftlichen Entwicklungspfaden. Beitrag auf dem 37. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie "Routinen der Krise – Krise der Routinen" (im Erscheinen als Onlineressource auf der DGS Homepage)

Baur, Nina/Hering, Linda/Löw, Martina/Raschke, Anna Laura (2014): Tradition, Zukunft und Tempo im Friseursalon. In: Frank, Sybille/Gehring, Petra/Griem, Julika/Haus, Michael (Hrsg.): Städte unterscheiden lernen. Zur Analyse interurbaner Kontraste. Birmingham, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Glasgow. Frankfurt, New York: Campus.

Baur, Nina (2013): Praktiken des Haareschneidens. Verankerung von Wissen in ökonomischen Konventionen auf dem Friseurmarkt. In: SozBlog. Das Blog der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Quelle: http://soziologie.de/blog/?p=1736 am 16.04.2013

Baur, Nina (2013): Was ist eigentlich ein Markt? In: SozBlog. Das Blog der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Quelle: http://soziologie.de/blog/?p=997  am 13.03.2013

Baur, Nina (2013): Deutsche Wirtschaftsregionen. Über die Regionale Variation der Lebens-chancen in Deutschland. In: SozBlog. Das Blog der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Quelle: http://soziologie.de/blog/?p=1223 am 25.03.2013

Baur, Nina (2013): Raum ist nicht (nur) sozial konstruiert. Globalisierung und die räumliche Differenzierung der Produktionskette (Differenzierung 4). In: SozBlog. Das Blog der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Quelle: http://soziologie.de/blog/?p=1353 am 18.03.2013

Baur, Nina (2013): Globale Unternehmen und lokale Lebensverhältnisse. Der Einfluss der räumlichen Organisation der Produktion auf die Gesellschaft. In: SozBlog. Das Blog der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie. Quelle: http://soziologie.de/blog/?p=1558 am 10.04.2013

Baur, Nina (2013): Frische Lebensmittel. Qualitätskonventionen und die Organisation der Kühlkette in den USA, Deutschland und Asien. In: SozBlog. Das Blog der Deutschen Gesell-schaft für Soziologie. Quelle: soziologie.de/blog/ am 28.04.2013

Quermann, Anna Laura/Hering, Linda (2012): Lokale Konventionen des Friseurwesens. Gefühlsmanagement und Vereinbarkeit von Beruf und Privatem in einem Frauenberuf. In: Das frauenpolitische Forum an der TU Berlin WS12, S. 16-17

Löw, Martina (2012): The Intrinsic Logic of Cities. Towards a New Theory on Urbanism. Angenommen zur Publikation im Journal Urban Research & Practice. Online Vorabveröffentlichung des Journals: 05. Oktober 2012

Baur, Nina/Akremi, Leila (2012): Lebensstile und Geschlecht. In: Rössel, Jörg/Otte, Gunnar (Hg.): Lebensstilforschung. Sonderheft 51 der Kölner Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie (KZfSS). Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag, 269-294.

Löw, Martina/Terizakis, Georgios (Hg.) (2011): Städte und ihre Eigenlogik. Ein Handbuch für Stadtplanung und Stadtentwicklung. Frankfurt a.M./New York. Campus.

Löw, Martina/ Quermann, Anna Laura (2011): Mannheim – Weltoffenheit vor Ort. In: Stadtforschungsschwerpunkt der Technischen Universität Darmstadt (Hrsg.): Die Mannheim Studie. Zur Eigenlogik Mannheims.

Baur, Nina (2010): Mixing Process-Generated Data in Market Sociology. In: Quality & Quantity. DOI 10.1007/s11135-009-9288-x. ISSN 1573-7845.

Löw, Martina: Pre-structured Urban Development Opportunities – The theoretical idea of an intrinsic logic of cities and European case studies. In: Studies in Urban Humanities, Volume 1, No. 2, 2009, Edited by IUH (Institute for Urban Humanities) The University of Seoul, p. 135–153.

Löw, Martina (2008): A city’s own logic. The perspective of spatial sociology on urban theory. In: Jolanta Bielanska u.a. (Hg.): Konzepte und Handlungen (urban potentials). Berlin: Jovis, S. 280-286.

Löw, Martina (2008): Soziologie der Städte. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.

Berking, Helmuth/Löw, Martina (Hg.) (2008): Die Eigenlogik der Städte. Frankfurt am Main: Campus.

Otte, Gunnar/Baur, Nina (2008): Urbanism as a Way of Life? Räumliche Variationen der Lebensführung in Deutschland. In: Zeitschrift für Soziologie 37 (2), S. 93-116.

Baur, Nina (2008): Markt. In: Baur, Nina/Korte, Hermann/Löw, Martina/Schroer, Markus (Hg.): Handbuch Soziologie. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, S. 273-294.

Löw, Martina (2007): Metropolen zwischen Homogenisierung und Heterogenisierung. In: Internationale Bauausstellung IBA Hamburg GmbH (Hg.): Metropole: Reflexionen. Berlin: jovis Verlag, S. 96-109.

Berking, Helmuth/Löw, Martina (Hg.) (2005): Die Wirklichkeit der Städte. Sonderband 16: Soziale Welt, Baden-Baden: Nomos.

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