Contestations of the ›Social‹
„Contestations of ‚the social’ — Towards a Movement-Based Ethnographic Social (State) Regimes Analysis” is a research project that examines the ongoing transformations of social security systems in cities of the Global North. In collaboration with multilingual community organizations of precariously employed and unemployed individuals, we investigate socio-political conflicts within the crisis-ridden everyday life of today’s migration and labor society.
The first project phase (2022–2026) takes place in Berlin, Oldenburg and Frankfurt (Main). A second phase (2026–2028) will extend the perspective to the UK and the USA.
Our Emmy Noether Junior Research Group is based at the Institute for Empirical Cultural Studies and European Ethnology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and is funded by the German Research Foundation.
Subprojects and Partners
The research group leader Dr. Lisa Riedner works with the unemployed initiative BASTA! in Berlin. She is interested, among other things, in disputes about social welfare fraud and family values.
BASTA! is made by the unemployed, low-income workers and students with little money. BASTA! opens a consultation café several times a week on issues related to the citizen’s income, and conducts campaigns and training sessions. The group speaks mainly Italian, Greek, English, and German.
More info: https://bastaberlin.de/
A. Valentina Moraru works on migration, morality and processes of differentiation in the context of precarious labor markets in Oldenburg. Her project partner is the Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg, also known as ALSO.
The Arbeitslosenselbsthilfe Oldenburg (Oldenburg Unemployed Self-Help) ranks as one of the oldest independent unemployed initiatives in Germany. It is occupied since the 1980s with helping individuals navigate and potentially argue with different authorities and at the same time, tries to create a place of community in the city. They carry out these activities in several languages and in several places nearby Oldenburg.
More info: https://www.also-zentrum.de/
Tim Herbold focuses on the interactions between migrants, grassroots organizations, public institutions and local politicians. He works together with Project Shelter in Frankfurt am Main.
About Project Shelter
Project.Shelter is part of a political movement that advocates for more solidarity and participation for all city dwellers. We are a group of people with and without a history of flight or migration, working in a grassroots democratic way to fight for or protect the rights of homeless migrants and refugees in Frankfurt/Main and to guarantee that their needs are met. This includes first and foremost the provision of private housing, but also the provision of tickets for public transport and bicycles, the financing of food, medical care and clothing, as well as language support and translations for official matters. Last but not least, the project provides a focal point for gathering, mutual exchange and joint activities of participants and interested parties. It enables migrants and others to organize themselves, to develop common demands and to carry these outward in the form of actions and demonstrations. In this way, among other things, hierarchies between people with innate privileges and those who are disadvantaged qua identity papers are to be recognized and dismantled.
More info: https://projectshelterde.noblogs.org/arbeitsweise/