Jörg Niewöhner

Ecologies of the City: Ethnographies of Bio- and Geopolitical Practice

Zur Ethnografie bio- und geopolitischer Praxis

Shortlink: https://www.waxmann.com/artikelART101524

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Abstract

In this essay, I describe life- and climate-scientifically informed Bio- and Geo-Politics as important drivers of incremental change in urban everyday life. In three steps, I develop a social anthropological research programmatic that allows analysis of such change. Firstly, I identify a new role for knowledge practices in the enactment of techniques of government in times of real experiments. Secondly, I demonstrate that German European Ethnology as well as anthropology internationally harbors a neglected tradition of systematic long-term, methodologically broad research that is worth re-considering. It is really the only way to analytically capture incremental socio-ecological change. In a third and last step, I sketch a research programmatic rooted within a relational understanding of urban everyday life that pleads for an ethnography of infrastructure and of administrative practice. I emphasize the necessary role of epistemic partnerships with other actors in science as well as in urban development. This form of co-laborative anthropology furthers a new understanding of reflexivity and critique as mobility.

Keywords
urban anthropology, ecology, ethnography, infrastructure, biopolitics, geopolitics