Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Berlin Institute for Empirical Integration and Migration Research (BIM)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | BIM | Departments | Integration, Social Networks and Cultural Lifestyles

Integration, Social Networks and Cultural Lifestyles



Society as a heterogeneous formation

In our department, we investigate the everyday orientations and lifeworld ties of social actors in the migration society.

With this orientation, it should become clear that it is no longer only about traditional ethnic or national affiliations, but above all about the changing assignments of people and groups to social lifeworlds and cultural lifestyles.

In this respect, society is understood as a heterogeneous and processual formation, in whose urban and rural spaces of encounter, "migrant as well as „native“ identities are constantly renegotiated.

Three perspectives of the department


  1. Migration research is to be reconceptualized under the conditions of global mobility. Migration does not take place in seemingly remote „parallel societal“ spaces, but in the midst of society. There is hardly any area of our working and living environments today that is not affected by migration and mobility.

  2. In Germany, the concept of migration has so far been subject to a particular semantic narrowing, because it has been reduced to economic and poverty motives on the one hand, and to cultural and foreignness problems on the other. Stereotypes must be broken down and reworked in order to be able to analyze the real cultural forms and practices.

  3. Research on civic values and practices is directed at policy projects, discourses and institutions in which different actors negotiate their different positions on fundamental social issues that are nevertheless shared. Integration and segregation processes are particularly evident there and are also addressed by the actors. Which mixtures and collections, but also which tensions and conflicts occur here, will be investigated in joint projects with civil society actors.

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