Session 18

D4 Comparative Urbanism and Qualitative Social Research

Recent conceptualizations of comparative urbanism have had a major impact on social science research on urban spaces in recent years. In this sense, comparative urbanism stands for a non-hierarchical and open comparison of urban contexts in a global framework, taking into account connections between the entities being compared (e.g., Robinson 2016). In this ses-sion we want to discuss “comparative urbanism” from the perspective of qualitative social re-search, whose methodological approaches are often equally associated with a great emphasis on comparative operations (e.g., in grounded theory). In this session, which is intentionally kept very open, we welcome conceptual and/or empirical contributions, as well as reports from field research practice. Papers may deal with the following topics, among others: (1) What qualitative methods are appropriate for comparing urban phenomena (ethnogra-phy, interview studies, mappings, etc.)? (2) What are the practical challenges of comparative projects in urban contexts? (3) How can results that are located on specific spatial scales (e.g. house, neighborhood, city) be translated to other scales, or, more generally, how can suitable case levels for comparisons be defined? (4) From an interpretative perspective, how can we compare the lifeworlds, the practices, the interpretations and the stocks of knowledge of urban residents? (5) How can we deal with the complexity of including spatial as well as temporal aspects in urban comparisons? (6) What is the significance for comparative projects of additional classifications such as cities in the Global South/Global North, in the center/periphery, “global cities”, “Southern cities”, etc. (7) Are there failed comparisons of urban phenomena?