Core Members

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Brand

Ulrich Brand is Professor of International Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences. His main research interests are the crisis of liberal globalisation, (global) social-ecological topics like resource politics and Green Economy, critical state and governance studies and Latin America. Together with Markus Wissen, he introduced the concept of the "imperial mode of living”. This concept refers to dominant patterns of production, distribution, and consumption that are deeply rooted in the everyday practices of the upper and middle classes of the global North, and increasingly in the emerging countries of the global South. The monograph "Imperial Mode of Living" from 2017 (in German) will be published in eight languages. His research on “degrowth” is linked to emerging debates on “post-growth cities”. Recently, he led two research projects on trade unions and social-ecological transformation. Moreover, Brand is scientific coordinator of the Research Network on Latin America at the University of Vienna.

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Dr. Yvonne Franz

Yvonne Franz is University Assistant (post-doc) at the Department of Geography and Regional Research and at the Department of Sociology. She is the Scientific Co-Director of the Postgraduate Programme “Cooperative Urban and Regional Development” at the Postgraduate Center at University of Vienna and the Local Coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Urban Studies (4CITIES). Yvonne explores multi-scalar and multi-actor constellations of urban transformation with a specific focus on the role of urban neighbourhoods. As an urban geographer, she contributes theoretical and empirical knowledge on urban revitalisation, gentrification, super-diversity and social innovation. For critical reflections on future urban challenges, she will draw on these theoretical concepts to develop further a more differentiated understanding of exclusionary mechanisms but also enabling structures. Yvonne will contribute her experience in mixed-methods research and her implementation knowledge on urban living labs to support the design of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research collaborations.

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Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Pol. Univ. Dr. Michaela Pfadenhauer

Michaela Pfadenhauer is Professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences. She is one of the main representatives of the New Sociology of Knowledge and is committed to the further development from Social to Communicative Constructivism, and she is the chairwomen of the Sociology of Knowledge-research network in the German Sociological Association. Michaela Pfadenhauer is interested in characteristics of sociality in mediatized urban lifeworlds. She contributed significantly to research on post traditional communities, artificial companionship and digitalization processes in economic fields of action. Her dramatological approach in the sociology of professions emphasizes the performative accomplishments of actors necessary to establish expert competence in practice. In the field of qualitative social research, Michaela Pfadenhauer has contributed significantly to the further development and international dissemination of lifeword-analytic ethnography, expert interviews and phenomenologically oriented interpretive approaches. To the present day, Michaela Pfadenhauer has (co-)lead fifteen research projects and thus gained a wealth of experience as a head of research groups. She has held guest professorships at University of St. Gallen (CH), Boston University (US), University of South Florida (US), Keio University (Japan).

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ao. Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Christoph Reinprecht

Christoph Reinprecht is Associate Professor for Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences. He is interested in the transformation of the social, with emphasis on migration, urban living, and housing. His empirical research deals with various aspects of social inequality and situations of social vulnerability in different urban contexts, and in relation to migration, and exile. In his program of a sociology of Vienna, he is focusing on the analysis of emerging forms of the post-social, in particular in the field of social housing. Interested in the interplay between urban structures and empirical sociology, he is currently researching the constitution of the social field of empirical sociology in Vienna. Reinprecht is Associate Researcher at the Center de la Recherche sur l'Habitat in Paris, coordinator of the research group Social Housing and Globalization at the European Network for Housing Research and chairman of the Faculty's research network Migration, Citizenship and Belonging. He has been for several years visiting professor at the University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis. Actively involved in the public use of scientific knowledge, he is member of several public advisory boards, such as the international scientific board of the International Building Exhibition IBA Vienna 'New Social Housing' 2022, and the integration-policy forum wien.welt.offen; he is also president of the Austrian Society for Exile Research.

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Univ.-Prof. Dr. Brigitta Schmidt-Lauber

Brigitta Schmidt-Lauber vertritt die Europäische Ethnologie als historisch argumentierende, gegenwartsorientierte empirische Alltagskulturwissenschaft. Als solche wirkt sie zugleich im Herausgebergremium unterschiedlicher interdisziplinärer Zeitschriften mit („Historische Anthropologie“, „Jahrbuch StadtRegion“, Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften“). Ihre Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen im Bereich Ethnographie und qualitative Methoden sowie relationaler Stadt- und Raumforschung („Mittelstadt“, „Wiener Urbanitäten“, „Aushandlungen städtischer Größe“). Auch Fragen populärer Kultur („FC St. Pauli. Zur Ethnographie eines Vereins“), alltäglicher Befindlichkeiten („Gemütlichkeit“) oder Ethnisierungsprozesse und Rassifizierungsdynamiken („Die verkehrte Hautfarbe“) beschäftigen sie.

Nach ihrem Studium der Volkskunde, Ethnologie und Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte promovierte und habilitierte sich Brigitta Schmidt-Lauber an der Universität Hamburg. 2006 bis 2009 war sie Professorin am Institut für Kulturanthropologie/Europäische Ethnologie der Universität Göttingen und seit 2009 leitet sie das Institut für Europäische Ethnologie der Universität Wien.

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