Neighbours and Strangers: An Introduction to Urban Sociology

The course serves as an introduction to urban sociology, thus illustrating key discussions and inviting to a deeper acquaintance with selected topics. It focuses on the city as a key arena of (co)creation, consumption, a manifestation of culture, and on the actors shaping it. Its penetrating questions will be those defining connections and relations: why some aspects of reality, communities, spaces, structures, texts, sounds, visual markers, possibilities become "ours", while others are perceived as "strange", some remaining invisible? What makes these connections? Who are the actors who support, destroy and change them? What resources do they mobilize to support their own decisions and future projects? How can a "stranger" become a "neighbour"? Why is urban diversity an important resource for culture? In this course, I am interested in how we form ties with the city in its many manifestations and how, thanks to our knowledge, emotions and actions, the city (its past, present and future) ceases to be alien and becomes ours.

Dr. Natalia Otrishchenko

A sociologist, researcher of urban life and city planning at the Center for Urban History. A graduate of the History Department, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and postgraduate program at the Institute of Sociology of NASU. Participant in international and Ukrainian research projects, tutor at summer schools and informal education programs. Lives and works in Lviv.

Leads the Urban Media Archive's "Urban Stories" and conducts research "Urban Experts and Changing Cities: Reshaping Professional Field (1970s-2010s)" within the "Planned Urbanity in Socialism and Beyond" focus. Natalia was a tutor and later coordinator of the Urban Summer Schools "Visions and Experiences" (2015-17), on behalf of her institution she was involved in the organization of Urban Summer school "Open Form" (Lublin-Szumin-Warsaw, 2018).

Her areas of academic interests include methodology and methods of sociological research, oral history, projective methods, urban sociology, spatial and social transformations after the state socialism.

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