In 2013, Dipl.-Geographer Sandra Schindlauer received a PhD scholarship from the state of Thuringia. Within the range of the two-year maturity she would like to successfully complete her dissertation on the subject "The Strategic Dealing with Home- and Houseless People in Public Spaces in German Cities", supervised by Prof. Dr. Frank Eckardt.

Abstract

"The Strategic Dealing with Home- and Houseless People in Public Spaces in German Cities"

The major goal of this PhD project is the identification and analysis of municipal strategies in the dealing with home- and houseless people. Because of various reasons, home- and houseless people are more than anybody else dependent on the resources of and the possibility to stay in public space. However, because of their appearance and behavior, they get constantly into conflict with inhabitants, municipal authorities and salesmen.

Through the examination of three case studies (Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich), the actions which are being taken by the authorities in order to control and guide the behavior of the home- and houseless people in public spaces, shall be explored. In the context of the current debates on SOS (security, order and spruceness) and the right to the city, one focus will lie on the motives, reasons and justifications for the execution of these actions. The juridical dimension will thereby be taken into account as well as the societal perception of the problem “home- and houselessness in Germany”. Additionally, focus will be given to those (structural) arrangements of appearance of the public spaces which are specifically designed to keep home- and houseless from using these spaces and how the persons affected cope with these circumstances. Within the empirical work, one main characteristic will be the conduction of narrative interviews with the home- and houseless themselves, municipal authorities and social workers. It is anticipated that this is the only way how to comprehend this complex topic.

To what extent this subject has been disregarded in German social research since the 1970s show not least the facts that there is neither a statistic about home- and houselessness existing in Germany, nor an universally valid definition.

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Short Biography

1986 born in the Hessian capital Wiesbaden. Studies in urban/social geography, journalism and sociology; additional interdisciplinary qualification in European Migration Research at the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz (Germany) and the Midsweden University, Östersund (Sweden). Diploma thesis on the topic of “The Support System for the Homeless in San Francisco”, funded by the Institute of Geography at the Johannes Gutenberg-University and the “Stipendienstiftung Rhineland-Palatinate”. Research stays in the USA, Brazil and Canada. Longer-term stays abroad in Sweden (voluntary semester abroad) and on Malta (internship funded by the EU Servicepoint). Since 2012 voluntary activity at an institution working with the home- and houseless and voluntary translator for the nonprofit internet portal “TED – ideas worth spreading”. Also since 2012 doctoral candidate at the Bauhaus-University in Weimar, lecturer and academic assistant at the faculty of Architecture and Urbanism.

Areas of Research
Social inequality (primarily in western nations), home- and houselessness, public spaces (special focus on arrangement of appearance), strategies of the marginalization of urban fringe groups