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Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

Department of Geography

School of Social Geography

The constant production of new ideas and the re-evaluation of the current knowledge are the main strengths of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU Jena). Founded in 1558 by the provincial ruler Johann Friedrich I, the FSU history is connected with other great names such as Goethe, Schiller, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Haeckel and Zeiss. Today, the University offers a wide range of disciplines from sciences to humanities and has about 19,200 students.

Social Geography is concerned with human-space relations and interactions, with the two overarching questions being: How are societies organised from a spatial perspective? What is the role of space in social interaction? Social geographic research at the FSU focuses on phenomena in the urban environment, on the processes of globalisation and regionalisation and on questions concerning ecological issues and sustainability. Social geography also researches the local and regional expression of various cultural forms as well as with the historical development of techniques of using nature and the resultant cultural landscapes.

Our research team aims to link social theory to geography methodologically, as well as epistemologically. Present research focuses on the development of an ‘action-oriented geography’ towards a more general geographic theory of practice. In this context, empirical investigations of everyday ‘geography-making’ in late-modern societies are pursued. Specifically, these approaches include research on symbolic appropriations and image constructions in local and regional contexts.