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BRODY Luca Sara

My engagement with urban studies emerged through a strong interest in the shifting nature of norms and rules across Europe, focusing on the powerful role of social policies in creating collective responses to social problems. I finished my first masters in sociology and economics in my hometown Budapest, Hungary. In later years, I was trained as a critical urban sociologist at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and currently I am a third year PhD candidate in Urban Studies at the Gran Sasso Science Institute in L’Aquila, Italy.

Formerly in Budapest I was trained and worked with the use of quantitative methods, though since my second masters in Amsterdam I have been conducting qualitative studies in different urban contexts. In Amsterdam, I analysed community gardening projects as spaces where various institutions, such as the local administration, housing associations, and NGOs have a varied level of influence and control, unpacking the notion of ‘controlled space’, and describing how diverse the interaction between citizens and institutional governance actors can be.While in Barcelona, through a preliminary research I explored how the city opened up to various participation arrangements to involve civil society in managing municipal vacant land through temporary uses.

During my investigations, what have always inspired me were the particular intertwinements of cultural contexts and structures of power, and the antagonism of social sciences in approaching the relationship of the two. Therefore, in my dissertation I aim to unfold the influences of global politics on socio-cultural entities, exploring how they function in each city’s political economy and social life, with an interest in doing comparative urban research. On a broader scope my academic interests deal with the analysis of how an urbanizing world and social innovation can contribute to a better provision of foundational goods and services, and adapt a more just city. As the research aims to highlight European trends, I chose two cities for my fieldwork: Barcelona and Budapest. In both cities I conducted fieldwork as a visiting researcher, at the University of Barcelona, and at Central European University, respectively.

 

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