Cultural Geography Workgroup

Civic Engagement and Everyday Life

Practices of civic engagement in the context of public services in rural areas


Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (2018-2019)
Head of project: Prof. Dr. Florian Dünckmann
Research associate: Jens Reda


Civic engagement currently gains a lot of attention in the German rural development context. Closed village shops and doctors` offices, declining numbers of pupils and a growing number of elderly people are no longer an exception in many rural areas. Although, these processes take place in varying intensities these processes pertain as problematic.

In this context and against the backdrop of a welfare state crisis many studies debate the potentials and limits of civic engagement for maintenance of formerly public services in rural areas. Furthermore, researchers critically discuss the shift in responsibility from state institutions towards citizens and demand a stronger focus on subjective perceptions and everyday meanings of civic engagement.

Taking up these issues, the research project focusses on the relationship between civic engagement and everyday life in rural areas. Based on the question how civic engagement and everyday life are entangled, the project aims to develop a conceptual approach to uncover the everyday meanings of civic engagement in its spatiotemporal as well as its affective dimensions.



project-related presentations

22.02.2019 Reda, Jens: "Ich kann gerne mithelfen und unterstützen, aber ich bin nicht das Zugpferd" - Praktiken des Engagements in der ländlichen Daseinsvorsorge. 23. Jahrestagung des AK Ländliche Räume, Göttingen.

27.01.2018 Reda, Jens: Practicing ‚The Rest‘ - Alltag zwischen affektiver Situiertheit und raumzeitlicher Strukturierung. Neue Kulturgeographie XV, Session: Alltagspraktiken und Affekte, Freiburg.