The City as Experiential Space: The Production of Shared Meaning


Cities obviously differ from each other. Sociologically, this difference becomes significant when your aim is to ascertain the influence of local factors in a globalizing world or to understand processes of societal differentiation. To do so, scholars in the areas of urban and regional sociology, community research and local policy can turn to a number of theoretical and empirical studies on cities, municipalities, or, less specifically, the local setting as societally formative units that resist global influences. In this article I continue to ask how cities socialize in a way that allows shared experience to emerge in communities. Grounded in the sociology of knowledge shaped by German thinkers such as Max Weber, Alfred Schütz, Karl Mannheim, Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, my aim is to illustrate that specific stocks of knowledge based on habitualized experience arise in every city. Intrinsic logic captures the hidden structures of cities as locally well‐established, operative processes of sense‐making along with their physical, material manifestations.