Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Urban Sociology

Tobias Mettenberger

mettenbergerTobias Mettenberger, M.A. Social Sciences

Academic Experience

  • 10/2003-09/2007 Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Political Sciences at University of Constance
  • 10/2007-03/2011 Master of Arts in Social Sciences at Humboldt-University Berlin
  • 10/2010-3/2011 PhD-preparation at the Berlin Graduate School of Social Sciences (BGSS)
  • 04/2011- PhD student at the research unit Urban and Regional Sociology
  • 04/2011- Scholarship Holder within the Doctoral Program of the Research Institute for Regional and Urban Development (ILS), Dortmund
  • 9/2009- Research Assistant at the unit “Mobility and Infrastructure” at the German Institute for Urban Affairs (Difu), Berlin


Research Interests

  • Socio-spatial segregation
  • Social Inequalities
  • Urban Every Day Life
  • Spatial Theory
  • Mobility and Transportation


Dissertation Topic

Networks of Relevant Places: Youths in Nord Rhine-Westphalia medium size towns: their everyday practices and their orientations towards future

The dissertation project deals with the question, which influences socio-spatial contexts have on the action strategies and future orientations of youth Hauptschule pupils, regarding educational and professional development. To what extent the local environment provides resources, the youth make use of? How do the pupils perceive their social positions and their chances within their urban environment? Which is the impact of social space compared with other contexts (family, friends, virtual communication, mass media), or interplaying with those? At which urban places socio-spatial processes and situations – relevant for the development of the youth – can be located?

As a complement to the numerous existing studies, which lay their focuses on metropolitan spaces, this research has its emphasis on middle size towns.  Following the assumptions, that socio-spatial influences are developing in the interplay with subjectively motivated, heterogeneous and spatially disperse every day practices, it will be analyzed to what extend those processes occur in different contexts of middle size towns (rural regions, suburbia). Thereby a more differentiated understanding of neighborhood effects should be generated, taking into account the plurality of de facto occurring socio-spatial processes, which can shape the individual developmental chances – not only in a negative, but even in a positive way.    


  • (forthcoming): Stadtsoziologische Zugänge zum Quartier als Sozialraum. In: Deffner, Veronika; Meisel, Ulli (eds.): Das Quartier - Forschung aus raumstruktureller, sozialer, symbolischer und ökonomischer Perspektive. Essen: Klartext
  • 2011: "Amerika" als Spiegelbild - Zur Funktion eines Kontrastes im Diskurs "europäische Stadt". In: Frey, Oliver; Koch, Florian (eds.): Die Zukunft der Europäischen Stadt. Stadtpolitik, Stadtplanung und Stadtgesellschaft im Wandel. Wiesbaden, pp. 55–70. (together with Christine Hannemann)
  • 2010: Locally differentiated marginalization. An intrinsic logic of socio-spatial segregation? Arbeitspapier zur Konferenz „Understanding City Dynamics“. Darmstadt, September 24th ‐ September 26th.
  • 2010: Review of „Oliver Frey, Die amalgame Stadt“. In: Hannemann, Christine; Glasauer, Herbert; Pohlan, Jörg ; Pott, Andreas; Kirchberg, Volker (eds.): Jahrbuch StadtRegion 2009/10. Opladen, pp. 147-152.



tobias.mettenberger (at)