PD Dr. Silke Steets
'Privatdozentin' for Sociology at Technische Universität Darmstadt

Technische Universität Darmstadt
Institute for Sociology

Dolivostrasse 15
D - 64293 Darmstadt

Tel. : + 49 . (0) 6151 . 16 - 57380



Dipl.-Soz., Goethe University Frankfurt (1999); Dr. phil., Technische Universität Darmstadt (2007); Habilitation, Technische Universität Darmstadt (2013)

Research interests

• Social theory
• Sociology of knowledge

• Urban Sociology, Sociology of Space, Sociology of Architecture
• New urban ethnography
• Creative Industries
• Football and space
• Stadia

Silke Steets holds a temporary position as associate professor for sociology with a focus on urban sociology and the sociology of space. For more information, please visit

In her 2013 completed Habilitation thesis »Der sinnhafte Aufbau der gebauten Welt«, she developes a knowledge-sociological approach to architecture extending Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s by now classic work »The Social Construction of Reality« (1966) to the built world. Her theoretical reflections are consolidated through case studies on modern dwellings, as developed by the Bauhaus.

Beside this, Silke’s research is mainly concerned with the relationship between space, popular culture, contemporary art and the city. Her dissertation »Wir sind die Stadt!« (2008) is based on an ethnographic community study in Leipzig. As a member of the art projects niko.31 and general panel Silke interviewed video artists, independent book publishers, radio activists, designers, architects as well as people operating off-spaces or music clubs. The aim was to investigate these cultural worker's influences on the city’s self-perception. The book makes a strong case for taking seriously the in-between-character of the social and physical spaces produced within cultural networks and its potentials for the city.

Silke is a member of the German Sociological Association (DGS), the Sociology of Knowledge Section, the Urban and Regional Sociology Section (co-spokesperson since 2011) and the Architectural Sociology Working Group (co-spokesperson since 2009).


Selected publications in English

(2010) edited with Sybille Frank: Stadium Worlds – Football, Space and the Built Environment, London/New York, Routledge.

(2010) with niko.31 and Nils Emde: ‘Life with Walter – Living in the Bauhaus Törten Estate’, Generalist 3: 50–54.

(2006) edited with Helmuth Berking, Sybille Frank, Lars Frers, Martina Löw, Lars Meier and Sergej Stoetzer: Negotiating Urban Conflicts. Interaction, Space and Control, Bielefeld, transcript.

(2001) with Bastian Lange: ‘Cool Frankfurt? Emplacement Strategies of “New Entrepreneurs”’ in Regina Bittner (Ed) Die Stadt als Event, Frankfurt a. M./New York, Campus: 487–501.