New themes for Master's theses in social geography

Call for Master's Theses / Diploma Theses in Social Geography

General Remark: All Master Theses / Diploma Theses can be written in English or German.

 

Sozialräumliche Analyse der suburbanen Wirkungen von urbanen Gentrifizierungsprozessen in der Stadt Wien, dargestellt am Beispiel der Region Triestingtal (Niederösterreich)

Social, architectural, and cultural upgrading in urban spaces – phrased as gentrification in particular and socio-spatial segregation in general – leads to social and spatial changes in both urban areas and suburban regions. The latter serve as an alternative housing opportunity for the displaced urban residents. The master thesis aims at investigating processes of potential displacement through gentrification of urban districts in Vienna. The concrete study area is the region of Triestingtal (Lower Austria), a traditionally industrialized region with a high proportion of the working class. Does displacement causes new socio-spatial challenges in this region, and if so, in what ways?

 

Support of Social-Spatial Integration through Civil Local Engagement. Studies in the Region ‘Mühlviertler Alm’, Upper Austria.

The region ‘Mühlviertler Alm’, located north of Linz in Upper Austria, is the venue of this year’s social festival “Keep the Ball Rolling”. Approx. 100 project proposals have been submitted and approx. 60% will be funded in 2014. One focus is dedicated to social local integration of immigrants and other underprivileged citizens. The master thesis / diploma thesis aims at investigating the idea, concept, effects and management of social-spatial integration. Qualitative interviews with persons involved in these projects are compulsory. Travel costs will be funded.

 

“Everyone contributes to her / his abilities”. Support of Local Communities in the Farming Sector – the Project MILAN in Bad Zell, Upper Austria.

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a new form of collective inclusion of privates (or households) into agrarian production. While suppliers of CSA benefit from secure production because of guaranteed purchase, demanders do so by regional products which are mostly ecologically and sustainably produced. In addition, an active collaboration is possible which can be accounted with time vouchers (apart from paying a membership fee for renting a parcel). MILAN represents such an approach, comprising currently of two farms. The aim of the master thesis / diploma thesis is to investigate the community- and inclusion-based approaches. Qualitative interviews with persons involved in this project are compulsory. Travel costs will be funded.

 

Social Sustainability of Regional Community-Building Initiatives. The Social Festival “Keep the Ball Rolling” in the Styrian Iron Alley Region (Styria).

Usually, regional community-building initiatives aim at supporting an improvement of social togetherness via regional top-down strategies (e.g. of integration, well-being and health care, neighborhood support). The social festival “Keep the Ball Rolling” applies a consequent bot-tom-up approach instead. Project proposals from regional people are being awarded and financed by a jury whose members are partly from the region as well. Responsibility and power to act are thus fully in the hands of regional representatives – from the idea to the implementation. The master thesis / diploma thesis attempts to critically investigate this approach scientifically. The data is already available, but must now be analyzed either with a qualitative-interpretative or a network-analytical approach.

 

Social Sustainability of Regional Community-Building Initiatives. The Social Festival “Keep the Ball Rolling” in the Lungau Region (Salzburg).

Usually, regional community-building initiatives aim at supporting an improvement of social togetherness via regional top-down strategies (e.g. of integration, well-being and health care, neighborhood support). The social festival “Keep the Ball Rolling” applies a consequent bottom-up approach instead. Project proposals from regional people are being awarded and financed by a jury whose members are partly from the region as well. Responsibility and power to act are thus fully in the hands of regional representatives – from the idea to the implementation. The master thesis / diploma thesis attempts to critically investigate this approach scientifically. The data is already available, but must now be analyzed either with a qualitative-interpretative or a network-analytical approach.

 

Social Network Dynamics of Regional Bottom-Up Initiatives. An Agent-Based Model-ing and Simulation Approach.

Social initiatives which promote community support and individual participation significantly influence structures of social networks in a local to regional context. Changing existing struc-tures and creating new ones are both observable. The master thesis / diploma thesis shall investigate whether or not and how such bottom-up approaches are capable of creating new and/or reinforcing existing ties among agents. The simulation model shall be developed with existing comprehensive data sets from three rounds of the social festivals “Keep the Ball Rolling” (two past and one present event). The methodological part of the thesis applies the NetLogo modeling and simulation tool which includes an extension for modeling networks. Experience in programming and some knowledge of NetLogo would be necessary.

 

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