Why isn't Google welcome in Kreuzberg? Social movement and the effects of Internet on urban space

  • Advances in information and communication technologies such as the Internet have driven a great transformation in the interactions between individuals and the urban environment. As the use of the Internet in cities becomes more intense and diverse, there is also a restructuring of urban space, which is experienced by groups in society in various ways, according to the specificity of each context.Advances in information and communication technologies such as the Internet have driven a great transformation in the interactions between individuals and the urban environment. As the use of the Internet in cities becomes more intense and diverse, there is also a restructuring of urban space, which is experienced by groups in society in various ways, according to the specificity of each context. Accordingly, large Internet companies have emerged as new players in the processes of urbanization, either through partnerships with the public administration or through various services offered directly to urban residents. Once these corporations are key actors in the digitalization of urban services, their operations can affect the patterns of urban inequality and generate a series of new struggles over the production of space. Interested in analyzing this phenomena from the perspective of civil society, the present Master Thesis examined a social movement that prevented Google to settle a new startup campus in the district of Kreuzberg, in Berlin. By asking why Google was not welcome in that context, this study also sought to understand how internet, as well as its main operators, has affected everyday life in the city. Thus, besides analyzing the movement, I investigated the particularities of the urban context where it arose and the elements that distinguish the mobilization’s opponent. In pursuit of an interdisciplinary approach, I analyzed and discussed the results of empirical research in dialogue with critical theories in the fields of urban studies and the Internet, with emphasis on Castells' definitions of urban social movements and network society (1983, 2009, 2015), Couldry's and Mejias' (2019) idea of data colonialism, Lefèbvre's (1991, 1996) concepts of abstract space and the right to the city, as well as Zuboff's (2019) theory of surveillance capitalism. The case at hand has exposed that Google plays a prominent role in the way the Internet has been developed and deployed in cities. From the perspective accessed, the current appropriation of Internet technologies has been detrimental to individual autonomy and has contributed to intensifying existing inequalities in the city. The alternative vision to this relies mainly on the promotion of decentralized solidarity networks.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Author:M.Sc. Karina Mendonça de Almeida
DOI (Cite-Link):https://doi.org/10.25643/bauhaus-universitaet.4244Cite-Link
URN (Cite-Link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-20200924-42446Cite-Link
Advisor:Prof. Dr. Frank EckardtORCiDGND, M.Sc. Anton Brokow-LogaGND
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2020/09/21
Date of first Publication:2020/09/21
Date of final exam:2020/09/16
Release Date:2020/09/24
Publishing Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Granting Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik [bis 2014 Fakultät Architektur]
Institutes:Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik [bis 2014 Fakultät Architektur] / Institut für Europäische Urbanistik
Pagenumber:132
Tag:Berlin; Internet; Social movement; tech company; urban space
GND Keyword:Soziale Bewegung; Internet; Stadt
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Sozialwissenschaften
BKL-Classification:70 Sozialwissenschaften allgemein / 70.99 Sozialwissenschaften allgemein: Sonstiges
71 Soziologie / 71.38 Soziale Bewegungen
74 Geographie, Raumordnung, Städtebau / 74.79 Raumordnung, Städtebau: Sonstiges
Licence (German):License Logo Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung (CC BY 4.0)