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practical consciousness is transferred over to
discursive consciousness and can thus be com-
municated: the constitution of space can then
be described in words.
Routine, everyday actions that are not con-
sciously refl ected upon give form to space - i.e.
certain positioning (actions) and synthesis pro-
cesses are repeated, and societal structures are
reproduced by habitual actions. The resulting
spaces in turn infl uence the actions (perception
of a generalized arrangement, e.g. normalized
synthesis process). 'Appropriate' behaviour in
museums, visiting religious sites etc. is based on
the production of space from practical con-
This duality of space is termed spatial
structure if the production of the space is
formed independently of point in time and
location according to rules and resources, and
is embedded in institutions. Structures are thus
anchored in institutions, in 'routines of social
action which become permanent' (social entity,
organizational form: authorities, etc., and soci-
etally pre-ordained patterns of action; Löw,
2001, p. 169).
Spatial structures, alongside legal and eco-
nomic structures and the structural principles of
class and gender, which are rooted in these
structures, make up the overall structure of a
given society - the spatial is thus not separate
from the societal, the former is in fact a part of
the latter.
Institutionalized spaces are created when
spacing and the process of synthesis continue
to function regardless of individual actions -
normalized synthesis processes and spacings
are the consequences. For example, class-
specifi c arrangements of furniture in homes
may be identifi ed - Fächergruppe Designwis-
senschaft (1988) has pointed out that the lay-
outs of living rooms in furniture catalogues are
often similar (Löw, 2001, p. 169). The institu-
tionalized arrangement that practical conscious-
ness treats as something self-evident leads to
space being perceived in terms of objects (and
generally in three dimensions). The everyday
notion of space as a container can thus be
included in a relational spatial model.
Because of experiences of being an out-
sider (alienation effects), insight into necessity,
bodily desires or the behaviour of others, changes
in institutionalized spatial production can take
place on two levels: they can cause deviations,
which, when they deliberately oppose institu-
tionalized arrangements, can be termed coun-
tercultural, and can give rise to once-off or
permanent countercultural spaces. These can
also lead to changes if the deviations are on-
going and are not just individual deviations -
modifi cations to institutionalized spaces are
thus possible, and can go so far as modifi ca-
tions to the spatial structure.
Places are the target of positioning pro-
cesses, which always act relative to other posi-
tionings. People participate in this spatial
production in two ways: they can be grouped
with other beings or social objects to make up
spaces; they also take an active role themselves
in the positioning processes. The presence of an
academic observer can often systematically dis-
tort the spatial situations at a location.
The possibility of creating overlapping, plu-
ral spaces on a theoretical level is a signifi cant
aspect of this extended notion of space. It is
therefore important to state, that the constitu-
tion of space cannot be read and analysed eas-
ily, it has to be reconstructed from empirical
evidence collected carefully - with the possibili-
ties of overlapping and interchanging spaces
Analysis of the Semantic Gaze
The new approach developed for analysing the
gaze semantically uses photos taken from urban
space, identifying the importance of depicted
elements of complex spatial arrangements for
guiding social action and identifi cational strat-
egies. Simple photos from urban space in a low
resolution for Web display are used, taken by
participants, found online, in an old photo
album - the source and time the photos are
from only matters regarding the thematic task
given. This is done deliberately not to exclude
people by highly sophisticated requirements for
the technical equipment.
Crucial is the idea to establish links between
the pictures. To create a visual impression of a
public space, walking down a street or gazing
at a well-known historical site, photos should
encompass elements of the picture taken
beforehand. This often requires a kind of serial
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