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Case-studies in Diversity: Theories in Practice




Admissions requirements

Social Theory in Everyday Life


It is well-known that in challenging times like ours the problem of the relationship between theory and practice becomes more profound. In this course students are invited to think about this relation through a specific case-study: “public spaces”. The course examines “public spaces” as a social form: from its original conceptualizations and manifestations in the Greek city-spaces to its contemporary expressions in the form of the smart-city and the digital-society. Identifying the multiple manifestations of “the public” in “space”, the course investigates how different understandings of these key terms (aka, different conceptualizations of the “public” and of “space”) go hand-in-hand with different experiences and empirical expressions of what account as public spaces in the city. The course invite students to think critically about historical and contemporary manifestations of public space, exploring what idea(s) and concrete forms of “the public” are needed, and in which “spaces”, in order to face the global and local challenges of contemporary societies.

Course objectives

This course will help students to develop (i) a theoretical understanding about public space and its core component concepts (the public and space), while also (ii) developing the practical skills to identify, visualize and discuss the importance of public spaces in society.


  • Be able to elaborate and express a sound argumentative position regarding issues related to the course content.

  • Successfully communicate this argumentative position in speaking (presentations and class participation) and writing (final case-study pitch proposal and final essay).

  • Actively engage with primary sources and conduct qualitative research on public spaces.


  • Become familiarized with scholarly debates about public spaces in disciplines such as anthropology, geography, philosophy and sociology.

  • Identify key elements in the definition of “public spaces” that are of contemporary importance in terms of urban development and the policy rhetoric of social integration.

  • To develop the critical, careful and creative abilities to examine key issues linked to prevalent normative notions of public space and they relevance for the organization of society.

  • Be able to critically think about the concept of “public spaces” and its practical implications, particularly in terms of the students’ self-understanding as (global) citizen.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction

In this course students will practice their ability to critically read and argue based on the literature and specific form of public spaces examined each week. The course is run as a research seminar, demanding active class participation and students independent engagement beyond the syllabus.


  • Participation – 15%

  • Two critical analyses (750 words each): 20% (10% each)

  • Case-study presentation in groups – 15%

  • Final essay pitch proposal – 10%

  • Final essay – 40%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

The reading material will be made available on Blackboard before the beginning of the course.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Daniela Vicherat-Mattar