Translocal Networks: Public Sphere in the Social Web

Duration Januar 2018 to December 2021
Project leader
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Annie Waldherr  (University of Münster)
Prof. Dr. Barbara Pfetsch (Free University of Berlin)
Co-operation partner Dr. Neta Kligler-Vilenchik (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
Staff Daniela Stoltenberg, M.A.
Institutions Department of Communication (University of Münster) 
Institut for Media and Communication Studies (FU Berlin) 
Department of Communication and Journalism (Hebrew University) 
Funding Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Keywords digital public sphere, social networks, network analysis, sociology of space


The research project is part of the Collaborative Research Center 1265 “Re-Figuration of Spaces” (Coordinating university: TU Berlin). The center investigates changes in experience and constitution of space in light of processes of globalization and digitalization. In this framework, our project examines the spatiality of the “Twitterspheres” in the cities of Berlin and Jerusalem. Asking how virtual urban spaces are constituted through networked communication, we investigate communicative relations among Twitter users, their spatial locations, and the topics they talk about. The study also examines how individual users synthesize global and local, virtual and real, public and private references, and explores the subjective experiences of space involved.


Our design includes two separate investigative steps, targeting the societal and subjective level, respectively. On a societal level, we investigate the digital public spheres of Berlin and Jerusalem from a macro perspective. To this end, we collect Twitter network data und analyze it employing network analysis, geo-coding methods, and text mining. On the subjective level, we collect ego networks of active Twitter users and survey them on their experience of space using a mobile experience sampling approach.