The concept of space underlying our common approach draws on the construction of spatial relationships. This perspective actively engages and counteracts traditional essentialist ideas of space and shifts the focus onto processes of space production. In IDENT2, this perspective specifically relies on the socio-geographical concept of processes of regionalisation, which defines space as both a result and/or a facet of social activity. Regionalisation thus relates to the individual social practices and to the actions of institutional players.

Identity construction

Concepts of identity can be ‘organised’ from a variety of perspectives, thus addressing one of the characteristics of the ‘question of identity‘: the attempt to create order(s). Attempts of this kind create categories, which are allocated or, as the case may be, refused by other people, and which generate various types of (group) affiliations. However, these affiliations are not predetermined, but are always the result of the adoption, adaptation or rejection of identifications. Accordingly, IDENT2 understands and studies identities as subjective appropriations or as equally subjective projections.

Border areas

The concept of the ‘border area’ is not necessarily organised and articulated around political and administrative categories. On the contrary, it refers to the social contexts in which ‘border practices’ are acted out. The latter comprise actions by which both institutions and individuals overstep, abolish or (re-)establish borders and boundaries. Thus in IDENT2, this term serves as a mode of description for the processes of border de-/re-/construction in different social situations.