Hjemløses atmosfærer: En atmosfærisk fænomenologisk undersøgelse af en natcafé og et herberg

Thomas Brittain & Frederik Bøhling

Student thesis: Master thesis


This master‟s thesis investigates two atmospheres enveloping homeless people in an overnight drop-in-center and at a shelter in Copenhagen, Denmark. The purpose of the study is to map out the two atmospheres and subsequently to analyze them as fields of atmospheric management. The theories and methods applied represent an attempt to overcome some of the analytical problems of performing empirical micro-studies of atmospheric categories such as space, materiality and multi-sensorial experiences within a post-structuralist and anti-essentialist paradigm. Employing empirical methods inspired by sensorial anthropology and (post)phenomenology the two atmospheres are mapped in an effort to unfold Gernot Böhmes concept of emotionally charged, quasi-objective atmospheres in an empirically based micro-sociological analysis. The atmospheres are then, through selected concepts from Peter Sloterdijks foam-theoretical framework, analyzed as dynamic spaces of power. This thesis thus applies the concepts of bubbles and foam in the analysis of foam-management and power in the two atmospheres. Furthermore, the findings of the phenomenological and multi-sensorial mappings are combined with the Tardean aspects of Sloterdijks foam theory to investigate the affective and imitative dimensions of the two settings. The first part of the thesis analyses the drop-in-center as an atmosphere, which provides the basic atmospheric immunologies such as warmth and a place to be or sleep overnight. The drop-in-center is conceptualized as a foam-structure, which is transparent, dense and fragile. Due to its transparency, the foam-structure is manageable through sense-based technologies but is at the same time a fragile structure prone to alterations by the users, primarily through sound. The second part of the thesis presents the shelter as several different and dynamic atmospheres in a more physically robust foam-structure. The management of the shelter takes the form of a facilitation of the residents‟ atmospheric self-governing. The dense and auditorially transparent foam-structure, which isolates the bubbles from most atmospheric stimuli but facilitates their mutual conditioning, makes the overall atmospheric management as well as the residents‟ self-governing problematic.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages212