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Reflections on Berlin: The Meaning of Construction and the Construction of Meaning

Reflections on Berlin: The Meaning of Construction and the Construction of Meaning • • • • And the fact of so much construction per se, the construction cranes and scaffolding everywhere, are now touted as defining the new character of the city (Figure 1). The construction of what? Of symbols, of meaning, very consciously. Ostentatiously, the best architects of the advanced world are invited to enter competitions, first 1 These thoughts are inspired by the meeting of the Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development of the International Sociological Association in Berlin last June. No one who was there could have been unimpressed by what was happening in the city nor have failed to try to assign meaning to it, but discussions of that meaning were limited, and these reflections are my own reaction to what was happening there. I was born in Berlin, but my family emigrated when I was four as Hitler came to power, and certainly my reactions need to be read in the light of my own background. In particular, the linkage between the power structure in Germany, fascism and the Holocaust remains for me a central issue, and the present construction in Berlin reawakens for me concern with that issue. Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishers http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Urban and Regional Research Wiley

Reflections on Berlin: The Meaning of Construction and the Construction of Meaning

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References (5)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0309-1317
eISSN
1468-2427
DOI
10.1111/1468-2427.00143
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

• • • • And the fact of so much construction per se, the construction cranes and scaffolding everywhere, are now touted as defining the new character of the city (Figure 1). The construction of what? Of symbols, of meaning, very consciously. Ostentatiously, the best architects of the advanced world are invited to enter competitions, first 1 These thoughts are inspired by the meeting of the Research Committee on Urban and Regional Development of the International Sociological Association in Berlin last June. No one who was there could have been unimpressed by what was happening in the city nor have failed to try to assign meaning to it, but discussions of that meaning were limited, and these reflections are my own reaction to what was happening there. I was born in Berlin, but my family emigrated when I was four as Hitler came to power, and certainly my reactions need to be read in the light of my own background. In particular, the linkage between the power structure in Germany, fascism and the Holocaust remains for me a central issue, and the present construction in Berlin reawakens for me concern with that issue. Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishers

Journal

International Journal of Urban and Regional ResearchWiley

Published: Jun 1, 1998

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