In ‚Average aesthetics or the regular haircut. The aesthetic dimension of the social in a German city‘, I propose to explore, through interviews and observations, the setting of the hair salon. I intend to do so both as a sociologist and as an apprentice hairdresser – another vocation that focusses on observation – exploring a social setting that
encourages talk and the exchanging of confidences.
This project, which highlights the aesthetic dimension of the social, builds on a previous one that I pursued on middle-class inhabitants of a city in central Germany, which considered the practical, moral, and material dimensions of how they lead their lives.
The goal of this project is not only to capture this aesthetic dimension of the social but also, following the work of Simmel and Kracauer, to develop a methodological position sensitive to the full range of sociological meanings. In this way, I hope to contribute to the renewal of sociological writing through “sociological feuilletons,” brief texts inspired by German journalism of the 1920s and 1930s that marry sociology, literature, and reportage.
The project also serves to bring sociology to a broader public, not only through its engaging theme but also through the distinctive genre of writing that it promotes and the new spaces it creates for disseminating sociological research. In doing so, it could foster a
reflexive engagement by readers with the texts produced and ultimately impart a greater sociological sensibility to public discourse.