Andreas Ziemann Ehem. Senior Fellow

Andreas Ziemann
Oktober 2015 - März 2016


Andreas Ziemann, born 1968, has been Professor of Media Sociology at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar since 2009 and Dean of the Media Faculty since 2010. Having studied communication studies, German language and literature as well as Psychology at Universität Essen, Ziemann graduated in 1996 and received his Ph.D. in 1999 with a dissertation entitled “Die Brücke zur Gesellschaft. Erkenntniskritische und topographische Implikationen der Soziologie Georg Simmels”. From 1999 to 2003, he was an Assistant Lecturer at Universität Essen, before being appointed Assistant Professor for Media Sociology at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar in 2003. He finished his habilitation on sociology and media studies in 2010, which was published as “Medienkultur und Gesellschaftsstruktur. Soziologische Analysen” in 2011.
From 2005 to 2013, he has been an associated scientist of the Graduate College “Media of History – History of Media”, which was co-organized by Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena and Universität Erfurt.

Dated from 2016

Fields of research

Sociological theories of society; media history, media culture and media theory; evolution and structures of media society; media anthropology; sociology of space; culture sociology.

IKKM Research Project

The brothel question – a historical and sociological analysis

The brothel question – a historical and sociological analysis Human existence does not take place in a vacuum, but is produced by society, negotiated via communication and fixed by media. The experience of otherness and the production of difference (towards other people, cultural circles and societal spheres) thereby form a relevant influence value and lead to culturally and historically changing ideals and norms of human duty, intention and ability. Ultimately, these also enable and stabilize social order in general.
Special attention is given to two questions. How have human modes of life been norma- tively and morally negotiated until the modern era; first in an oral way, second in a written and published way? Which images of excluded human beings and marginal groups are produced and discursively legitimated?
Using the concrete case of (brothel-)prostitution, this research project questions on the one hand normative models of human existence – in contrast to marginal groups and moral deviation – and on the other hand mechanisms of human exclusion and spatial control. In this context, the focus is also placed on the (socially and media-theoretically formed) distinction operators of visibility/invisibility or appearance/disappearance.
It is my ambitious aim to reconstruct the various historical stages in the establishment and also the abolition of brothels in their socio-cultural context from their earliest beginnings, and to explain their spatial structures and social practices, as well as the heterotopical form of this institution. Furthermore, I intend to contrast this with the contemporary dis- course on prostitution and brothels, using the plurality and multi-perspectivity of antago- nistic stances, of moral attitudes and of political, legal and medical reasoning. Historical description and sociological analysis are interrelated and indicate thus the breaks and continuities of a social field that is unknown to most people.

The history of (brothel-)prostitution is a history of others and otherness, of deviation and abnormality. The (sexual) nature to which it was a reaction had to be restrained by culture. Due to the fact that the roots of its drive were never and can never be extinguished – as has repeatedly been said – prostitution is an ambivalent cultural phenomenon; one that is occupied with prohibition and tolerance, as well as with social exclusion and inclusion. Prostitution is banned in order to avert its danger in the interests for social order; it is also embedded in order to control and reduce its otherness. From another perspective, the brothel is a special example of the history of a social space. Thus the brothel is – to use Foucault’s idea – a privileged location for researching and recognizing the operation and function of political power, gender discourses, the economics of the family and of leisure, and not least juridical settlements of norms.



Medienkultur und Gesellschaftsstruktur. Soziologische Analysen. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften 2009.
Soziologie der Medien. Bielefeld: transcript 2006.
with Dieter Krallmann: Grundkurs Kommunikationswissenschaft. München: Wilhelm Fink 2001.

Edited Books

Offene Ordnung? Philosophie und Soziologie der Situation. Wiesbaden: Springer-VS 2013.
with Oliver Fahle, Michael Hanke: Technobilder und Kommunikologie. Die Medientheorie Vilém Flussers. Berlin: Parerga 2009.
Medien der Gesellschaft – Gesellschaft der Medien. Konstanz: UVK Verlagsgesellschaft 2006.


“Normative Exklusion und heterotopische Institutionen. Die Verfertigung von Menschenbildern aus gesellschaftstheoretischer Perspektive”. In: Lorenz Engell, Christiane Voss (eds.): Mediale Anthropologie. München: Wilhelm Fink forthcoming 2015.
“Elemente und Erklärungen einer Theorie evolutionären Medienwandels”. In: Thomas Birkner, Susanne Kinnebrock, Christian Schwarzenegger (eds.): Theorien des Medienwandels. Köln: von Halem forthcoming 2015.
“Phänomene, Probleme und Aktanten der Gleichzeitigkeit. Eine sozial- und medientheoretische Skizze”. In: Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung, 5/2, 2014, pp. 267-279.
“Soziologische Strukturlogiken der Situation”. In: ders.: Offene Ordnung? Philosophie und Soziologie der Situation. Wiesbaden: Springer VS 2013, pp. 105-129.
“Latours Neubegründung des Sozialen?”. In: Friedrich Balke, Maria Muhle, Antonia von Schöning (eds.): Die Wiederkehr der Dinge. Berlin: Kadmos 2011, pp. 103-114.
“Communication Theory and Sustainability Discourse”. In: Jasmin Godemann, Gerd Michelsen (eds.): Sustainability Communication: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Theoretical Foundations. Dordrecht, Heidelberg, London, New York: Springer VS, pp. 89-96.