Silke Steets is a sociologist and Heisenberg Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Culture at Leipzig University. From September 2018 through May 2019, she also works as a Visiting Scholar at the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences at UT Dallas.

Her research interests include urban sociology, sociology of space and architecture, sociology of religion, qualitative research methods, the history of sociology as well as sociological theory (especially sociology of knowledge).

In 2007, Silke completed her PhD with Martina Löw at TU Darmstadt. In her thesis she investigated the spatial practices of artists, independent book publishers, radio activists, designers, architects as well as people operating »off-spaces« and music clubs in the city of Leipzig. The study was published in 2008 by Campus-Verlag under the title »Wir sind die Stadt!«. In her Habilitation thesis »Der sinnhafte Aufbau der gebauten Welt«, completed in 2013 and published by Suhrkamp-Verlag in 2015, Silke developed a knowledge-sociological approach to architecture extending Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann’s by now classic work »The Social Construction of Reality« (1966) to the built world. After a six-month stay as a Visiting Scholar at Boston University in 2012 and the completion of her Habilitation in 2013, Silke hold a two-year position as a guest professor for urban sociology and the sociology of space at TU Darmstadt. In 2016/17, she coordinated the application of the collaborative research center SFB 1265 Re-Figuration of Spaces at TU Berlin.

Silke is a member of the German Sociological Association (DGS), the International Society for the Sociology of Religion (ISSR), the DGS-sections on Cultural Sociology, the Sociology of Knowledge, the Sociology of Religion, Urban and Regional Sociology (2011–2015 as co-spokesperson) and the Architectural Sociology Working Group (co-spokesperson since 2009). She has been appointed as a member of the IBA Heidelberg advisory board in May 2015.


PD Dr. Silke Steets
Leipzig University
Nikolaistrasse 8–10, Room 4.16
Internal Mailbox: 16 31 99
04109 Leipzig

T: +49 (0) 341 / 97-37772
E: silke.steets(at)uni-leipzig.de

Knoblauch, Hubert/ Steets, Silke (2018): Sacred Canopies and Invisible Religions: The Dialectical Construction of Religion in Berger and Luckmann. In: Hjelm,Titus (Ed.): Peter L. Berger and the Sociology of Religion: 50 Years After The Sacred Canopy. London/New York, Bloomsbury, pp. 85–101.

Berking, Helmuth/ Schwenk, Jochen/ Steets, Silke (eds.) (2018): Religious Pluralism and the City: Inquiries into Postsecular Urbanism. London/New York, Bloomsbury.

Silke Steets (2017): Seductive Atmospheres, Conflicting Symbols: Religious Landmark Buildings in Diverse Societies. In: Eurostudia – Revue Transatlantique de Recherche sur l'Europe 12 (1), pp. 125–135 [Open Access Journal].

Silke Steets (2016): Taking Berger and Luckmann to the Realm of Materiality: Architecture as a Social Construction. In: Cultural Sociology 10 (1), pp. 93-108.