Monday, September 15, 2008

Key Texts (Ch. 14-19), Summary

Overall, the second half of Key Texts in Human Geography evidences the progress of the field “along charted territory.” There are chapters on postmodern geography, poststructural geography, and themes such as feminist criticism and expanding the purview of the field.

Dicken’s work in economic geography and Global Shift sought to explain international industrial change at the regional level by focusing on global economic forces, such as transnational corporations. His analysis included the role of the nation-state in economic change and the impact of evolving technologies—ideas that contributed to the discourse of globalization.

Harvey’s Condition of Postmodernity was a critical analysis of economic and cultural conditions flowing out of modernity, but specific to the last quarter of the twentieth century. Here difference, positionality, and situateness rule, according to Woodword and Jones. They are symptoms of post-Fordist and flexible forms of accumulation for Harvey. These and accompanying forces such as time-space compression dictate postmodern culture.

Soja asserts the importance of space—not just time—in analysis of the social. His Postmodern Geographies was a call for a critical human geography that centered on what he termed the socio-spatial dialectic. Here, space, time, and being are central to a new spatial ontology, and spatiality is socially produced.

Storper and Walker’s Capitalist Imperative took out the assumptions of neoclassical economic theory to examine the geography of industrialization. They asserted that capitalist growth is unstable, produces differentiation in particular localities, and that the production process is central to understanding the geography of economic development.

Livingstone’s history of geography, rooted in the history of science, argued that geographical knowledge was partial, subjective, socially constructed, and dependent upon context.

Gillian Rose argued that women are excluded as producers of geographical knowledge. Feminism and Geography described geography as “masculinist.” It challenged dualistic thinking and treated the landscape and issues of seeing and knowing as important geographical topics.

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