Lecture 4: Scale

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Rajyashree Narayanareddy

Lecture 4 Scale Thinking about the world spatiallyNo such thing as scales preexisting how are they madeUseful to spatially order of our worldEarly use of ScaleImportant concept in spatial thinkingEtymologically from Latin scala ladderUsed by both human and physical geographers who assumed that the world is inherently hierarchically compartmentalized into global nationalScales are natural geographical units Therefore scale can be used to describe a relatively closed systemLefebvre termed this scale envelopeoEach compartment of the system is in the enclosed systemoThe name of scales was given to these compartmentsSpace through the idea of scale hierarchy of the world oLocal regional national internationalIdealistsKant in contrast argued that neither time nor space were objective real things Rather they are subjective constructs through which humans make sense of the world For Kant order is the result not ofcategorization imposed on it by our brains So no material basis Disagree with predetermined natural order geographical units Time and space are not realhave no materialistic basis to KantBuilding upon Kant geographers put forth idealist notion of scale mental images useful to thinking about no material basis to scaleFraser Hart articulated a Kantian view of scales they are subjective artistic devices mental fictions Peter Haggett pioneered spatial science tradition within geography measured scales through Orders of Magnitude distances to demarcate difference scales Materialists Taylor and Smith we need to put in place social structures in order for the material world to be done scales are material material basis works in the world Taylor scales take on certain roles under capitalism 1the global scale is the scale of realitycapitalism is organized in this mannerenable capitalism to work on a global scale2the national scale is the scale of ideology capitalists put in the structure of working influence institutional structure social contract to build factories hire workers decide on wagesie Bank of Canada organized at the national scale3the urban scale is the scale of experience
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