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GGRB13 - Lecture 3

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Minelle Mahtani

GGRB13 – Lecture 3 – January 23, 2012 SPACE, PLACE, and SENSE OF PLACE 3 Questions from last lecture: 1) What is social geography? 2) How do social geographers think about maps? 3) What is a mental map 3 Questions you should be able to answer by the end of Today’s lecture - What is space? - What is place? - What is a sense of place? Geography Matters Because: - Perspective matters - What is your place in the world? - How you view landscapes around you? - Who defines your place in the world? Last Week - What did we learn about maps? - Maps are a great way to communicate - Maps without words is like a song without lyrics - Scale a foundational concept in Geography to make sense of the world Ex. From the city to the region, the region to nation, the nation to the world How do First Nations people think about maps? - How do marginalized groups view maps? - Ill-defined borders - Scales aren’t clearly defined - Who’s land is it? A notion of “colonization” - Maps communicate differently and can be interpreted differently - The example of the map have some names missing, while others are there (derived from Indians), there is a bloodied history behind the process of naming in which we need to pay close attention to - Map of the forsaken world, the world without end, where forests have been cut away from their trees, these are the lines that the wolf cannot pass over What is a Mental Map? - A person’s own internal map of their known world - How would you draw a mental map of your known world? Do you know your world very well? Example of Mental Map - Whoever drew this map was involved with the church because the father was a minister - Childhood memories - Mother cooked chickens - The actual person who drew this was someone who became a reverend, and it was a recollection of his memories made in the 1950’s Mental Maps - Social geographers are interested in mental maps of individuals and how they order the space around them - How we order space varies from place to place - The way we experience space shifts, therefore identity markers will be different between people - What can we learn from mental maps of groups? - The focus or perspective of maps of groups will be different because of the varying access to space of different social groups Ex. Lower vs. Higher classes - Those from lower socioeconomic groups create mental maps which cover smaller geographic areas than the mental maps of affluent individuals Ex. Lower income residents of L.A. know about upscale areas of the metropolitan area such as Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, but they do not know how to get there or where they are exactly located Social Geography, then... - Is about how it is that YOU see the world and your place in it - Different perspectives on space, place, and identity (refer to Stilgoe reading) - More than just a physical surface upon which social categories are mapped out - It is about power, privilege, resources, and access to space Q1) What is Social Geography? - It looks at the relationship between society and space - The study of social relations and the spatial structures that underpin those relations - The social construction of space and place - Geography is the study of places, and geographers are more concerned about what makes a “place” for a person. (Ex. House, car, etc.) - Struggles that make up Culture in Space – How are social meanings and power, social, and economic advantage maintained and produced in space? - There are certain exclusions in geography - Which spaces feel comfortable to you and why? - From positivism to humanism, social/cultural geography is now firmly on the agenda - Very much influenced by the cultural turn and the interest in the politics of identity in 1990s - A critique of spatial science from the 1950s-1960s Q2) How do social geographers think about maps? - Maps are representations of reality (not reality!) - Everyone maps out differently and it matters who you are and where you are (location) - Geography is about conquest and colonization - Maps tell stories about power, domination and complicit histories - Think and look critically about maps, a different point of view Q3) What is a Mental Map? - A person’s own internal map of their known world - How we make sense of the world around us - Scale Exploring - Why are things the way they are? - By doing a spatial analysis, you can find some answers as to why city planners design cities they way they are What is a Sense of Place? - How is space, place, and home explored in this song/video? Space - You are someone else when you don’t feel like you belong or conform to norms Place - Memories - The room to escape the struggles of everyday life, a place of healing Home - Attachment to memories, where you grew up and what shaped who you are - Somewhere you can always go back to when you get lost in the world - A particular spot in place - She is out of place when she’s in the house - The tour bus is her new home, mobility = home (a different kind of home) - Politics of identity = politics of location, who you are shifts - The title “The House that Built Me” is opposite to “We Build Houses” - This song communicates the normative understandings of home
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