Space & Social Inequalities 20140114
Read on chapter per week
Go for the concepts not minor details
Pick a few dates for next tutorial for microlecture
Studies the ways in which social relations, social identities, and social inequalities
Social relations: relations between people as individuals, groups and institutions.
Social identities: meaning people attribute to themselves and others: gender, race/ethnicity, class,
age, disability, sexuality, and others…
Social inequalities: unequal distribution of, and access to, power, opportunities and resources.
Productions of Relations, Identities, Inequalities:
The economic, political, and cultural processes that produce, reproduce, sustain and modify
social relations, identities and inequalities.
We humans create our solutions and our problems. i.e we have poverty in Canada because we accept it.
Spatial variation: the change in social relations, identities and inequalities between and over space. I.e
Income ratios globally, municipally…etc.
Why is that? Do homeless people choose to be homeless? Woman chooses to be raped?
Role of Space in Construction:
Location maters: spaces offer more, less or similar opportunities, resource and power. Also your place in
society, where you are born. Traditionally, you do as well as your parents do. The greater the wealth the greater the life expectancy
Wealthier country and individual, longer the life spans.
AIM OF SOCIAL GEO:
Expose the forms of power, which lead to social and spatial oppression and inequality.
Other forms of wealth. With great power comes great responsibility.
What is power?
The ability to influence, if not determine, how people act, directly or indirectly. Examples? Professors
indirectly influence students with grades. Direct force, “give me your wallet”
an asymmetrical—uneven—relationship where one individual, group, organization or institution is endowed
with power in a way that excludes and thus..
An action—implicit or explicit—that seeks to negate the power of another individual, group or
Could be the oppressed resisting domination OR the dominant resisting the liberation of the oppressed.
Examples? Right to Life, can be as simple as product choices, refusing to buy certain product.
Emphasis Of Social Geography
The welfare issues—matters of living and being well—that affect people’s everyday lives: family, basic
needs (food, shelter, employment).
Income, health, education, food, households, employment, shelter, opportunity, safety, health care, family,
Social Geography is issue driven.
2. Society and Space Society
1. Cluster of…individuals, insitiurions, relationships, forms of conduct, material and social
2. A series of ‘discourses’… representations, practices, and performances through which
meanings are produced. How are people represented?
Particular social formations or interest groups e.i Christian Society.
Human beings make choices and take actions in social contexts: no individual action is independent of
‘society’ (social relations and social identities) and space.
Space reflects social activity i.e. areas reflect social relations, identities and inequalities.
Knowledge is power, space is power.
Space is NOT socially deterministic i.e. there is no spatial or social ‘determinism’
People can resist their social position, identities, and spaces, and choose to make different opportunities
and activities… BUT always within a social context of freedoms and constraints.
3 Inequalities and Social Justice
“Unlike’ ‘distinct’ ‘dissimilar’
Spatial differentiation b) Inequality
'Lack of equality'
‘Lack of same kind of rank, value, size, number’
Inherent moral question of right or wrong
E.g woman ear less than men in Canada; 1 in 5 Canadian children live in poverty.
C) Social Justice
An ideal against which we measure the practices of society.
Whose IDEALS does one use to 'measure' society's practices? Parents, education, religion, heritage,
consumer ideology—commercial endeavours.
Youtube: The Emphatic Civilization Class & Inequality In Canada 20140114
1. Capitalism: Explained, Pros, Cons
2. Canada’s Economic Class Structure
3. Class Myths
4. Class as Personal Attributes
5. Class as Geographical
TUTORIAL WILL BE HELD IN ROOM 1059 SSC.
1. Capitalism: An economic system in which all or most of the means of production are
privately owned and operated for profit and the investment of capital is privately
determined: and in which production, distribution, and prices of goods, services and labour are
determined mainly through the influence of the forces of supply and demand in the operation of a free
b. Capitalism explained
Means of production all/mostly privately owned and operated for profit (land, labour, capital/materials)
Private investment and Private Profits
Supply and Demand of free market determine:
Goods, services, and labour.
Prices are determined through the free market, highly skilled jobs pay more money. Class & Inequality In Canada 20140114
C. Mixed Economy (Canada)
A capitalist economy in which government actively engages in managing, investing, profiting and restricting
the market place.
Political Left vs. Political Right
A question of the role of governemtn in the economy
More gov’t regulation
Spend surplus on social programs
D. Strengths/ Pros of Capitalism
Competition rewards innovation
Rewards individual initiative, risktakers (investors)
Efficiency: cut cost—labour, land, production…. Class & Inequality In Canada 20140114
Addresses consumer needs
Prices will be fair and competitive
Competition rewards innovation
Trade promotes common interests
Creates material wealth
E. Weakness/ Cons of Capitalism
Exploitation of resources (rain forest)
Large disparity between poor and rich
Capitalism is prominent on infinite growth and nothing lasts forever
Efficiency has a price: homogeneity—you get rid of diversity. No independent hardware stores.
Mindset: if it’s not profitable… it’s not worth it.
Profit over people and environment
‘Natural’ Unemployment 3%15%
Exploits workers: don't share in big profits
Creates material wealth for owners
F. Capitalism’s Foe: Karl Marx
German philosopher (18181883)