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Sept 23 & 25- Identity and Space .docx

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York University
GEOG 2075
Bruce Erickson

Sept 23 & 25: Identity and Space Liz Bondi & Mona Domosh – On the Contours of Public Space: A Tale of Three Women. Antipode, 30(3), pp. 270- 289. (1998) (Moodle) • Sophie Hall visited NYC in 1879 • Never went out past 4 without a man (norm) • Did not allow her the freedom to venture where might want “separate spheres” allowed white, middle class women like sophia to venture out of their prescribed space, home • and into public spheres of the city only if activities followed the values and norms considered feminine (cairn, nurturing activities ) • Visitin museums and concerts was feminine as well • The presence of women on the street, of the feminine within the masculine sphere, was attended by social anxiety and was allowed only under prescribed regulations • The doctrine of separate spheres was therefor both spatial and ideological The spatial division separating the inner sphere of the home and outside world has symbolic significance • corresponding precisely with spatial division • A separation between two worlds governed by different norms and values • Women were associated, symbolized and prescribed a set of norms • Critical relationship between gender and class that is integral to the separation and that continues to present day • It is assumed that it is this seepration of home and place of production that led to a decline in the relative power of women and the important places of production were removed from the spaces of women • Private space used to be public space, used to selling things • Female brewers of ale • Medieval age • Modern bourgeois state and economy that emerged in this period required the assertion of certain values to distinguish itself from feudalism and the aristocracy, values such as individualism, utilitarianism and egalitarianism • The domestic became the seat of power for men where some of the values of the aristocratic world continues (where the new bourgeois male could assert power by virtue not of economic power but of kinship) • The independence of property owner in the market and in his own business was complemented by the dependence of his wife and children on the male head of the family • It was important to see the bourgeois order as entirely removed from the previous feudal order in which kinship was the major organizing principle of society • The increasingly association of women with private space and men with public space enabled society to legitimize the new state of grounds with equality and instrumentalism, while maintaing traditional forms of patriarchy within the domestic realm • If the new bourgeois male would have to compete in an egalitarian and instrumental way in the public sphere, in the private space of his home he could be a master by virtue of his kinship position • The legitimization of the new bourgeois classes required the maintenance of two dichotomous value systems • The home, family joined together by kinship, governed by deference tempered by love and reproduced through the labour of nurturance • The state and economy joined together by fraternity governed by laws, tempered by egalitarianism and reproduced through individual labour Align the first with the world of women and the second with the world of men • • Sexual difference bore the ideological weight necessary to the new bourgeois order --since sexual difference was natural, so were the differences between the values of family and state and economy • Middle nineteenth century • The separation between the sexes was marked out at every level within the society (manufacturing, retail trade, the professions, public life, churches, press, home) Lady like to shop, visit museums, stroll on the broadway, listen to lectures, concerts and attend church • • The new identity of the 19th century middle class women, as consumer and upholder of cultural and religious norms was inscribed into the physical fabric of the city and the physical form reinforced the identity • Men ate, drank, danced, gambled and met women of dubious character • They moved through urban space with greater freedom than middle class women but their lives were tightly circumscribed by their economic circumstances and social status Public spaces of the city were gendered and classed • • Illustrate the changing spatial form of the bourgeois value system that we outlined in the previous section • Feminized consumer culture itself influenced the reshaping of nineteenth century cities • Women could be self indulgent and act as societies consumers and their husbands worked hard in the offices and factories • Required females to enter male sphere to become consumers • Even though the 19th century economic and political order allowed women into the public spaces of the city, that happened not by diminishing the ideological differences between men and women or between the private and the public, but instead, simply by shifting the boundaries of those differences • Consumer spaces become feminine and feminine duties include consumption • Women making advances in political sphere and state bureaucracy and professional employment • Despite gaining access to managerial employment, which has brought with ti sufficient resources to enjoy the privileges of car ownership and house ownership in a desirable neighbourhood, she continues to expiernce her access to public space as constrained by her gender at certain times of the day • She does not question her experience of local streets at night as imbued with a hostile m
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