Lecture 1 - Society and Space

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Geography 2410A/B
Jeff Hopkins

Geography 2410B January 14, 2014 Lecture 1 Social Geography 2410B Society & Space Topics 1. Social Geography 2. Society & Space 3. Inequalities & Social Justice 4. ComingAttractions Announcements/Important Notes: • First power-point was sent via email th • Know key concepts for exams (Midterm: Tuesday, February 25 -30%) • Choose date for micro lecture (15 minutes) • Office hours: after class on Tuesdays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. • Tutorials: see course outline for times and locations (SSC 1059 with Sarah McCans) Social Geography Definition • Studies the ways in which social relations, social identities, and social inequalities are produced, their spatial variation, and the role of space in constructing them (text, page 1) Social Relations • Relations between people as individuals, groups and institutions Social Identities • Meanings people attribute to themselves and others: gender, ‘race’/ethnicity, class, age, disability, sexuality, etc. o We all have multiple identities o Some are assigned to us Social Inequalities • Unequal distribution of, and access to, power, opportunities and resources o We create our problems and solutions; we create our society o There is a certain level of poverty in Canada, but we are willing to accept it Production of Relations, Identities, Inequalities • Economic, political & cultural processes that produce, reproduce, sustain and modify social relations, identities and inequalities Spatial Variation • Change in social relations, identities & inequalities between & over space o Wealthy areas versus sketchy Role of Space in Construction • Location matters: spaces offer more, less or similar opportunities, resources and power • Different places provide different opportunities • Traditionally, you can foresee the future as successful as your parents o Now, it is the reverse • Greater the wealth, greater the life expectancy o Canada is high on the scale Geography 2410B January 14, 2014 Lecture 1 Aim of Social Geography • To expose the forms of power which lead to social and spatial oppression and inequality • Resources and wealth take on many forms • With great power, comes great responsibility Power • The ability to influence, if not determine, how people act, directly or indirectly • Example: grades, armed forces Domination • An asymmetrical, uneven, relationship where one individual, group, organization or institution is endowed with power in a way that excludes –thus oppresses others Resistance • An action (implicit/explicit) that seeks to negate the power of another individual, group or organization • Could be the oppressed resisting domination OR the dominant resisting the liberation of the oppressed • Example: o Refusing to purchase a product because... Emphasis of Social Geography • The welfare issues –matters of living and being well, that affect people’s everyday lives: o Income o Households o Safety o Health o Employment o Health Care o Education o Shelter o Family o Food o Opportunity o Equality Social Geography and this course are ISSUE DRIVEN, unlike Cultural Geography (3411) which is more theoretically informed and conceptually driven Themes of Social Geography Individuals are Part of Societies • Examines society, not individuals • Examines social relations The Local & Everyday Matter • People’s daily living spaces • People’s everyday experiences o Examples: neighbourhoods, home, workplace, the body Social Relations & Identities are Power Relations • • Gender • Disability • Age • Class • ‘Race’/Ethnicity • Sexuality Social Geography is Political & Relevant to Social Policy • Research can contribute to social policy formation of institutions, business and governments Geography 2410B January 14, 2014 Lecture 1 Key Focus: Society & Space • Interested in the socio-spatial: the relationships between societies & spaces constructed, used & occupied Society and Space Society Who or what is a ‘society’? Acluster of • Individuals •
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