massey sense of place notes.doc

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Women and Gender Studies
Michelle Murrphy

week 2 readings by Massey A global sense of place: - Causes: what is it that determines out degrees of mobility that influences the sense we have of space and place? Time-space compression refers to movement and communication across space, to the geographical stretching-out of social relations, and to our experience of all this. - women's mobility, for instance, is restricted - in a thousand different ways, from physical violence to being ogled at or made to feel quite simply 'out of place' - not by 'capital', but by men. - Power geometry : This point concerns not merely the issue of who moves and who doesn't, although that is an important element of it; it is also about power in relation to the flows and the movement. Different social groups have distinct relationships to this anyway differentiated mobility: some people are more in charge of it than others; some initiate flows and movement, others don't; some are more on the receiving-end of it than others; some are effectively imprisoned by it. - At one level they have been contributors to what we call time-space compression; and at another level they are imprisoned in it.- an example is a person who is produced lambda but never been down to rio - every time someone uses a car, and thereby increases their personal mobility, they reduce both the social rationale and the financial viability of the public transport system - and thereby also potentially reduce the mobility of those who rely on that system.- does our mobility and power over mobility create spatial imprisonment for others - A 'sense of place', of rootedness, can provide - in this form and on this interpretation - stability and a source of unproblematic identity. - One is the idea that places have single, essential, identities. Another is the idea that place - the sense of place - is constructed out of an introverted, inward-looking history based on delving into the past for internalized origins - A particular problem with this conception of place is that it seems to require the drawing of boundaries. Geographers have long been exercised by the problem of defining regions, and this question of 'definition' has almost always been reduced to the issue of drawing lines around a place. - one might define a place not defined by administrative or political boundaries but they have no real worth - the example in the lecture about Kilburn :First, while Kilburn may have a character of its own, it is absolutely not a seamless, coherent identity, a single sense of place which everyone shares. It could hardly be less so. People's routes through the place, their favourite haunts within it, the connections the make (physically, or by phone or post, or in memory and imagination) between here and the rest of the world vary enormously. If it is now recognized that people have multiple identities then the same point can be made in relation to places. Moreover, such multiple identities can either be a source of richness or a source of conflict, or both. - problems with communities? - One the one hand, communities can exist without being in the same place - from networks of friends with lie interests, to major religious, ethnic or political communities. On the other hand, the instances of places housing single 'communities' in the sense of coherent social groups are probably - and, I would argue, have for long been - quite rare. Moreover, even where they do exist this in no way implies a single sense of place. - Communitie
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