Manual Embodied Geographies: Space, Bodies and Rites of Passage (Critical Geographies)

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Il mio profilo La mia biblioteca Metriche Avvisi. Articoli Citata da Coautori. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34 3 , , Yet we need to begin with the question of whether there are circumstances in which it does not flow. A starting point here is with the block universe of the physicist in which time does not flow Fig.

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Different times, past or future, simply occur in different places. Turning to the different ways in which time appears to flow, the most basic descriptors rest on its direction of flow, forward or backward. The former stems from our most fundamental sense of time, one rooted in how we experience it biologically, experientially and culturally.

Human Geography, Where Space Matters

Biologically it is imprinted on us not just through our sense of ageing, but also through a welter of bodily processes. Culturally, it is a sense of flow that is woven from the constant interplay of the ordinary everyday with major life-course events and rites of passage. We can also see it as a flow derived from our sense of becoming and the continual emergence of novelty with each present Bergson , especially when combined with Deleuzean ideas on how the everyday repetition of habit and embodied practice can generate difference and novelty.

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Lefebvre Contrasted with the continuous flow of time is the view that its flow can be disrupted by broken, disconnected or disjunctive moments. For some, these disjunctive moments may be epochal. They see the sum effect of this overload as a permanent breakdown in the flow of meaning from past to present, a break that would have us living in a perpetually disjunctured, isolated present. Yet while some use the disjunctured moment to proclaim the death of history and what is past, its irrecoverability as meaning, others draw a different conclusion.

Thus, Ermath , p. Being a unique assemblage, a disjunctured moment, each montage has no precursor or sequel. Finally, we can speak of rhythmic time. Rhythms of time-space have long featured in geographical analysis, both in work on the countryside and town. Among social theorists and philosophers, Gurvitch , Elias and Lefebvre , have all tried to fill this conceptual gap.

The thinking of Lefebvre has been especially influential in regard to recent geographical writing. Because rhythmic times were rooted in the calendar of seasonal routines, he considered them as more fundamental, not least because they underpinned the rhythms of social organization.

Linear times meanwhile were secondary, being connected with, and spread by, the rise of modernity and industrialism. Lefebvre conceived his reading of rhythmic time in the context of his everyday life project. His intention was to draw out not just how society experienced different forms of temporality in all its activities, including the most ordinary or mundane, but also how people could experience a multilayered temporality, with different forms of rhythmic and linear time interacting together.

Children’s Bodies: An Absent Presence

Crang has provided the most critical reading of such ideas from a geographical perspective. From the moment human geography began developing a considered engagement with time, it did so not just by interrogating the nature of time, but also by asking how it related to space. As noted at the outset, the earliest discussions in human geography tended to suppress the time element. Even historical geographers saw their task as one of recreating maps or landscapes at a moment in time, not through time.

Embodied Geographies

In recent years, much has been made of the fact that while some early geographers suffered from a dimensional short-sightedness if not blindness towards time, early social scientists and philosophers as a whole suffered from a mirrored short-sightedness towards space. The point has been made that for much of the twentieth century, many social analyses worked from the presumption that change was about history and therefore about time, whereas space provided only a passive backcloth e.

Soja and Massey , have convincingly challenged this blocking out of space from any active role in the debate. Yet even before their challenge to the spaceless nature of many metatheories of social change, social theorists and postmodernists were also finding a place for space in their theorizing. The integration of large amounts of space via globalization, and the increasing ability with which we can access such space and its differences almost in an instant, combined with the way postmodernist thinking sees the flow of time as disrupted by the information overflow of modern times, has led to the belief that space is now a more meaningful, legible and accessible dimension for understanding society than time.

If the modernists were obsessed with the role of time, Jameson , p. What this means is that while some geographers have been calling for the opening up of time to space, some theorists have been talking past them by closing down time and arguing that perhaps space is all we need. We can soften these differences a little by arguing that there have long been some outside of geography calling for a greater role for the spatial in studies of social change e.

It is not so faddishly new. Likewise, while some social theorists and postmodernists have downplayed the role of time in favour of space, others in social science, as in human geography, have actually called for the rediscovery of time e. Hassard , p. Pierson , p. The role of human geographers in this recent debate has been to eschew such one-sidedness and to argue about how they come together. From this debate we can distinguish four ways in which space and time have been handled Fig. Two are represented by those that distinguish between space and time only to emphasize one at the expense of the other, as with, first, timeless space or space- time , and, second, its mirror opposite, spaceless time or space -time.

Respectively, these might be illustrated by studies that suppress time, notably those that use maps to limit rather than release analysis, and historical studies that suppress space, notably those in which narrative process has no explicit spatial framework. We can differentiate this approach into a number of subtypes.

Space-time substitution sees them as being capable of being traded off one against the other, such as one finds with the timing and spacing of periodic markets e. Ullman This particular sub-debate can itself be divided into those who use space-time substitution to spatialize time and those who use it to temporalize space, making each accessible through the other. To spatialize time is to classify spatial differences in temporal terms, as when societies and economies in different areas are represented as societies and economies at different stages of development, an approach reviewed critically by Fabian and Agnew To temporalize space would be to try and see the same suite of geographical differences historically, from the vantage point of a single place and its history, though we can also see it in the terms used by Crang , as the ongoing awareness of past and future with which individuals or groups inform each moment in their rhythms of movement.

Another subtype, space-time compression or convergence, captures the process whereby human movement and interaction has become quicker and easier over time. Yet though a widely employed concept, it contains fundamental contradictions. We can actually make a convincing case for seeing globalization and changes in communication as bringing about space-time expansion, with more space being integrated into global systems and more being squeezed out of each unit of time.

Such a world is better described by the term space-time divergence Bauman Finally, there are those approaches to space-time that see both as necessary to any dynamic social analysis but play on the fact that each contributes something qualitatively different. To cite a provocative example provided by Jameson , p. Fourth, there are those approaches that erase the differences between space and time to the point at which they cannot be analytically separated out from each other.

Breadcrumb

Parkes and Thrift However, whereas Massey maintains their dimensional distinction, writers like May and Thrift range their argument against any sort of dualism. They do not push their definition of timespace to the point of declaring it to be unidimensional, as Wallerstein has done, but they clearly lead us in that direction, the chorographic effectively fading away before the choreographic.

I have tried to draw out the gradual shifts in how human geography has engaged with time. From an exclusive concern with objective consensual definitions, it has broadened its time consciousness so as to embrace relative forms of temporality.


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These relative forms may be broken down into those that see the prime challenge for the subject as deconstructing the dominant forms of temporality that have developed within particular social, economic and political settings and those which stress the importance of experiential forms of temporality with their emphasis on the primacy of the extended present as the portal through which we experience all time, past, present and future, and the co-existence of multiple, overlapping forms of temporality.

Significantly, some of the most challenging issues developed over the past decade bring these generic problems together. The question of whether time-space compression has changed our experience of time and space is an obvious illustration of this, globalization being seen not only as changing our sense of how time and space might be mutualized, but also as intensifying our experience of each extended present.


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