Although one of the central, basic organizing concepts in the social sciences, “space” is one of its most notoriously difficult to define. Unlike our sense of everything happening in time, we have not been acculturated to paying attention to space, even though we know that everything happens and exists in space and time. Some ideas about space seem self-evident. For example, one conventional way of understanding space is that it is a surface measured in coordinates such as longitude and latitude, distance and direction. In many disciplines, geography included, this view lends itself to thinking about space as a “container,” a taken-for-granted packaging of social activities into de facto units such as states, regions, and cities.
Geographers talk about space in other ways as well. ‘Relative’ space gives us a way to think about the connectivity between things, events, and people. It is a concept that has been used mostly to explain economic patterns and urban growth. ‘Cognitive’ space, defined in terms of people’s values and perceptions, has helped us interpret people’s experiences, common bonds, and feelings towards the places they inhabit. (learn more)
“Court-Ordered Revisions of Public and Private Space”
Sallie Marston, PhD
“Why ‘Separate But Equal’ in Commodity Exchange and Consumption?”
Bobby Wilson, PhD
Nov. 8, 2004
“A Feminine City? Women, Shopping Spaces, and the Creation of the late 19th Century Downtown”
Mona Domosh, PhD
Feb. 3, 2005
Willard Smith Library
“The S.U.V. Model of Citizenship: Floating Bubbles, Buffer Zones, and the New Geography of Privacy”
Don Mitchell, PhD
March 28, 2005
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