I have now spent 3 and a half hours trying to write the space-geography-social construction/production part of my paper and have managed to only compose one page thus far. At this rate, i will be profoundly screwed. To me there is such a common-sense aspect to it that i just don’t know how to justify. Funnily enough, common sense is one thing i am never accused of having too much of (much less, enough of).
This is what i’ve managed so far:
Our concepts of space are socially constructed community myths that enable us to navigate through our daily activities. Kant states, “Space is not an empirical concept that has been drawn from our outer experiences…[it is] the subjective condition of sensibility, under which alone outer intuition is possible for us” (Kant, 1998:157) . The world and the spaces that we occupy are defined by our organizations within our minds of the spatial category. However, space is more than an imagined geography – it is “a fundamental system of spatial divisions…and distinctions…spatialisation provides part of the necessary social coordination of perceptions to ground hegemonic systems of ideology and practice” (Shields, 1991:46). Spatialisation is a way to simplify complex associations and to relate to connotations associated with places that is best understood within the framework of one’s own culture.
Space is produced through our conceptualization and naming of it making it a ‘place’ (Shields, 1991:48). To name a place is to identify it as a separate identity from other places, hence creating the context for our relation to it. And yet, for Lefebvre, our discourse of space teeters between description and dissection. We cannot help but use the homogenizing control-mechanisms of description and naming to break down our spaces into heterogeneous spaces that are delineated by the kinds of space that they become (Lefebvre, 1991:91). And yet formal boundaries are imagined delineations to establish dichotomous spaces
Space, produced lost my train of thought in here…i know it’s going somewhere… Take Lefebvre’s example of
Consider the case of [cyberspace] – a space which is fashioned, shaped and invested by social activities…Is [cyberspace] a work or product? …Happily, one does not have to know the answers, or to be a ‘connoisseur’ to experience [cyberspace] as festival. Who conceived the architectural and monumental unity which extends…the truth is that no one did – even though [cyberspace], more than any other place, bears witness to the existence…of a unitary code or common language of [cyberspace]. This unity goes deeper, in a sense higher, than the spectacle [cyberspace] offers the tourist. It combines [cyberspace’s] reality with its ideality, embracing the practical, the symbolic and the imaginary. In [cyberspace], the representation of space…and representational space…are mutually reinforcing.
Random notes to be pondered and included later:
Topophilia: love of the land; used by Bachelard and Tuan to emphasize human ties with their environment which creates a sentiment that is tied to the place.
Analagons: images, signs, and symbols