Place and the Politics of Identity

Front Cover
Michael Keith, Steve Pile
Routledge, 1993 - Science - 235 pages
The new cultural politics employs a spatialized vocabulary, focusing on how identity is forged. The cultural politics of resistance, as exemplified by black politics, feminism and gay liberation, has not only decentred and descredited "enlightenment man" but has developed struggles to turn sites of oppression and discrimination into spaces of resistance. The naturalized power relations of the old polarities of white/black, male/female and heterosexual/homosexual can be deconstructed in order to explore theories of cultural difference and the everyday realities of political practice. Presenting a wide range of detailed case studies, the authors explore the interface of space, politics and identity. "Place and the Politics of Identity" brings together some of the most radical voices, both new and established, in geographical thought. It aims to serve as seminal reading for all concerned with the new spaces of resistance and the new politics of identity.

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About the author (1993)

Michael Keith is the co-specification lead of EJB 3.0 and also a member of the Java EE 5 expert group. He holds a master's of science in computing from Carleton University and has over 15 years of teaching, research, and practical experience in object persistence. He has implemented persistence systems for Fortune 100 corporations on a host of technologies, including relational and object databases, XML, directory services, and custom data formats. Since the fledgling EJB days he has worked on EJB implementations and integrations of multiple application servers. He has written various papers and articles and spoken at numerous conferences about EJB 3.0. He is currently employed at Oracle as a persistence architect.

My research is primarily concerned with the relationship between place and the politics of identity. For example, I have undertaken a series of investigations into the relationship between the city, everyday life and the spatial constitution of power. This work has found outlets in projects such as City A-Z and also a sole authored book, Real Cities: modernity, space and the phantasmagorias of city life. This book makes a case for taking seriously the more imaginary, fantasmatic and emotional aspects of urbanism. Drawing inspiration from the work of Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Georg Simmel and various psychogeographers, Real Cities explores the dream-like and ghost-like experiences of city life. A further strand of work has been to intervene in how Geography, as a Discipline, is conceived in terms of its practices, content and approaches. My main contribution has been to promote the legitimacy of a psychoanalytic approach to Geography, as first set out in The Body and the City. However, this project has also involved a more cultural take on Geography itself. This can be seen in both the Handbook of Cultural Geography and Patterned Ground. The work I am conducting over the next few years, however, focuses on the body. This project is tentatively titled Fantastic Bodies. It is expected that the final outcome will be a sole authored book.

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