Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory

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Verso, 1989 - Science - 266 pages
Written by one of America's foremost geographers, Postmodern Geographies contests the tendency, still dominant in most social science, to reduce human geography to a reflective mirror, or, as Marx called it, an "unnecessary complication." Beginning with a powerful critique of historicism and its constraining effects on the geographical imagination, Edward Soja builds on the work of Foucault, Berger, Giddens, Berman, Jameson and, above all, Henri Lefebvre, to argue for a historical and geographical materialism, a radical rethinking of the dialectics of space, time and social being.

Soja charts the respatialization of social theory from the still unfolding encounter between Western Marxism and modern geography, through the current debates on the emergence of a postfordist regime of "flexible accumulation." The postmodern geography of Los Angeles, exposed in a provocative pair of essays, serves as a model in his account of the contemporary struggle for control over the social production of space.

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History Geography Modernity
Spatializations Marxist Geography and Critical Social Theory
The Sociospatial Dialectic
Urban and Regional Debates the First Round
Reassertions Towards a Spatialized Ontology
Spatializations A Critique of the Giddensian Version
The Historical Geography of Urban and Regional Restructuring
It All Comes Together in Los Angeles
Taking Los Angeles Apart Towards a Postmodern Geography

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Page 6 - [w]e must be insistently aware of how space can be made to hide consequences from us, how relations of power and discipline are inscribed into the apparently innocent spatiality of social life, how human geographies become filled with politics and ideology

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About the author (1989)

Edward W. Soja teaches Urban and Regional Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of several books on African development and on the economic and spatial restructuring of the Los Angeles region.

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