Timespace: Geographies of Temporality

Timespace: Geographies of Temporality

Timespace: Geographies of Temporality

Timespace: Geographies of Temporality

Synopsis

Timespaceundermines the old certainties of time and space by arguing that these dimensions do not exist singly, but only as a hybrid process term. The issue of space has perhaps been over-emphasised and it is essential that processes of everyday existence, such as globalisation and environmental issues and also notions such as gender, race and ethnicity, are looked at with a balanced time-space analysis.
The social and cultural consequences of this move are traced through a series of studies which deploy different perspectives - structural, phenomenological and even Buddhist - in order to make things meet up. The contributors provide an overview of the history of time and introduce the concepts of time and space together, across a range of disciplines. The themes discussed are of importance for cultural geography, sociology, anthropology, cultural and media studies, and psychology.

Excerpt

Jon May and Nigel Thrift

The impetus for the current collection arises out of a growing sense of dissatisfaction with two recent and related developments in social theory and the social sciences and humanities more broadly. the first of these, evident from the mid-to-late 1980s and of growing significance across an increasing body of work from the early 1990s onwards, concerns the increasing prominence of space and spatiality. Whether relatively simple assertions of the 'difference that space makes' (Sayer, 1985), more grandiose claims as to the inherent spatiality of the postmodern condition (Jameson, 1991), or the growing tendency to draw upon a language of space and place, location and position in writings on subjectivity and identity (Keith and Pile, 1993), as Doreen Massey has remarked, ' “space” is very much on the agenda these days' (Massey, 1994:249). As geographers we must welcome such developments. But this sudden 'reassertion of space in social theory' as Soja (1989) has described it, also makes us a little uneasy. Certainly, we share the kind of concerns expressed by Smith and Katz (1993), for example, that much of this talk about space is just that; that in the work of cultural theorists especially, there is in fact very little to suggest that the 'spatial turn' has progressed beyond the level of metaphor (see also Cresswell, 1997). More fundamentally, though, our concern is with the basic formulations of space evident within the spatial turn, formulations that appear to us curiously one-dimensional and which, at root, seem premised upon a familiar and unhelpful dualism moving around the foundational categories of Space and Time.

Whilst there is no need to rehearse the details of an argument already cogently expressed elsewhere, suffice it to say that we are then in broad agreement with both the central tenets and general conclusions of Massey's recent critique regarding the limitations of the dualism upon which the spatial turn would seem to be premised (see Massey, 1992a). These are, first, that in the writing of authors otherwise as different as Laclau (1990) and Jameson (1991) the tendency has been to draw a strict distinction between Time and Space. Within such a dualism, where

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