The Body
Book chapter, 2004

Geography is concerned with the triad of economy, society and culture as spatialized, and the themes discussed above suggest that this spatialized triad must be understood through the body. The question of the geographical specificity of the body thus concerns the ways in which spaces emerge and are shaped interdependently with bodies. Geographical work in epistemology suggests that a shift towards the body and notions of positionality must be accompanied by an exploration of other forms of embodied, multi-sensuous, knowledge of spaces. Research on the body in relation to politics and economics suggests that matters of domination and exploitation, and questions of ‘overarching’ ‘global’ scales and processes, must be understood in terms of situated practices, and thus in reach of various forms of embodied attempts to resist and rescale present relations of power. Inquiries into issues of impairment and disability produce knowledge of how physical as well as discursive social constructs constrain bodies that is of relevance not only for emancipating ‘deviant’ bodies, but also for imagining possibilities beyond the everyday confines of ‘normality’. Research into senses other than vision and the related stress on non-representational, embodied ways of knowing in and through practices make the insufficiency of discursive approaches to the body-space nexus particularly clear.

human geography

cultural geography

embodiment

body

spatiality

Author

Michael Landzelius

A Companion to Cultural Geography. James Duncan, Nuala Johnson, and Richard Schein (eds)

279-297

Subject Categories

Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

ISBN

0-631-23050-5