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Impact factor: 1.685 5-Year impact factor: 1.958 Print ISSN: 0004-0894 Online ISSN: 1475-4762 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subject: Geography

Most recent papers:

  • Making usable pasts: collaboration, labour and activism in the archive.
    Paul Griffin.
    Area. October 19, 2017
    The precarious labour geography of shaping political left histories is raised in this paper to engage with and deepen accounts of the archive within geography and beyond. The focus of the paper is on the provision of radical history in Glasgow through two archive collections within the city. The analysis raises the politics of archival research practices and is positioned within a context of increasingly difficult economic circumstances for libraries, archives and museums. The insights emerging from interviews with archive representatives reveal multiple issues relating to the provision of usable pasts and asserts the continued importance of archives within places such as Glasgow. In this regard, the archive is positioned as a place of collaboration, labour and activism to suggest an alternative understanding of archival practice.
    October 19, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12384   open full text
  • Making stories significant: possibilities and challenges at the intersection of digital methods and historic preservation.
    Rebecca Summer, Garrett Dash Nelson.
    Area. October 16, 2017
    This paper reflects on a digital public history project conducted by the authors in Madison, Wisconsin. It uses these reflections to show how digital methods can create new possibilities in the field of historic preservation, and to emphasise that new technology alone does not cut through old challenges relating to public engagement. The bias towards newness and fluidity in digital methods offers an instructive contrast to the bias towards permanence and continuity in historic preservation. Bringing these two worlds into dialogue offers the possibility of strengthening each.
    October 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12395   open full text
  • A cartography of the possible: reflections on militant ethnography in and against the edu‐factory.
    André Pusey.
    Area. September 27, 2017
    This paper examines militant research through the lens of several challenges the author faced when experimenting with it as part of their PhD research. It engages with ongoing debates about the role and complexity of militant methodologies within‐against‐beyond the university. Specifically it suggests that the political economy of the academy is a challenge to militant research through the growing influence of the law of value within increasingly marketised academic contexts. The paper argues that the academic‐recuperation‐machine has the potential to assimilate what it terms the ‘minor knowledge’ created through militant research within its circuits of institutionalisation and commodification, becoming just another output or tool in the toolbox. Relatedly it suggests these challenges do not simply require a reflection on positionality vis‐à‐vis academia/activism, but a collective struggle around academic labour in against‐beyond the university and how militant researcher might remain ‘in but not of’ the neoliberal university.
    September 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12386   open full text
  • Place and the spatial politics of intergenerational remembrance of the Iron Gates displacements in Romania, 1966–1972.
    Claudia Vãran, Remus Creţan.
    Area. September 27, 2017
    Post‐socialist memories recalling the communist past in Central and Eastern Europe have risen to importance in recent decades, but there is still a scarcity of literature dealing with the post‐socialist ‘post‐memory’. By adapting a social‐spatial narrative methodology to memory studies and by promoting the current theories on the spatial politics of (intergenerational) memory in general and more specifically on the post‐socialist memory formation, this paper aims to highlight the nature of memory, how intergenerational shaping of memory happens and the implications of these memories for understanding post‐socialist memory creation through an understanding of how people's personal connections (attachment) to place serve as the basis of intergenerational memory transmission. To set the scene, between 1966 and 1972, in alignment with the Stalinist principles of Soviet electrification, Romania and Yugoslavia completed the construction of one of the largest hydroelectric plants in Europe – the Iron Gates – on the Danube. Although the flooding of the settlements that were in the way of this project involved the destruction of property representing local cultural heritage, the dominant place‐based memories are those related to trauma and personal attachment to (materially gone) places. The shaping of memories for the post‐socialist generation is the foundation of people's difficulty in adapting to a market economy and the capitalist state. However, while the home becomes a locus for memory transmission between generations, post‐memories are ‘summarised’ through certain key traumatic events. The implications of the creation of these memories are significant for understanding post‐socialist memory formation because post‐socialist remembrance of communism is bottom‐up, rooted in local events and grounded in place. Finally, in the context of claiming retroactive justice in contemporary Romanian politics, tensions between those manifesting counter‐memories (i.e. memories that challenge state‐led actions) and those with memories that reveal people's pride for the engineering achievements bring out the complex nature of these memories.
    September 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12387   open full text
  • Gendered youth strategies for inclusion in a changing society: breaking or reproducing the local gender contract?
    Susanne Stenbacka, Ann Grubbström, Gunnel Forsberg.
    Area. September 24, 2017
    This paper explores how place and gender relations influence young people's ways of formulating their struggles and negotiations related to education, work, family, everyday life and achievement of certain life goals. In addition, the paper examines key municipal officials' viewpoints, opening up a space for exchange and development at the interface of policy actions and young people's embodied lives. It is shown that young men and women alike are aware of the challenge to deconstruct hegemonic notions of gender. The focus is on societal changes and young people's educational and work strategies in Dalarna, Central Sweden. Historically, this county was dependent on steel, iron and paper industries: traditionally male employment sectors. Transformation of the labour market is involving new trends and expectations. A result is that gender relations associated with place‐specific, as well as general, assumptions about masculinity and femininity are becoming increasingly fluid while their discursive strength remains.
    September 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12392   open full text
  • Inventory and assessment of geomorphosites for geotourism development: a case study of Aït Bou Oulli valley (central High‐Atlas, Morocco).
    Hicham Bouzekraoui, Ahmed Barakat, Fatima Touhami, Atika Mouaddine, Mohamed El Youssi.
    Area. September 18, 2017
    Aït Bou Oulli valley is located in the heart of the Moroccan central High‐Atlas, with a height of 4068 metres in Ighil M'goun and 3800 metres in Rat Mountain. Mountain areas are characterised by higher geodiversity compared with other areas. The valley possesses a geoheritage that is very rich and diverse, has an exceptional landscape of high mountains and attracts tourists every year. However, the number of visitors is still restricted because of a lack of tools for promotion, valorisation and mediation of this heritage. It is with the aim to promote this rich heritage that the present work was performed. The work focuses on the inventory, selection and quantitative evaluation of the remarkable geomorphosites in order to classify them. The results reveal the presence of 81 potential sites, of which 24 are conducive to geotourism. These conducive sites included: nine fluvial landforms of which five are enviable panoramic viewpoints and four are karstic forms; four structural landforms; three glacial landforms: two gravitatives landforms; one anthropic landform; and one lake landform. Rich information provided by this study and knowledge of these new geomorphosites are important for promotion of tourism activities in the Aït Bou Oulli region and can assist planners and authorities to formulate suitable plans for sustained development of the region.
    September 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12380   open full text
  • Coastal landscapes: the relevance of researching coastscapes for managing coastal change in North Frisia.
    Martin Döring, Beate M W Ratter.
    Area. September 14, 2017
    Studies on the socio‐cultural dimensions of perceiving and framing landscapes represent a well‐established interdisciplinary field of research cutting across the disciplines of geography, anthropology and sociology. Most studies to date converge in the fact that they theoretically and methodologically revolve around textual and symbolic landscape approaches to investigate underlying social representations and practices permeating the physical land: littoral landscapes – to be understood as a subcategory of landscapes – have however received limited attention to date. The paper takes this gap as a starting point to conceptually explore the intersections of different approaches in landscape research for analysing the manifold bonds coastal inhabitants form with their coastal landscapes. The study draws on semi‐structured interviews conducted with coastal inhabitants in the district of North Frisia (Germany). Interviews were analysed following Grounded Theory and refined by a linguistic indepth investigation to reveal different representations of the North Frisian coastscape nestling in coastal dweller's discourse. The analysis brought about aesthetic, genealogical and other interpretative repertoires saturated with a variety of linguistic characteristics developing locally bound patterns of coastscape attachment. The aim of the paper is twofold: first, it consists of an attempt to analytically combine research undertaken in the area of landscape with research on coastal landscapes to uncover the multifarious relations coastal inhabitants form with their livelihoods. Second, it reflects on the epistemological challenges of research on various coastal landscapes for managing coastal change in terms of a ‘coast‐multiple’.
    September 14, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12382   open full text
  • Micro‐bodily mobilities: choreographing a geographies and mobilities of dance and disability.
    Charlotte Veal.
    Area. August 31, 2017
    This paper examines the mobile and embodied geographies of four able‐bodied dancers following their artistic encounters with disability in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Uniquely, I work with the dancing body to examine the differentiated experiences of mobility, and to uncover the performative role of the able body in unravelling assumptions around the skills and artistry of disability dance. Empirical research developed in response to a choreographic dialogue held between the British dance company BalletBoyz and the disabled dancers of Ethiopia's Adugna Potentials. Post‐artistic exchange interviews and performance‐based observations with the BalletBoyz are mobilised here to advance geographical knowledge about the embodied, performative and practised dimensions of micro‐bodily mobility. Equally, I assert the creative potential of the dancing body to probe the social construction of imperfect mobility by exceeding an ablest mobile experience, and inverting expectations around bodily disability.
    August 31, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12377   open full text
  • Beyond happy meat: body mapping (dis)connections to animals in alternative food networks.
    Heide K Bruckner.
    Area. August 30, 2017
    This paper explores the use of body mapping methods in the study of human–animal relations in alternative food networks. While research on alternative food networks is prolific, it has paid little attention to the bodily intimacies of eating‐as‐relational, particularly regarding meat. As recent scholarship on visceral geographies of food claims the body as central, meat and accompanying human–animal relations remain in the shadows. How do conscientious meat eaters relate rationally, affectively and metabolically to animals in consumption practices? Building on current work in geographies of food and feeling, I argue that body mapping serves as a device to probe the visceral realm of practices and feelings in meat consumption. Drawing on focus group fieldwork in Austria, I illustrate how body mapping brings attention to the intertwined material‐affective dimensions of food by eliciting data on both representational and material (dis)engagement with animal life. Furthermore, it facilitates individual and group reflexivity of uncomfortable practices. As a performative method, body mapping opens space for new considerations of the ‘animal’ in relation to food practice. For geographers of food and feeling, body mapping addresses the call for critical methods that illuminate the complexity and contradictions of how bodies respond to – and care for– others within the food system.
    August 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12381   open full text
  • Visions from behind a desk? Archival performance and the re‐enactment of colonial bureaucracy.
    Elizabeth Haines.
    Area. August 30, 2017
    Can ten weeks of archival research be considered a re‐enactment of the daily life of black African clerks who created the records? What would such a claim entail when it is made by a white female scholar? Drawing from my experience of archival research in Zambia, and from recent enthusiasm in historical geography for ‘enlivening’ or ‘animating’ the past, I analyse what parameters would be necessary for this re‐enactment to be considered a success. This paper explores how breaking up historical situations into units of gesture and experience affects the narrating of history. It asks what models of the self are implied by re‐enactive historical investigation; in relation to the agency of historical actors, and also to the performativity of their original gestures. It argues that performative investigation of the social and cultural geographies of the subaltern sits uncomfortably with current scholarly practices in historical geography. This is in part because that work is largely carried out by lone scholars, but also because of the highly individualised, self‐conscious and self‐possessed modes through which the outcomes of performative research are narrated. Finally, borrowing the term ‘acts of transfer’ (from the performance scholar Diana Taylor), this paper proposes that this contemporary performance of clerical work is only one route through which the colonial past resonates, or acts, in the present. The lives of the colonial clerks were locked into structures of racial and socioeconomic inequality that survive outside my performance. Does ‘performing’ the past overwrite or obscure these other continuities? To avoid such an erasure, both the ethical consequences and epistemological goals of performative research in historical geography need to be more clearly articulated in relationship to the sociomaterial geographies of the present.
    August 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12378   open full text
  • Learning spaces in the countryside: university students and the Harper assemblage.
    Philip A Robinson.
    Area. August 30, 2017
    Using the concepts of affect and assemblage, this paper expands the boundaries of the geographies of education by shifting the student focus from the urban to the rural. Based on the findings of student interviews, it demonstrates how a multiscalar and diversely constituted network of material and non‐material things (including buildings, animals and plants) coalesces with students to create affective atmospheres of learning in a specialist agri‐food and land‐based rural university. This learning is underpinned by a sense of attachment to historical tradition through more than a century of agricultural education on the campus, giving students a strong sense of identity in corporeality. Animals are enrolled in teaching and learning through embodied sensory engagement with their states of health, welfare and disease. Students learn both with and from their student peers, centred on a mutual interest in the science and practicality of caring for production animals and pets. This mutual learning and sharing takes place both within, and informally beyond, the geographies of the classroom. The paper draws out wider cautionary lessons for ongoing university expansions; the praxis of university education within fieldwork‐ and vocationally‐based domains; and the role of both formal and informal assemblages of teaching and learning within the academy.
    August 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12379   open full text
  • (Re)assembling foodscapes with the Crowd Grown Feast.
    Emma Louise Sharp.
    Area. August 29, 2017
    This paper uses an assemblage framework to examine the Crowd Grown Feast, an ‘alternative food initiative’ that engaged 100 participants in a collective food growing and eating event in Auckland's city centre. Assemblage thinking here derives from the intersecting theoretical and political interests of multiplicity and uncertainty. It offers a generative framework for a feminist ethnography concerned with the transformative potential of actually existing practices. Studying the case of the Crowd Grown Feast within this framework allows us to explore tensions in agrifood scholarship created by the challenge issued to dominant traditions of political economy by recent relational accounts of alternative foods, ‘food bodies’ and affect. I challenge the terms of contemporary debates around food provisioning in this way. The case highlights the multiple relations that animate and constitute conventional categories. It confirms that binary categories such as producer/consumer, urban/rural, conventional/alternative, and good/bad foods are misrepresentative by nature of the blurred boundaries between them, and suggests that they might be better understood as assemblages of emergent relations among multiple subjects and objects. This way of thinking and doing research is much needed in critical food geography as a platform for imagining and practising food spaces differently.
    August 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12376   open full text
  • Dams, political framing and sustainability as an empty signifier: the case of Belo Monte.
    Ed Atkins.
    Area. August 20, 2017
    The construction of a hydroelectric dam involves the prolonged contest between pro‐ and anti‐dam coalitions adopting various storylines to provide the project with meaning. These representations of dams are often open to reinvention and transformation, allowing for the introduction of new portrayals. This work adopts Ernesto Laclau's and Chantal Mouffe's Discourse Analytic framework to explore how supporters of the Belo Monte project in Brazil have integrated narratives of environmental sustainability into the positioning of the facility. Following recent scholarship, these appeals to sustainability are cast as a tool to legitimize construction whilst concealing negative social and environmental consequences. In doing so, this work asserts that the ambiguity – or emptiness – of the concept of sustainability has allowed for the pro‐dam coalition to adopt such a storyline to legitimise a project that possesses questionable environmentalist credentials.
    August 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12364   open full text
  • The dynamics of prehistoric burial mounds of Ploieşti metropolitan area (Romania) as reflected by cartographic documents of the 18th–20th centuries.
    Alin Frînculeasa, Mădălina Nicoleta Frînculeasa, Ionel Florin Dumitru, Cezar Buterez.
    Area. August 18, 2017
    This paper draws attention to the unexploited potential of cartographic material related to Ploieşti city, Romania, from the oldest reports to the modern. The cartographic document may bring valuable, more often than not original, information in order to improve understandings of behavioural patterns and the evolution of prehistoric communities. The study of the distribution and dynamics of burial mounds (tumuli) associated with the Bronze Age, within the perimeter of Ploieşti city and its metropolitan area, is one of the first applications of this kind of analysis made in Romania, and succeeds in showing the importance of using direct or indirect data from this category of cartographic documents for archaeological studies. Moreover, it demonstrates that, because geosystems and social systems are not static in space and time, a diachronic cartographic study provides the opportunity for a phenomenological focus on the evolutional issues of tumuli – spatiality, boundaries, distances and density.
    August 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12354   open full text
  • Towards a spatialised understanding of reconciliation.
    Elly Harrowell.
    Area. August 18, 2017
    This paper argues that we should conceive of reconciliation spatially in order to unlock new insights into the process of reconciling divided societies. It seeks to respond to recent calls to put peace at the heart of geographical research, and suggests that one way in which the challenge of developing peace geographies can be meaningfully progressed is by exploring the spatial elements of the notion of reconciliation. The paper identifies four areas where a spatialised approach to reconciliation is beginning to emerge across the disciplines of urban planning, legal geographies, political science and international development. These include the role of the built environment as a facilitator of reconciliation, the existence of spatial barriers to reconciliation, the role of formalised spaces of reconciliation and the impact of everyday spaces of reconciliation. The paper interrogates the way that space creates possibilities for processes of reconciliation, and the ways that distinctive types of space are in turn created by these processes. Finally, it suggests fruitful avenues for future research, including by working across disciplines.
    August 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12365   open full text
  • Energy, households, gender and science: a feminist retrofit framework for transdisciplinary research.
    Gordon Waitt.
    Area. August 16, 2017
    The energy field is characterised by an unusual degree of transdisciplinary research. At a moment when transdisciplinary work is valued within certain policy realms for its more apparent relevance and problem‐solving attributes to global challenges, it is therefore helpful to consider frameworks that may facilitate such research. To do so, this paper explores how feminist geographers might help recognise and mitigate against the imbalances of power in relationships between researchers from different disciplines by carefully considering questions of epistemology and methodology in collaborative projects. Attentive to the feminist concepts of ‘situated knowledge’ and ‘reflexivity’, this paper examines what constitutes acceptably scholarly knowledge on domestic energy. The paper thus proposes a feminist retrofit framework (FRF) with three components: (i) gendered science and knowledge of domestic energy efficiency; (ii) everyday knowledge of domestic energy efficiency; and (iii) experimental participatory approaches to investigating energy efficiency. By bringing into conversation feminist science studies and feminist post‐structuralist geography, the proposed FRF facilitates rigorous analyses of gender, power and epistemologies in energy research. To illustrate one way to achieve more equitable energy research and interventions, the paper draws on three events in which [self‐]reflexivity contests and extends conventional approaches to conducting a domestic energy project with older low‐income households in a regional centre of New South Wales, Australia.
    August 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12363   open full text
  • From experience economy to experience landscape: the example of UK trail centres.
    David Gibbs, Lewis Holloway.
    Area. August 10, 2017
    This paper outlines a research agenda focused on the development of ‘experience landscapes’ for outdoor leisure practices. It uses the example of trail centres for mountain biking to highlight the importance of examining embodied experience and human–technology hybridity in understanding participation in active outdoor pursuits. We propose that such experience landscapes are being created as part of a broader shift towards an experience economy, as particular spaces are carefully and deliberately imagined and built to host specific activities and attract users. In the case of trail centres, we argue that this landscape is a co‐production of actors involved in rural development, professional and volunteer ‘trail builders’, changing bike equipment technologies and mountain bike riders themselves. The embodied and hybrid ‘experience’ of mountain biking is itself transformed by being practised in experience landscapes. We argue that research focusing on understanding the process of co‐producing experience landscapes will lead to valuable inputs to the continuing success of both trail centres and rural development strategies.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12366   open full text
  • Un‐earthing the Subterranean Anthropocene.
    Maria Lourdes Melo Zurita, Paul George Munro, Donna Houston.
    Area. August 10, 2017
    In this paper, we argue that the role of the underground has been discursively absent from contemporary debates about the Anthropocene. We build on recent geographical scholarship that has challenged ‘surface bias’ and call for geographical debate to go deeper into the third dimension; to explore the Subterranean Anthropocene; to embrace volume ontologies. We present three core arguments. (1) The Anthropocene is about our future underground, a geological epoch signifier where stratigraphic signatures will be etched in future rocks. This requires us to critically reflect on how our human identity and practice is entangled with rock stratum, both now and in the future. (2) The Anthropocene is about our subterranean past. It involves the emergence of capitalisation and industrialisation – two major driving forces of epochal change – that are predicated on new technologies that redefine the underground as an epistemological space for economic, social and political calculation. (3) We propose that the Anthropocene is about our current sub‐surface relations. That the underground matters in contemporary society as a resource, as a site of urban infrastructure, as a source of soils for agriculture and as a dump for waste, among many other uses. However, this important protagonist role in society, and hence the Anthropocene, is still somewhat obscured. There is therefore a need for new metaphorical tropes to bring the underground into contemporary environmental discourses. As such, we conclude, subterranean spaces should become more prominent epistemic, physical, technical and conceptual locations for geographical exploration and political geo‐ecological framings.
    August 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12369   open full text
  • ‘Free, decolonised education’: a lesson from the South African student struggle.
    Adam Elliott‐Cooper.
    Area. August 07, 2017
    This commentary places British geography within transnational currents of student‐focused decolonisation movements. In October 2015, the author travelled to South Africa for the first time, visiting Witwatersrand University (Johannesburg), University of Cape Town (UCT) and Rhodes University in Grahamstown. This paper draws on historical accounts of the British colonisation of what is now South Africa, contextualising both the domestic and global inequalities which it’s students are currently challenging. British imperial history also provides a basis for understanding the roots of British geography, offering the campaigns to decolonise the South African university as an opportunity to critically reflect on how our own discipline produces knowledge. The commentary asks this timely question: as geographers, particularly those based in the old centre of Empire, how can our work be used to dismantle the colonialism our discipline has been implicated in since its formal inception?
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12375   open full text
  • Decolonising geographical knowledges: the incommensurable, the university and democracy.
    Andrew Baldwin.
    Area. August 07, 2017
    This short intervention argues that Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang's notion of an ethic of incommensurability might serve as the basis for rethinking the democratic function of the university in the context of calls to decolonialise geographical knowledge and higher education.
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12374   open full text
  • A day in the life of a Geographer: ‘lone’1, black, female.
    Divya P Tolia‐Kelly.
    Area. August 07, 2017
    This piece is a narrative representation of the experience of being black and female in the discipline of Geography in the UK and beyond. The aim is to share an ethnographic research on race in Geography, based on day‐to‐day experience in the academy. The piece expresses some of the morphologies of black geographical life in everyday academia. The material has originally been shared in coaching and mentoring relationships with me. The quotes included have been sanctioned for use in this particular piece and were sent to me in individual emails in January 2017.
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12373   open full text
  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) student and staff in contemporary British Geography.
    Vandana Desai.
    Area. August 07, 2017
    This commentary examines the profile of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) students and staff in contemporary UK geography. National data from HESA and other studies on ethnicity in academia are used to provide an overview of diversity and equality issues affecting UK‐based geography departments. The findings from the data analysis highlight the predominant ‘whiteness’ of the discipline when compared with the number of BME student and staff, in turn raising troubling equality and diversity issues.
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12372   open full text
  • Introduction: Decolonising geographical knowledge in a colonised and re‐colonising postcolonial world.
    Patricia Noxolo.
    Area. August 07, 2017
    A short and direct introduction sets out the context for this special section. After a brief sketch of each of the commentary pieces and how they fit together, the key question will then be posed: how are geographers now inserting themselves into these ongoing dynamics, and which particular aspects of the present moment are geography academics well‐placed to address?
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12370   open full text
  • Exploring the co‐benefits of urban green infrastructure improvements for businesses and workers' wellbeing.
    Steve Cinderby, Sue Bagwell.
    Area. August 07, 2017
    Explorations of the benefits for businesses in terms of customer experience or improvements in staff wellbeing from installing and retro‐fitting green infrastructure (GI) in a European city context have been lacking. This paper reports on a two‐year longitudinal mixed methods study in a district of central London evaluating the changes resulting from the installation of a mixture of greening schemes for different types of business sectors and their staff members. Business managers, particularly from retail and leisure sectors, perceived increases in customer footfall and sales in relation to the improvements. Providing accessible green space in office settings led to improvements in morale, team interaction and workplace satisfaction among staff members able to access the improvements. Increased GI was seen as improving uptake of company environmental policies such as energy saving or recycling among staff by their managers. Impacts of neighbourhood GI schemes on staff wellbeing were mixed, with increased greening leading to improved self‐reported workplace happiness and greater interaction with nature spaces but not changes in overall measurements of staff wellbeing. Overall, the findings indicate that GI could represent a worthwhile investment for UK and European businesses through these combinations of direct and indirect returns adding to the known environmental benefits improving urban green spaces can provide.
    August 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12361   open full text
  • The body–space relations of research(ed) on bodies: the experiences of becoming participant researchers.
    Emma Wainwright, Elodie Marandet, Sadaf Rizvi.
    Area. July 10, 2017
    This paper heeds calls for reflections on how the research field is defined through embodied socio‐spatial presence and immediacy. Focusing on classroom ‘body‐training’ observations that were part of a larger qualitative research project, and on the field notes and reflections of three researchers, we explore the transition from observer‐researchers to participant‐researchers. That is, we explore how, by researching others, we unexpectedly became researched on as our own bodies became instruments in the research process and were used to elicit knowledge on embodied learning, body‐mapping and corporeal trace. As a methodological intervention, conducting research through the body, the positioning of bodies and body‐to‐body interaction, can tell us much about the often ignored embodied and emotional dimensions of the research field. But, in addition, it can elucidate the power relations between, and the fluidity of, researcher and researched positions in the jolting of secured researcher identity. Here we detail how different researchers performed different embodied and emotional subjectivities in different training research spaces. We explore how ontological anxieties of our own placed bodies, based around constructed notions of femininity, religion and researcher professionalism, shape this immediate body‐to‐body encounter and the subsequent research process.
    July 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12367   open full text
  • Outdoor learning spaces: the case of forest school.
    Frances Harris.
    Area. June 30, 2017
    This paper contributes to the growing body of research concerning use of outdoor spaces by educators, and the increased use of informal and outdoor learning spaces when teaching primary school children. The research takes the example of forest school, a form of regular and repeated outdoor learning increasingly common in primary schools. This research focuses on how the learning space at forest school shapes the experience of children and forest school leaders as they engage in learning outside the classroom. The learning space is considered as a physical space, and also in a more metaphorical way as a space where different behaviours are permitted, and a space set apart from the national curriculum. Through semi‐structured interviews with members of the community of practice of forest school leaders, the paper seeks to determine the significance of being outdoors on the forest school experience. How does this learning space differ from the classroom environment? What aspects of the forest school learning space support pupils’ experiences? How does the outdoor learning space affect teaching, and the dynamics of learning while at forest school? The research shows that the outdoor space provides new opportunities for children and teachers to interact and learn, and revealed how forest school leaders and children co‐create a learning environment in which the boundaries between classroom and outdoor learning, teacher and pupil, are renegotiated to stimulate teaching and learning. Forest school practitioners see forest school as a separate learning space that is removed from the physical constraints of the classroom and pedagogical constraints of the national curriculum to provide a more flexible and responsive learning environment.
    June 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12360   open full text
  • Photo‐response: approaching participatory photography as a more‐than‐human research method.
    Ashraful Alam, Andrew McGregor, Donna Houston.
    Area. June 29, 2017
    There is growing interest in ‘more‐than‐human’ influences on places and practices. However, while the theoretical thinking in this field is well developed, methodology and methods lag behind. Borrowing insights from feminist geographers’ articulation of ‘response’, we explore how participatory photography can be used to examine more‐than‐human processes through a case study of marginal homemaking in Khulna city in Bangladesh. Our photo‐response method focuses on performances of seeing, telling and being together to enhance the co‐production of ‘knowledges’. We conclude that analysing three stages of ‘response’ within participatory photography provides new insights for conducting research in, with and as more‐than‐human worlds.
    June 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12368   open full text
  • Commodity individuation of milk in the Somali Region, Ethiopia.
    Olivia Pearson, Matthias Schmidt.
    Area. June 26, 2017
    Livestock is traditionally the central commodity for the Somali pastoralists of Ethiopia, a commodity that fulfils numerous purposes required to sustain livelihoods. Livestock commodification, however, is not limited to animal sales. Milk is a fundamental element of Somali life, used as a primary source of food for young animals and for human consumption. In the Somali Region, herders now sell milk, an act that was traditionally taboo, to supplement their income. Thus commodity individuation, processes that detach a thing from its traditional context and purpose and convert it into a commodity, has occurred. This paper deals with the recent phenomenon of commodification processes by identifying the degree of and reasons for milk individuation in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. The analysis shows the extent milk has been separated from its traditional context and addresses the cultural and economic impacts of milk individuation.
    June 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12359   open full text
  • Ozymandias in the Anthropocene: the city as an emerging landform.
    Simon J Dixon, Heather A Viles, Bradley L Garrett.
    Area. June 21, 2017
    The extent of urban areas is rapidly expanding across the globe, both horizontally and vertically. While natural and social scientists have examined the impacts of this urbanisation on earth system and social processes, to date researchers have largely overlooked how in turn earth system processes can act on this urban fabric to produce hybrid landforms. Unique pseudokarst landforms are found within the urban fabric, including urban stalactites and urban sinkholes. Additionally, both the chronic and acute degradation of urban buildings can form rubble and dust that, if left in situ, will be shaped by fluvial and aeolian processes. For many of these urban geomorphological processes, the neglect or abandonment of parts of the urban network will facilitate or accelerate their influence. If there are economic, climatic or social reasons for abandonment or neglect, these processes are likely to reshape parts of the urban fabric into unique landforms at a range of scales. We contend that researchers need to explicitly consider the urban fabric as an Anthropocene landform and that by doing so important insights can be gained into urban hazards and geomorphological processes. Shelley's Ozymandias, in which the eponymous king failed to account for the effects of earth system processes acting on ‘mighty’ urban structures over time, serves as an important reminder of the impermanence of our urban works and the need to recognise and understand the processes acting on them.
    June 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12358   open full text
  • Competing knowledge systems and adaptability to sea‐level rise in The Bahamas.
    Jan Petzold, Beate M W Ratter, Arnd Holdschlag.
    Area. June 18, 2017
    In times of climate change and global ecosystem degradation, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are both showcases and indicators for global social‐ecological dynamics. Resilience is among the most prominent concepts to assess and improve communities’ capacity to adapt to environmental changes, described as adaptability. But how environmental pressures are perceived, and how this perception translates into action and specific behavioural patterns, is regionally different and depends on cultural, historical and cognitive contexts. Within the cultural and regional framing, different knowledge systems can be identified, which affect perception of and behaviour towards environmental concerns. Knowledge systems can be competing, because they are influenced by different and changing cultural identities, experiences, worldviews, norms and (unequal) power relations. How do competing knowledge systems influence adaptability? And how can we learn from them, respectively? By means of qualitative and quantitative empirical research on The Bahamas, we show how different knowledge systems translate into different modes of responding to specific environmental pressures, such as sea‐level rise. The understanding of historicity and temporality, experience and learning processes, and institutional settings, which frame people's knowledge of their environment, is important for understanding potentials for adaptability.
    June 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12355   open full text
  • ‘Less‐than‐fluent’ and culturally connected: language learning and cultural fluency as research methodology.
    Danielle Drozdzewski.
    Area. June 15, 2017
    The purpose of this paper is to critically explore language learning and cultural fluency as a research methodology. Deploying an auto‐ethnographic approach, I scrutinise my programme of language learning and forays into the cultural to highlight how knowledge of the cultural contexts of a language, and not just the language itself, have provided nuanced insights into Polish cultural memory and identity. The paper's specific contribution is to agitate for a greater recognition of the value of cultural understanding and language learning as a distinct methodological approach. I track how the process of learning the Polish language and its cultural intricacies has included both acts of speaking and comprehending how words are (re)presented in their cultural contexts.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12357   open full text
  • Experiencing and practising inclusion through friendships.
    Riikka Korkiamäki, Kirsi Pauliina Kallio.
    Area. June 15, 2017
    The late modern change in young people's community life has meant moving from traditional, place‐based communities towards more fluid and situational contexts of belonging. These youth‐initiated attachments often build on amiable relationships that fall under the umbrella of ‘friendship’. This paper analyses Finnish early youths’ friendship narratives that were produced by sequential participatory methods. It introduces the dimensional and flexible spaces created in and through the participants’ friendships. These indicate relational spheres of actual and imagined activities where young people engage with people and places important to them. As a result, the paper first shows how young people together with their peers develop committed ties of belonging that reach beyond physical connection, and how these ties constitute experiential spatial attachments. Second, it demonstrates how they also make friends with kin and non‐kin adults and how these intergenerational friendships expand the variety of inclusionary spaces available to them. The findings provide alternative insights into young people's experiences and the practices of social and spatial inclusion. We hope they help to develop cross‐generational inclusionary policies that acknowledge youths’ amiable relationships as important potential in their lived communities.
    June 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12352   open full text
  • Connectivity as a multiple: in, with and as ‘nature’.
    Timothy Hodgetts.
    Area. May 24, 2017
    Connectivity is a central concept in contemporary geographies of nature, but the concept is often understood and utilised in plural ways. This is problematic because of the separation, rather than the confusion, of these different approaches. While the various understandings of connectivity are rarely considered as working together, the connections between them have significant implications. This paper thus proposes re‐thinking connectivity as a ‘multiple’. It develops a taxonomy of existing connectivity concepts from the fields of biogeography and landscape ecology, conservation biology, socio‐economic systems theory, political ecology and more‐than‐human geography. It then considers how these various understandings might be re‐thought not as separate concerns, but (following Annemarie Mol) as ‘more than one, but less than many’. The implications of using the connectivity multiple as an analytic for understanding conservation practices are demonstrated through considering the creation of wildlife corridors in conservation practice. The multiple does not just serve to highlight the practical and theoretical linkages between ecological theories, social inequities and affectual relationships in more‐than‐human worlds. It is also suggestive of a normative approach to environmental management that does not give temporal priority to biological theories, but considers these as always already situated in these social, often unequal, always more‐than‐human ecologies.
    May 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12353   open full text
  • Studying social practices and global practice change using scrapbooks as a cultural probe.
    Cecily Maller, Yolande Strengers.
    Area. May 24, 2017
    Empirical work on household consumption informed by theories of social practice has grown exponentially in the last few years. This is partly due to conceptual developments positing practices as being comprised of materials, meanings and skills. Such formulations are readily applied to empirical investigations. As the aim of a growing body of empirical work with theories of social practice is to present evidence for how practices can, should, have or might change in the future towards improved sustainability, greater questioning and broader reflection about methods and approaches would be helpful. In the interests of contributing to such methodological discussions and broadening out the range of tools available, this paper is concerned with how to study the processes and dynamics involved in the globalisation of practices. We do so by adapting a method of scrapbooking used as a cultural probe in human‐computer interactions research. We apply this method in a qualitative study with international students studying in Australia where we combined interviewing techniques with a purpose‐designed practice memory scrapbook containing a variety of images of current and historical practices. Practices of interest were those related to keeping warm, cool, laundering and bathing. We found the scrapbook useful in four main ways: it facilitated discussion about mundane everyday practices; it uncovered assumptions about ‘normal’ ways of carrying out everyday practices; it foregrounded the absence/presence of material elements; and it facilitated reflection on how practice entities are changing. We conclude that the practice memory scrapbook is a useful and complementary qualitative research method to consider in studies seeking to understand the practice dynamics involved in globalisation.
    May 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12351   open full text
  • Visions of wilderness in the North Bay communities of California.
    Amy Freitag.
    Area. May 24, 2017
    The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines American wilderness as ‘untrammeled’ and remains the guiding law in wilderness management despite harsh critiques of the concept in the intervening 50 years. In the North Bay region of California, the ‘untrammeled’ designation is part of a matrix of protected lands that makes its way into the daily lives of local residents. Using three such cases, a Visions of the Wild festival, the drawn‐out legal battle over aquaculture in Drakes Bay and in upgrading a highway connecting two major North Bay communities, the concept of wilderness is a concept on trial. In each of these cases, the ethnic diversity of the area contributes to conflict in understanding and decision‐making. However, as the festival demonstrates, direct stakeholder‐driven discussion of the concept can highlight shared values in nature despite the apparent differences.
    May 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12356   open full text
  • Activism across the lifecourse: circumstantial, dormant and embedded activisms.
    Naomi Maynard.
    Area. May 18, 2017
    Focusing on the relationship between activism, the individual and the lifecourse, this paper argues for the importance of conceptualising activism as a dynamic temporal, as well as spatial, process. Transferring Nancy Worth's understanding of youth transitions ‘as becoming’ onto activism, and using empirical research with adults who were involved in organisationally mediated activism as young people, three states of activism are offered and considered: circumstantial, dormant and embedded. Firstly activism that is circumstantial, important in the moment, is shown to play a significant role for young people in making possible multiple potential futures. Exploring these connections between the past and future unsettles the recent (over)emphasis in the studies of children and young people and P/politics, of the ‘here and now’. Secondly, it is argued that when involvement in organisationally mediated activism has finished, these experiences of activism have not ended but are dormant. They may be rejuvenated and curated at a different position in the lifecourse or following a new moment of conscientisation. Thirdly, contributing to a growing body of literature within activist geographies, instances where activism has become embedded in everyday spaces are examined. Complex transitions to adulthood are suggested to contribute to the nature of activism in these spaces. Going beyond the documentation of small‐scale activisms, these activisms are also presented as entwined with other scales.
    May 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12349   open full text
  • Material ‘becomings’ and a historical geography of religious experience: metropolitan Methodism, 1851–1932.
    Ruth Slatter (née Mason).
    Area. May 15, 2017
    Using Wesleyan Methodism in London between 1851 and 1932 as its case study, this paper explores the potential methods and outcomes of studying religious spaces as material items. Interested in both the ‘becoming’ of their physical material properties and social meanings, this paper considers how geographical research can engage with debates within material culture studies about the relative importance and consequences of analysing the material qualities or social meanings of material items. This paper also responds to geographical and historical approaches to religious practices that are increasingly interested in individuals’ everyday experiences of religion, suggesting that studying the becoming nature of religious space can provide insights into historical congregational experiences. Finally, reflecting on the inevitable gaps and inconsistencies in historical archives, this paper assesses the methodological possibilities and viability of using material sources and analysis in historical geography.
    May 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12345   open full text
  • Leaving the field: (de‐)linked lives of the researcher and research assistant.
    Martina Angela Caretta, Florence Jemutai Cheptum.
    Area. May 11, 2017
    Leaving the field is a crucial moment that has been examined neither from an emotional point of view nor from a life course perspective. In this co‐authored paper, we, the researcher and the research assistant, analyse through our diaries how this moment was entangled with decisive life events and how our emotions were conditioned by our embodied experience of sickness, separation and incertitude towards the future. Departing from life course and feminist geographical reflexive standpoints, we engage with the complexities of positionality and turning points. Drawing on the duality of our experiences of separation and the individual and collective evolution of our positionalities and identities, this paper reifies the life course principle of linked lives by examining the interdependency of researchers’ and research assistants’ lives.
    May 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12342   open full text
  • ‘Maybe you will remember’: interpretation and life course reflexivity.
    Liesl L Gambold.
    Area. May 11, 2017
    This paper examines the relationship of the fieldworker, self‐proclaimed venerate ‘insider/outsider’, to their shifting role as researcher and traveller on the life course. Ethnographic fieldwork is a transitory research method, reliant on a gaze shifting from the breadth of the field site to the depth of individual human experience. The researcher is the conduit and the instrument of data collection but has not been adequately understood as a transforming agent in the process. Reflexivity is required to understand how the researcher's experiences and shifting position on the life course converge with fieldwork processes and data. Inspired by a phenomenological life course perspective I use data from fieldwork in Russia, Mexico and southern Europe to throw light on the emergent effects of life course shifts on the fieldworker's positionality and interpretation of research experiences and field notes. Researcher and textual reflexivity can result in a more vibrant recognition of the messiness of the human fieldwork experience and the resulting epistemological potential.
    May 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12344   open full text
  • Engaged witnessing: researching with the more‐than‐human.
    Sarah J Bell, Lesley Instone, Kathleen J Mee.
    Area. May 11, 2017
    Despite increased recognition of the need to explore the ways in which non‐humans are entangled with the social world, the practicalities of how to use research methods to engage with non‐human actors are often overlooked. This paper explores methodologies for researching with and writing about the non‐human and contributes to literature focusing on the co‐fabricated nature of research. Drawing on empirical research conducted in Ku‐ring‐gai Chase National Park, Australia, we develop the concept of engaged witnessing as a way of attending to the performative and creative nature of encounters with non‐humans. We argue that learning to witness and be affected by surroundings and non‐human actors in order to glimpse the web of human and non‐human performances enlivens research engagements with non‐human actors. We show how this ‘learning’ can occur, firstly through following the movements and impacts of animals and secondly through practising the Indigenous concept of Dadirri with trees, in order to research with the more‐than‐human.
    May 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12346   open full text
  • The emotional challenges of conducting in‐depth research into significant health issues in health geography: reflections on emotional labour, fieldwork and life course.
    Sarah McGarrol.
    Area. May 09, 2017
    Emotions are increasingly being recognised and integrated into human geography and it has been highlighted that focusing on the ‘interrelatedness’ of the research process is crucial. By contextualising fieldwork within the life course of the researcher, greater acknowledgement of the ‘emotional labour’ involved in fieldwork can be highlighted. The author reflects on the ‘emotional geographies’ of conducting PhD research into significant health issues with participants who had recently suffered a heart attack in Fife, Scotland. This paper reveals emotions involved in this kind of research, drawing on perspectives from participants as well as the researcher. The author also draws attention to, and reflects on, the lack of engagement with researcher's emotional labour within formal academic structures, such as research training and ethics application processes. Reflecting on fieldwork experiences from a distance, the author discusses the influence and impact of her emotional experiences of fieldwork. This paper contributes to work concerned with emotions and fieldwork in geography and asserts that greater importance and value needs to be given to this type of emotion work as embedded and situated within researchers’ life courses.
    May 09, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12347   open full text
  • Contested understandings of yaks on the eastern Tibetan Plateau: market logic, Tibetan Buddhism and indigenous knowledge.
    Gaerrang (Kabzung).
    Area. May 08, 2017
    The Tibetan Buddhist tradition of Tsetar rituals and practices, which direct many Tibetan pastoralists to either save or release livestock from being slaughtered in order to gain positive karma, has recently been popularised by Tibetan Nyingma masters in pastoral regions. The trend developed as they witnessed an increase in the slaughter of yaks and Tibetan sheep in the commercial meat market resulting from the growing integration of Tibetan pastoralists into the market economy. The contradictory visions of yaks as living beings, according to Tibetan Buddhist teachings, and as productive resources in accordance with market logic, have somehow worked together to shape pastoralists' understandings of, and relationships with, yaks in their everyday decision‐making. By examining the case of Khenpo Jigphun's Tsetar movement and ethnographic studies of Tibetan yak herding practices in the south‐eastern Tibetan Plateau, this paper examines how competing visions of yaks work together to produce a hybrid knowledge of Tibetan pastoralists that is simultaneously generated in their situated experiences in contemporary society. The paper suggests that the concept of situated knowledge has the potential to bring indigenous people from the margins into the centre where not only can they have meaningful conversations with actors possessing different forms of knowledge, but they can also find a space where the possibility of alternative development paths exist. Furthermore, I assert that conceptualising indigenous knowledge as situated does not uncritically celebrate hybridity, but rather allows for a view of indigenous peoples as contemporaries who should not be relegated to the ‘waiting room of history’, nor be viewed as romanticised models for an idealised future.
    May 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12343   open full text
  • Configuring climate responsibility in the city: carbon footprints and climate justice in Hong Kong.
    Sara Fuller.
    Area. April 27, 2017
    Climate action is increasingly marked by the responsibilisation of individuals. In this context, carbon footprints have gained traction as a means of both quantifying individual responsibility for climate change and for motivating individual action through changes in behaviour. However, these mechanisms raise questions for climate justice in terms of how such moral and political responsibility is configured and distributed within the city. Drawing on a case study of Hong Kong, this paper explores the ways in which carbon footprinting configures responsibility for climate action by juxtaposing carbon footprints and the associated techniques of quantification alongside a discussion of the everyday practices of residents in a low‐income neighbourhood. It argues that carbon footprints offer important opportunities for measuring the impacts of carbon‐intensive activities and generating discussions about the allocation of responsibility for addressing climate change. However, it also demonstrates that individual carbon footprints ignore the uneven nature of carbon emissions in cities as well as obscuring important questions about the roles and responsibilities of other actors. In conclusion, the paper calls for an approach centred on common but differentiated responsibilities for carbon production and consumption to enable a more nuanced configuration of climate justice in the city.
    April 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12341   open full text
  • Creative construction: crafting, negotiating and performing urban food sharing landscapes.
    Anna R Davies, Ferne Edwards, Brigida Marovelli, Oona Morrow, Monika Rut, Marion Weymes.
    Area. April 26, 2017
    Activities utilising online tools are an increasingly visible part of our everyday lives, providing new subjects, objects and relationships – essentially new landscapes – for research, as well as new conceptual and methodological challenges for researchers. In parallel, calls for collaborative interdisciplinary, even transdisciplinary, research are increasing. Yet practical guidance and critical reflection on the challenges and opportunities of conducting collaborative research online, particularly in emergent areas, is limited. In response, this paper details what we term the ‘creative construction’ involved in a collaborative project building an exploratory database of more than 4000 food sharing activities in 100 cities that utilise internet and digital technologies in some way (ICT mediated for brevity) to pursue their goals. The research was undertaken by an international team of researchers, including geographers, which utilised a combination of reflexive coding and online collaboration to develop a system for exploring the practice and performance of ICT‐mediated food sharing in cities. This paper will unpack the black box of using the internet as a source of data about emergent practices and provide critical reflection on that highly negotiated and essentially handcrafted process. While the substance of the paper focuses on the under‐determined realm of food sharing, a site where it is claimed that ICT is transforming practices, the issues raised have resonance far beyond the specificities of this particular endeavour. While challenging, we argue that handcrafting systems for navigating emergent online data is vital, not least to render visible the complexities and contestations around definition, categorisation and translation.
    April 26, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12340   open full text
  • A thirst for development: mapping water stress using night‐time stable lights as predictors of province‐level water stress in China.
    Xiaojun You, Kyle M Monahan.
    Area. April 20, 2017
    Given the rapid development within China, the inequality of available water resources has been increasingly of interest. Current methods for assessing water stress are inadequate for province‐scale rapid monitoring. A more responsive indicator at a finer scale is needed to understand the distribution of water stress in China. This paper selected Defense Meteorological Satellite Program Operational Line‐scan System night‐time stable lights as a proxy for water stress at the province level in China from 2004 to 2012, as night‐time lights are closely linked with population density, electricity consumption and other social, economic and environmental indicators associated with water stress. The linear regression results showed the intensity of night‐time lights can serve as a predictive tool to assess water stress across provinces with an R2 from 0.797 to 0.854. The model worked especially well in some regions, such as East China, North China and South West China. Nonetheless, confounding factors interfered with the predictive relationship, including population density, level of economic development, natural resource endowment and industrial structures, etc. The model was not greatly improved by building a multi‐variable linear regression including agricultural and industrial indicators. A straightforward predictor of water stress using remotely sensed data was developed.
    April 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12336   open full text
  • Demonic geographies.
    Dragos Simandan.
    Area. April 10, 2017
    Demonic geography is an approach to practising human geography that operates from the premise that there are no such immaterial entities as ‘souls’, ‘spirits’, ‘minds’, integrated stable ‘selves’ or conscious ‘free will’. This paper elaborates the theoretical framework of demonic geography by spelling out how it is different from non‐representational theory and by articulating it within recent developments in experimental psychology, neuroscience and the philosophy of mind. Counterintuitively, the paper shows that the deflationary, materialistic ontology of human nature espoused by demonic geography need not lead to meaninglessness, unhappiness or the collapse of moral behaviour. Instead, subscribing to demonic geography opens up new ways to find meaning, to pursue happiness and to live the good life.
    April 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12339   open full text
  • Material migrations of performance.
    Amanda Rogers.
    Area. April 08, 2017
    This paper examines the multiple materialities of the performing arts and their transnational migration. In contrast to the majority of scholarship on the geographies of performance, which focuses on the space of the body, this paper provides an analysis of performance and materiality that encompasses, but also extends beyond, the corporeal through its attention to the material qualities of costumes, scripts and performance form. In conducting this analysis, the paper draws attention to the differential movement of performance work more widely by focusing on their composite materialities. Such an approach extends our apprehension of what the geographies of performance, and the geographies of art more widely, might be, and draws attention to under‐investigated spheres of creative activity.
    April 08, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12338   open full text
  • Understanding ethnography through a life course framework: a research journey into alternative spiritual spaces.
    Francesca Fois.
    Area. April 07, 2017
    Recently scholars have emphasised the importance of looking at the researcher's experience and how positionality, emotions and embodiment shape the ethnographic fieldwork process. Specifically, feminist contributions have shown how the professional and the personal can be interlinked when conducting ethnographic research and have reconsidered the role of the researcher in the production of knowledge. However, such accounts often lack analytical engagements and/or reveal little about the researcher's experience beyond the fieldwork. By adopting a life course framework and its conceptual categories of social pathways, turning points, and transitions & trajectories, this paper offers an analytical device to read through the ethnographer's own experience. The paper explores a research journey undertaken in the intentional spiritual communities of Damanhur (Italy) and Terra Mirim (Brazil) by the author, which aimed to study the enactment of alternative spaces. By integrating a life course framework, this paper firstly argues the need to consider how social pathways shape the life course positioning and the research trajectory. Secondly, it shows how turning points can affect both the research direction but also the researcher's life course. Thirdly, the paper argues that the fieldwork is only one of the transitional phases of ethnographic research and encourages the researcher to reflect on its long‐term effects. It concludes by discussing how such experience can impact on the life course of the researcher as well as on the research participants.
    April 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12332   open full text
  • Cities’ economic development efforts in a changing global economy: content analysis of economic development plans in Ontario, Canada.
    Evan Cleave, Godwin Arku, Merlin Chatwin.
    Area. April 06, 2017
    Over the past few years, cities have been increasingly adopting a written plan to guide economic development processes. This is in sharp contrast to past practices which were haphazard and unsystematic. So far, there has been no comprehensive overview of the policies, strategies and focus of these written documents. Focusing on the Province of Ontario, Canada, we undertook a systematic content analysis of the most recent documents for each city. Specific codes were developed for the analysis of the documents. While the majority of cities in Ontario were identified as having codified a formal economic development plan (a plan was identified in 41 of 51 cities), there was considerable variability in how the plans were developed (such as through the use of private consultants) and presented, with noticeable differences in the information given about the community, complexity of analysis conducted and the details on the economic development policies that are being pursued. Despite the range of document formats, there was notable uniformity in the content of the policy directives that were presented. In terms of economic development focus, traditional manufacturing is essentially ignored in favour of attracting advanced manufacturing and knowledge‐based industries. Additionally, due to the extensive reliance on private external consultants, the plans have a homogenous nature, where contemporary ideas such as diversification, place branding and marketing, downtown redevelopment, focus on creative and knowledge industries, and tourism are constantly regurgitated. Conspicuously missing among the strategies were regional collaborations and cluster development. Although the adoption of a written plan represents an important milestone in local economic development policymaking, a number of key limitations were identified within the current documents, and the paper offers direction for a more effective future policy development.
    April 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12335   open full text
  • GIS mapping and analysis of behaviour in small urban public spaces.
    Ensiyeh Ghavampour, Mark Del Aguila, Brenda Vale.
    Area. April 05, 2017
    In city centres where public space is at a premium, checklists and images of design quality attributes generated from observations of successful public spaces are increasingly being utilised in designs of new or refurbished areas. This replication assumes the success and popularity of these elements will generalise to other locations. However, the accuracy and reliability of observations in using current methods of behaviour mapping can miss important details in the small and often crowded successful public spaces. Coding of time interval photographic records of public spaces in Geographic Information System (GIS) is introduced as a data collection methodology for mapping and analysing behaviour. The results indicate that actualised affordance is a function of the spatial configuration of design elements with respect to the number of users, the availability of choice, climate (sun and shade), and the enclosure and exposure of design elements within subspaces. Although design elements are selected for their potential affordance, actualised affordance is defined by the configuration within which elements are embedded in a specific location.
    April 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12323   open full text
  • An alternative way to measure the degree of sprawl and development patterns in Austin, TX.
    Hye Kyung Lee, Hwan Yong Kim, Sanghyeok Kang.
    Area. March 23, 2017
    Sprawl has been named as one of the critical reasons for the latest social and urban problems in many parts of the world. This is particularly true in urban and regional planning as their main focus strategically interacts with the rise and decline of cities. A large number of studies have elaborated on the effects of sprawl and of those different perspectives on sprawl, this study focuses on a more detailed notion of the environmental aspect. The authors try to answer how to specifically estimate the ecological impact of sprawl using geographic information systems (GIS) and ecological valuation method. With different years of land cover datasets and an ecological estimation method, the authors examine the economic losses of the Austin–Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Based on the acreage information and median value estimates, the ecological opportunity costs are assessed to provide a comparative perspective on the amount of sprawl that occurred between 2001 and 2011. Austin's ecological stock in 2001 was $1709 million whereas in 2006 it was about $1683.6 million. In 2011, the entire ecological stock dropped to $1658.1 million making the difference approximately $25.5 million between 2011 and 2006. There can be other issues involved, such as inflated land prices or immerse influx of immigrations when explaining natural stock reduction. However, this could be regarded as one of the signs identifying the sprawl effect of a city's urban development and that should be provided as an alternative perspective on assessing plan evaluation.
    March 23, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12337   open full text
  • Linking online social proximity and workplace location: social enterprise employees in British Columbia.
    Oliver Keane, Peter V Hall, Nadine Schuurman, Paul Kingsbury.
    Area. March 21, 2017
    Online professional networks have the potential to expedite and expand the success of corporations and, especially, socially oriented enterprises – such as non‐governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises, which are businesses owned and operated by a non‐profit. Research to date has not examined the extent and composition of online professional social networks among social enterprise employees nor their inter‐relationships. Specifically, the link between individual connectivity and physical workplace is not understood. The purpose of this study was to provide a geographical understanding of communication amongst social enterprise employees. In British Columbia, Canada, 358 social enterprises and their most senior staff member were located on LinkedIn. Social network analysis, geographic information system (GIS) analysis and statistical analysis revealed that senior staff which had a betweenness centrality score were more than expectedly located in workplaces within the metropolis (Greater Vancouver) and within very highly materially deprived areas within the city. Further analysis showed that the majority of senior staff that had a betweenness centrality score, or that were directly connected to a senior staff member with a betweenness centrality score, were clustered within a 65 square kilometre downtown zone in the metropolis. This suggests the existence of ‘local buzz’, ‘regional pipelines’ and a digital divide drawn along metropolitan lines. This research represents the early understanding of social networks and their role in connecting enterprises with similar (or competing) goals along the axis of space.
    March 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12333   open full text
  • Doing fieldwork the Chinese way: a returning researcher's insider/outsider status in her home town.
    Yawei Zhao.
    Area. March 21, 2017
    Insider/outsider status has been recognised in geographical literature as an important aspect of positionality on which researchers should reflect critically. Based on my fieldwork experience in Dali, southwest China, this paper articulates an account of the co‐existence of ‘insiderness’ and ‘outsiderness’ during the research process in a way that adds nuance to scholarly challenges to conceptions of insider/outsider status as an oppositional binary. I touch on several dilemmas that arose over the course of my fieldwork in my home town, such as working with local research assistants, ‘encountering’ a Western supervisor in the field and interviewing local people. I argue that interacting in the field with people from different ethnic, professional or socioeconomic characteristics dynamises a researcher's insider/outsider position, bringing his or her in‐between position to the fore. In this paper, I highlight the tensions and negotiations arising from my experience of in‐betweenness in Dali. I also point out several particularities of doing fieldwork in China by referring to Chinese ways of thinking and communication, and analyse how insiderness complicates the research process with particular regard to China. Finally, I conclude that working in the field is not only a process of data collection, but also a process of learning ‘who I am’.
    March 21, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12314   open full text
  • Diabetes and an inescapable (auto)ethnography.
    Mark Lucherini.
    Area. March 20, 2017
    This paper reports on personal reflections from a recent research project on the geographies of living with diabetes. Drawing from research participants’ written and oral accounts alongside the researcher's own everyday experiences, this project aimed to provide a detailed account of life with diabetes. However, issues of the researcher's own diagnosis with diabetes confounded the project so that completing the research soon became a potentially overwhelming task. The paper questions to what extent an autoethnographical approach can be mediated in a project in which the researcher's own involvement is complex. Three different types of fieldwork encounter are discussed in the paper: an anxiety‐inducing encounter; supportive encounters; and disciplinary encounters. Each of these encounters involved a different form of personal engagement and degree of vulnerability on the part of the researcher in order to complete the research. Autoethnography was inescapable in this research project, hence the bracketing of the ‘auto’ to indicate the researcher's desire for less personal involvement but still acknowledging that this aim can be difficult to achieve. This paper offers a personal account of how autoethnography can be managed in the interests of the researcher's preferred approach, and for the completion of the research.
    March 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12331   open full text
  • ‘The will to empower’: reworking governmentality in the museum.
    David E Beel.
    Area. March 20, 2017
    A number of geographers have sought to develop the museum as a space ripe for geographical enquiry and to comprehend the positioning of the museum. This paper aims to contribute to this burgeoning field of museum geography in order to consider the ways in which museum spaces rework notions of governmentality. First, this paper seeks to comprehend how museums (specifically municipal museums) are positioned within processes of governance and how, as a state actor, they develop a form of soft disciplinary power. Second, the paper follows such a strategy, as it traces the pathways taken by participants involved in a community engagement project based at GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow) in Glasgow. The project engaged a group of adult learners in a variety of cultural and arts activities. This allowed the group to explore a series of issues in contemporary art and it engaged them in different forms of creative practice. The community engagement work sought to improve their confidence and aspirations as well as to expand their creative abilities.
    March 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12330   open full text
  • Linked life courses in fieldwork: researcher, participant and field.
    Nathaniel M Lewis.
    Area. March 13, 2017
    This article discusses the ways in which fieldwork transforms, and is transformed by, the life trajectories of researchers, participants and the field itself. I suggest that fieldwork interweaves the past training and ongoing development of the researcher, the personal and professional life courses of his/her research participants, and the cultural and institutional histories of both academic fields and the physical sites in which fieldwork is conducted. Each of these life course strands involves geographically contingent subjectivities and perspectives that coalesce in fieldwork and lead to productive exchanges as well as conflicts. Early career researchers in particular may face extensive challenges negotiating these conflicts in the context of competitive and neo‐liberal academic environments.
    March 13, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12334   open full text
  • Making the case for qualitative comparative analysis in geographical research: a case study of health resilience.
    J M Cairns, J Wistow, C Bambra.
    Area. March 02, 2017
    This paper critically discusses the utility of using qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) in geographical research following the ‘complexity turn’. Although QCA methodology has increasingly been applied in other social science disciplines, it is not widely used by geographers. The major benefit of QCA is that it can handle complexity by exploring different pathways that generate the same outcome, which applies to much spatial research. Significantly, QCA is case – rather than variable – oriented, which is hugely important when considering the significance of context. In this paper we illustrate how QCA can be applied in the discipline of geography through a case study of area‐level health resilience. We argue that QCA can be usefully applied to such geographical questions as it aids our understanding of the complex processes that lead to spatial variations in health. Moreover, QCA enables geographical research to bridge the quantitative–qualitative divide. We conclude that QCA has great potential for exploring the complex, spatial factors that influence area‐level health resilience by being context‐sensitive and case‐oriented. We make the case for applying this methodology in future geographical research.
    March 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12327   open full text
  • Formalising artisanal and small‐scale mining: insights, contestations and clarifications.
    Gavin Hilson, Roy Maconachie.
    Area. March 01, 2017
    In recent years, a number of academic analyses have emerged which draw attention to how most artisanal and small‐scale mining (ASM) activities – low‐tech, labour‐intensive, mineral extraction and processing – occur in informal ‘spaces’. This body of scholarship, however, is heavily disconnected from work being carried out by policy‐makers and donors who, recognising the growing economic importance of ASM in numerous rural sections of the developing world, are now working to identify ways in which to facilitate the formalisation of its activities. It has rather drawn mostly on theories of informality that have been developed around radically different, and in many cases, incomparable, experiences, as well as largely redundant ideas, to contextualise phenomena in the sector. This paper reflects critically on the implications of this widening gulf, with the aim of facilitating a better alignment of scholarly debates on ASM's informality with overarching policy/donor objectives. The divide must be bridged if the case for formalising ASM is to be strengthened, and policy is to be reformulated to reflect more accurately the many dimensions of the sector's operations.
    March 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12328   open full text
  • On absence and abundance: biography as method in archival research.
    Jake Hodder.
    Area. March 01, 2017
    Geographical scholarship has rightly problematised the act of archival research, showing how the practice of archiving is not only concerned with how a society collectively remembers, but also forgets. As such, the dominant motif for discussing historical methods in geography has been through the lens of absence: the archive is a space of ‘traces’, ‘fragments’ and ‘ghosts’. In this paper I suggest that the focus on incompleteness and partiality, while true, may also belie what many geographers working in archives find their greatest difficulty: an overwhelming volume of source materials. I reflect on my own research experiences in the pacifist archive to suggest that the growing scale and scope of many collections, along with the taxing research demands of transnational perspectives, pose immediate practical challenges for geographers characterised as much by abundance as by absence. In the second half of the paper, drawing on recent scholarship in history and geography, I argue that the method of biography offers one possible strategy for navigating archival abundance, allowing geographers to tell stories that are wider, deeper and more revealingly complex within the existing time and financial constraints of humanities research.
    March 01, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12329   open full text
  • Making space for co‐produced research ‘impact’: learning from a participatory action research case study.
    Stella Darby.
    Area. February 28, 2017
    There is growing emphasis in the UK on promoting research that creates a positive impact on society. Research Councils UK, the major national research funding agencies, have recently defined a framework for promoting and measuring this impact. This paper contributes to current debates about this developing agenda and, particularly, the problematic intersection of the impact agenda and co‐production research approaches. I argue that processes of negotiating values, aims and power relations are essential to creating relevant, ethical impacts with research participants. In contrast to the emphasis placed on linear and top‐down change by the impact agenda, my experience doing participatory action research with a UK community group shows that co‐produced research produces different kinds of impacts: co‐produced impacts are emergent and non‐linear; responsive and relational; and empowering when rooted in reciprocal collaboration with research partners. This paper questions the implicit values the impact framework imposes on academic researchers and community partners, calling for continued critical engagement with the impact agenda to encourage the value‐rational reflection, deliberation and collaboration needed for creating socially transformative research.
    February 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12321   open full text
  • When [inter]personal becomes transformational: [re‐]examining life course‐related emotions in PhD research.
    Isabella Ng.
    Area. February 28, 2017
    This study explores the ways in which different life events I experienced between 2008 and 2013, such as my divorce and a new romance after the divorce, have affected my research as a PhD student. By examining the relationship between these events and my development as a researcher, I consider how the complexity of emotions and affect becomes a source of possibility for understanding my research participants and producing multidimensional, ethical research. Recognising the reciprocal relationship between researcher and researched subjects during the research process can, in fact, enrich researchers and create a better understanding of their own work and an understanding of the ways in which the research itself fits within their broader life goals.
    February 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12325   open full text
  • Militantly ‘studying up’? (Ab)using whiteness for oppositional research.
    Nick Clare.
    Area. February 22, 2017
    This paper develops the idea of militantly ‘studying up’. Through a discussion of research into the relationship between migrants and social/labour movements in Buenos Aires, Argentina, it explores the way in which my positionality both helped and hindered the (militant) research process. As the possibility for militant research seemed to recede, by interrogating the antagonisms bound up in the disjuncture between my perceived and my performed positionality, I was able to retain a commitment to militant research/research militancy. The movement to a form of oppositional (auto)ethnography was underpinned by an (ab)use of my whiteness. This touched on new possibilities for militant research, and also afforded further reflection on the structuring power of whiteness itself. Situating itself against‐and‐beyond discussions of militant research, this paper explores not only the rich potential but also the difficulties and limitations of such a methodology. In this regard it foregrounds discussion of failure as a key reflexive strategy. Ultimately it argues that there is potentially value in ‘studying up’ within militant (migration) research, but that concerns surround the (re‐)reification of the very identities and structures that are intended to be deconstructed.
    February 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12326   open full text
  • Measurement and interpretation of ‘global cultural cities’ in a world of cities.
    Freke Caset, Ben Derudder.
    Area. February 20, 2017
    The intuitive connections between global cities of finance and global cities of art have been repeatedly asserted. However, systematic analyses of how both geographies conjoin in major cities remain thin on the ground. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the geographical intersections between renderings of global cities as key sites for the coordination and accumulation of global capital and visions of these cities as international art hubs. To this end, we develop a ‘global arts centre’ (GAC) index in which cities are assessed in terms of their centrality in ‘field‐configuring events’, such as festivals, biennials and fairs. This GAC ranking and a number of art sector‐specific disaggregations are then compared with the ‘global financial centre’ (GFC) index established by Z/Yen Group by means of correlation analysis. Cities featuring in both rankings are labelled ‘global cultural cities’ (GCCs). We find that the parallels between both indices within the top‐tier rank positions are considerable. The rank correlation between the art and finance indices suggests a clear positive association between both. Most GCCs are located in Europe, Pacific Asia and Northern America. The most notable geographical pattern is the prominent presence of GCCs in Pacific Asia, suggesting the rapidly changing economic environment in this region has complemented interest and investments in high‐end art. We conclude the paper by singling out some key research agendas that may further inform the empirical analysis presented in this paper.
    February 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12324   open full text
  • Making space for restoration: epistemological pluralism within mental health interventions in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
    Stephen Taylor.
    Area. January 18, 2017
    Global health policymakers have recently begun to focus their attention on high levels of untreated mental illness in low‐ and middle‐income countries. They have, in turn, initiated a series of interventions intended to reduce the global ‘treatment gap’ that has emerged between those requiring treatment and those able to access it. Yet critics have challenged the questionable epistemological assumptions embedded in these interventions and have decried the lack of attention given to the translation and implementation of such projects in resource‐limited contexts. In this paper, I focus on ongoing attempts to diminish the mental health treatment gap in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo to illuminate how dominant thinking about ameliorating the global treatment gap remains rooted in a reductive biomedical paradigm. Drawing on interviews conducted with 16 psychiatrists in the city, I show how a series of epistemological assumptions about treatment have affected the success of treatment delivery in two donor‐funded interventions. I then contrast the dominant biomedical approach with the perspectives of three younger voices in the city's psychiatric community. I reveal how an alternative epistemological framework, similar to that of the phenomenological tradition, informs their own successful treatment expansion efforts. This alternative perspective, I propose, challenges practitioners and geographers alike to cultivate new ways of approaching global mental health that acknowledge the value of patient experiences and make possible more responsive forms of treatment and care.
    January 18, 2017   doi: 10.1111/area.12322   open full text
  • Using rates of gravestone decay to reconstruct atmospheric sulphur dioxide levels.
    Rob Inkpen, Howard D Mooers, Michael J Carlson.
    Area. December 21, 2016
    Decay losses from marble gravestones spanning the last 130 years were measured using the lead lettering index (LLI). The relationship between decay loss and gravestone age can be described using a power function of the form decay loss = a(age)b. For locations where decay is likely to have been dominated by ‘normal’ rainfall, the value of b tends to 1, while for locations where decay losses were higher in the past b tends towards a value of 2. Using Lipfert's dose–response function it is possible to postdict atmospheric sulphur dioxide concentrations using rainfall records and yearly decay rates derived from the power functions. Comparing the derived historic atmospheric sulphur dioxide concentrations between locations, the highest levels are found in the industrial location of Swansea compared with the relatively high historic levels found in urban area such as Oxford, Birmingham and Portsmouth. Suburban or rural locations tend to have very low concentrations.
    December 21, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12313   open full text
  • Changing ethnographic mediums: the place‐based contingency of smartphones and scratchnotes.
    Richard Gorman.
    Area. December 11, 2016
    The medium by which ethnographic notes are taken within the field is changing. Increasingly researchers are turning to jotting short notes using smartphone notation apps, leaving pen and paper behind. While this has practical benefits, there is a need to recognise explicitly how the medium by which notes are taken can influence the content, style and practice of contemporaneous ethnographic note‐taking. There is a place‐based contingency to the acceptability of the smartphone as a research tool; phones carry different social connotations to paper notebooks, and can act to reinforce difference, making statements of privilege, power and culture. The medium by which fieldnotes are taken actively impacts the field and is capable of influencing relationships with participants and altering the power dynamic of research. The changing tools of note‐taking also result in a changing visibility of the act of writing, bringing additional challenges to managing consent and ensuring the ethicality of research.
    December 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12320   open full text
  • Local or global policy? Thinking about policy mobility with assemblage and topology.
    Russell Prince.
    Area. December 11, 2016
    The policy mobility literature is haunted by the local–global binary and the problem of understanding the extent to which a particular policy is ‘local’ or ‘global’. This paper argues that while an assemblage perspective is already prominent in the literature, its use can be extended to more effectively engage with this problem. Proceeding from the recognition that what makes mobile policy possible is first and foremost the existence of separate policy territories, through a focus on the kinds of assemblages that territorialise separate but interconnected territories, and a more thoroughgoing account of the topologies contained by those assemblages, we can account for how mobile policy is an outcome of this work of assemblage. It is through such assemblages that our ideas of what is global and what is local are produced. The example of the technocracy is used to illustrate the argument.
    December 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12319   open full text
  • Planting the seeds of a quiet activism.
    Laura Pottinger.
    Area. December 11, 2016
    While traditional academic accounts of activism emphasise vocal, antagonistic and demonstrative forms of protest, geographers have begun to expand the category of activism to include modest, quotidian acts of kindness, connection and creativity. This paper outlines ‘quiet activism’ as small, everyday, embodied acts, often of making and creating, that can be either implicitly or explicitly political in nature. This concept is explored with seed savers, gardeners who cultivate fruits and vegetables and then select and save seed to provide future generations of plants for themselves and others. It draws on ethnographic research with individuals involved in a national seed conservation network (The Heritage Seed Library) and a local seed swap event (Seedy Sunday, Brighton) in the UK. These organisations connect individual seed savers and frame their quiet acts of growing and sharing as part of a broad movement to conserve biodiversity and challenge the corporate control of food and seed systems. The paper unpicks the implications of embodied activisms performed at varying volumes, and it highlights the need for scholars to attend to the differing embodiments called for by various modes of activism in order to trace their particular impacts, emotions and affects. The experiences of seed savers elucidate the particular power of small and quiet acts of making and doing to critique, subvert and rework dominant modes of production and consumption.
    December 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12318   open full text
  • ‘It was always the plan’: international study as ‘learning to migrate’.
    Allan Findlay, Laura Prazeres, David McCollum, Helen Packwood.
    Area. December 07, 2016
    International student mobility has mainly been theorised in terms of cultural capital accumulation and its prospective benefits on returning home following graduation. Yet, despite a growing body of work in this area, most research on post‐study mobility fails to recognise that the social forces that generate international student mobility also contribute to lifetime mobility plans. Moreover, these forces produce at least four types of post‐study destination, of which returning ‘home’ is only one option. Our findings challenge the idea that a circular trajectory is necessarily the ‘desired’ norm. In line with wider migration theory, we suggest that return may even be seen as failure. Instead we advance the idea that cultural and social capital acquired through international studies is cultivated for onward mobility and may be specifically channelled towards goals such as an international career. We contribute a geographically nuanced conceptual frame for understanding the relation between international student mobility and lifetime mobility aspirations. By building on studies that highlight the role of family and social networks in international student mobility, we illustrate how influential familial and social institutions – both in the place of origin and newly encountered abroad – underpin and complicate students’ motivations, mobility aspirations and life planning pre‐ and post‐study. We argue for a fluidity of life plans and conclude by discussing how geographies of origin matter within students’ lifetime mobility plans.
    December 07, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12315   open full text
  • Performing good death at the veterinary clinic: experiences of pet euthanasia in Finland.
    Nora Schuurman.
    Area. December 05, 2016
    In contemporary pet‐keeping culture, the death of an animal is managed by the veterinary profession. The situation of euthanising the pet at the clinic is not an easy one for the owner of the animal, who has to manage the emotions involved in the death of a pet, while at the same time worrying about animal welfare in euthanasia. In this paper I explore the performances of good death in pet euthanasia. Drawing on pet owners’ experiences, I scrutinise the practice of euthanasia in the space of the veterinary clinic, emotions felt by owners about pet loss, the role of animal agency and the expertise of the veterinarian in providing the animal with an ending to its life. Theoretically, the paper draws on recent discussions about human–animal relationships as performances, as productive processes in which the relationship comes into being. The data consists of written narratives from a nationwide writing collection organised in Finland in 2014–2015. According to the analysis, the veterinary clinic as a site of pet euthanasia makes the human–pet relationship vulnerable by shifting it away from the home, the space in which the relationship is otherwise experienced and lived. Pet euthanasia nevertheless has the potential to become a relational achievement between the agency and bodies of the owner, the veterinarian and the pet. As such, it is a situated practice in which the animal can be killed at the same time that its relationship with humans is celebrated – an act of responsible killing and of care, with a possibility to provide the animal a good ending to its life.
    December 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12316   open full text
  • The humanitarian infrastructure and the question of over‐research: reflections on fieldwork in the refugee crises in the Middle East and North Africa.
    Elisa Pascucci.
    Area. December 05, 2016
    Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Egypt between 2011 and 2015, this paper brings together recent discussions of over‐research in refugee communities with theorisations of the ‘humanitarian infrastructure’, defined as the ensemble of technologies and spaces through which refugee migration and its governance are mediated and reproduced. It argues that engagements with the question of over‐research in geography need to focus on the material conditions that make ‘access to the field’ possible, leading to some places and people being far more researched than others. In the case of refugee research in the Global South, these conditions are often linked to the infrastructures of international humanitarianism, from international hotels to translation services. In increasingly unstable and ‘closed’ research settings, such as refugee settlements in North Africa and the Middle East, researchers’ presence, it is shown, often both relies on and feeds into the local infrastructures and economies associated with the humanitarian enterprise. Implications of the analysis for debates on access and ‘closure’ in dangerous field contexts are discussed.
    December 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12312   open full text
  • Placing researcher identifications: labs, offices and homes in the PhD.
    Robyn Dowling, Lilia Mantai.
    Area. December 01, 2016
    Recent and ongoing changes in university structures and desires, as well as alterations in doctoral education, are shaping new spatialities and temporalities of academic work and identities. This paper considers the spatialities of one set of researcher identities – those undertaking PhD degrees – and specifically explores the material and socio‐cultural affordances of the sites in which research is practised. Based on a qualitative study (interviews with 30 PhD students and focus groups with 34 students) at two Australian metropolitan and research‐intensive universities, we find students associate different forms of researcher identities with the different spaces of research work. In particular, the university campus and specifically the office and/or laboratory are sites where research is approached as a form of work, and identification as both worker and researcher. Notably, social connections and the power relations of the campus are woven through these identifications. Home, in contrast, can serve as a place of respite or a quiet space to think, but more often disrupts identifications as researcher or emergent academic. This research suggests the need first, to recognise the significance of a physical workspace on campus for developing researchers and second, for a more nuanced consideration of the notion of a neoliberalised university.
    December 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12317   open full text
  • How to improve rural tourism development in Chinese suburban villages? Empirical findings from a quantitative analysis of eight rural tourism destinations in Beijing.
    Linlin Dai, Li Wan, Bixia Xu, Bihu Wu.
    Area. November 18, 2016
    Rural tourism has been an important engine for rural development and regeneration. In China, rural tourism is widely encouraged in the less developed regions to mitigate poverty and promote harmonious urban–rural development. Existing research literature finds that the perceptions of stakeholders towards rural tourism development are critical of the final economic and social outcomes. Nonetheless, most research focuses on the perception of a single stakeholder group. In this paper, we fill the research gap by simultaneously examining the perceptions of both the local tourism service providers and the tourists. We select eight Beijing suburban villages that typify the rural tourism development trends in Beijing, and collect sample data from 433 local service providers and 815 tourists. The questionnaire covers a wide range of perceptual variables, with particular focus on how the two stakeholder groups respond differently to the possible approaches to improve rural tourism development. The Partial Least Squares (PLS) regression method is employed to identify the key impact factors for each group. Our test shows that diversifying the tourism products and improving marketing coverage are two approaches that are favoured by both the local service providers and the tourists. However, different concerns are revealed for other approaches, such as improving service quality, increasing accommodation capacity and providing collective tourism activities. We also discover that rural tourism development may cause dramatic social and demographic changes to suburban villages, the impacts of which should be taken into account for development scheme appraisal. This research helps to clarify the policy contexts for rural tourism development and points out the possible priority areas for future research.
    November 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12308   open full text
  • Research assistants, reflexivity and the politics of fieldwork in urban Pakistan.
    Nausheen H Anwar, Sarwat Viqar.
    Area. November 09, 2016
    In this paper, we discuss the politics of fieldwork in urban Pakistan and in doing so draw attention to the role of research assistants (RAs) in the production of knowledge. The discussion explores how the roles, reflexivity and positionality of our three Muslim female RAs adds depth to our understanding of fieldwork in a culturally and politically charged urban setting where everyday violence combined with wealth asymmetries and anxieties over religious identity add layers of complexity in researcher–respondent working relationships. This generates a process of negotiation over ethical dilemmas that are not easily surmounted and complicates how we think about transformations in the production of knowledge. We use the notion of the ‘triple subjectivity’ of fieldwork to problematise the positionality of researchers and the people they seek to represent through translations of language, contexts and encounters. Moreover, we underscore that the positionality of our RAs was strongly influenced by religion, ethnicity and class. Notably, state directives have played an important role in the way relationships are forged in the field, whereby ethnic–religious minorities have been categorised and treated in distinct ways. Our RAs’ knowledge of marginalised communities increased significantly with time spent in the field, but they still retained specific understandings of difference. This awareness was a crucial learning experience and prompted our RAs to become mindful of their own investment and contribution to the process of ethnographic engagements. Our objective in this paper is to reveal the tensions and possibilities generated by the triple subjectivities involved in our fieldwork in terms of their implications for transformations of research. Above all, our RAs’ reflections demonstrate that we as researchers must remain sensitive to the emotions and anxieties of those we work alongside.
    November 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12307   open full text
  • Filmic geographies: the rise of digital film as a research method and output.
    Jessica Jacobs.
    Area. November 08, 2016
    The advent of digital has led to the proliferation of moving image data, signalling a shift not only in what we research, but in the way research is carried out and reported. The subsequent increase in interest in the use of digital film in the discipline is therefore not surprising, but critical reflections on the possibilities and limitations of the medium are lacking. In this special section of Area, I have drawn together a series of papers from practice‐led authors to reflect on the complexities, tensions and difficulties that are caught up with the potential of using film as research method and output. Here, I introduce the different papers and reflect on the legacy of analogue video and film in the humanities and social sciences. I argue that while they should not be ignored, the resulting geographical categorisations of film that were developed when the process was analogue – placing film either as a text that should be analysed and/or a visual research method – currently restrict our further understanding of this nascent form of knowledge production.
    November 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12309   open full text
  • The eco‐island trap: climate change mitigation and conspicuous sustainability.
    Adam Grydehøj, Ilan Kelman.
    Area. October 26, 2016
    Small islands worldwide are increasingly turning to conspicuous sustainability as a development strategy. Island spatiality encourages renewable energy and sustainability initiatives that emphasise iconicity and are undertaken in order to gain competitive advantage, strengthen sustainable tourism or ecotourism, claim undue credit, distract from failures of governance or obviate the need for more comprehensive policy action. Without necessarily contributing significantly to climate change mitigation, the pursuit of eco‐island status can raise costs without raising income, distract from more pressing social and environmental problems, lead to competitive sustainability and provide green cover behind which communities can maintain unsustainable practices. We argue that eco‐islands do not successfully encourage wider sustainable development and climate change mitigation. Instead, island communities may place themselves in eco‐island traps. Islands may invest in inefficient or ineffective renewable energy and sustainability initiatives in order to maintain illusory eco‐island status for the benefit of ecotourism, thereby becoming trapped by the eco‐label. Islands may also chase the diminishing returns of ever‐more comprehensive and difficult to achieve sustainability, becoming trapped into serving as eco‐island exemplars. We conclude by arguing that island communities should pursue locally contextualised development, potentially focused on climate change adaptation, rather than focus on an eco‐island status that is oriented toward place branding and ecotourism.
    October 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12300   open full text
  • Encounters in place ballet: a phenomenological perspective on older people's walking routines in an urban park.
    Dirk Eck, Roos Pijpers.
    Area. October 25, 2016
    The phenomenological tradition within human geography continues to inspire research on everyday city life. This paper draws on David Seamon's notion of place ballet to understand the meaning of encounters between older people visiting an urban park in the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The paper uses participant observation, including a serial interviewing strategy in which older people are accompanied on their walks through the park, to expose daily walking routines. As part of these routines, characterised by clockwork precision, they meet fellow park visitors in place ballet. Place ballet is associated with recurring encounters between familiar strangers that are full of significance. Notably, it sustains an atmosphere of fellowship that encourages people to notice, and care for, each other. These findings support the view that the phenomenological perspective emphasises the meaningful and positive aspects of encounters between older people in public space, even if they do not necessarily interact.
    October 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12311   open full text
  • Café nation? Exploring the growth of the UK café industry.
    Jennifer Ferreira.
    Area. October 12, 2016
    The UK café industry has experienced significant growth over the last decade. With over 18 800 outlets, and a turnover of £7.2 billion recorded in 2014, the industry represents an important component of the retail sector. Industry commentators forecast that the industry will continue to grow and that there will be 27 000 outlets by 2020. This article provides an overview of the UK café industry and highlights the key drivers of it's rapid growth. It explores the ways that a new economic geography is quietly made as the café industry refashions our high streets. The article culminates by presenting an illustrative typology of café types which comprise the café industry in the UK, highlighting the need for greater research into the landscape of the café industry as it develops, and the roles that café spaces play in different communities.
    October 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12285   open full text
  • Re‐appropriating the political through enacting a pedagogical politics of place.
    John Crossan.
    Area. October 04, 2016
    This paper critically analyses the post‐political thesis, highlighting its universalising and agency‐grabbing tendencies. Drawing on my own family life, anarchist theory and long‐standing traditions of ‘properly’ political placemaking by past and present grassroots actors, the paper unsettles two interrelated claims on which the post‐political thesis sits. First, that the political (le politique) is in retreat. Second, that ‘proper’ politics constitutes a confrontational set of relations. Informed by empirical observations I present an existing form of rigorous political encounter enacted in anarchist‐influenced social centres. The politics on offer here has a supportive pedagogical quality to it and, crucially, there are semblances of this pedagogical politics found in multiple sites. Focusing on the ‘micro‐physics of power’ at work in social centres, I show how such organisational practices counter the predetermined finalities of the post‐political condition by enacting what I call ‘equality‐as‐tactic’. Community here is not an empty vessel that can be easily filled with ‘empty signifiers’. On the contrary, post‐political practices tend to crack under the scrutiny of a pedagogical politics aimed at equalising participation in the decisionmaking process.
    October 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12301   open full text
  • Assessing sustainable development of a historic district using an ecological footprint model: a case study of Nanluoguxiang in Beijing, China.
    Linlin Dai, Bixia Xu, Bihu Wu.
    Area. October 04, 2016
    Historic districts constitute a major part of urban space and serve as essential carriers of urban historical and cultural heritage. Quantitative assessment for the sustainable development capacity of a historic district is an important part of research on sustainable urban development. In the present study, we modified the existing ecological footprint (EF) model by using component analysis and considering the main features of a historic district. The EF model of historic districts was constructed in two dimensions: residents and tourists. A case study was performed in Nanluoguxiang in Beijing, China, to estimate the total EF and ecological carrying capacity (EC). The results showed that the EF was substantially higher than the EC, whereas the EF of tourists was higher than the EF of residents in Nanluoguxiang. Finally, we analysed the structural composition of the EF and proposed an effective way for implementing sustainable development in historic districts by EF reduction. We also put forward strategies for the targeted control of ecological needs and EF reduction from the perspectives of residents and tourists.
    October 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12298   open full text
  • ‘At least in person there would have been a cup of tea’: interviewing via Skype.
    Gail Adams‐Hutcheson, Robyn Longhurst.
    Area. October 03, 2016
    Fieldwork is being stretched in new directions across time and space. In this article we examine the kinds of emotional and affective encounters constructed in online interviews. We draw on Lefebvre's notion of rhythm and Ash's concept of ‘affective atmospheres’ to help identify moments of disjuncture in research interviews. These moments of disjuncture can be prompted by researchers and participants not being able to share a range of senses (touch, smell and taste) during Skype interviews. The technology does not sink into the background but instead can, for some, prompt an uncomfortable ‘affective atmosphere’. Finally, we argue that bodies, performance, digital interfaces, movement, senses, emotion and affect need to grappled with methodologically as increasing numbers of researchers turn to online interviewing.
    October 03, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12306   open full text
  • Neither Shoreditch nor Manhattan: post‐politics, ‘soft austerity urbanism’ and real abstraction in Glasgow North.
    Neil Gray.
    Area. September 22, 2016
    Speirs Locks is being re‐constructed as a new cultural quarter in Glasgow North, with urban boosters envisioning the unlikely, rundown and de‐populated light industrial estate as a key site in the city's ongoing cultural regeneration strategy. Yet this creative place‐making initiative, I argue, masks a post‐political conjuncture based on urban speculation, displacement and the foreclosure of dissent. Post‐politics at Speirs Locks is characterised by what I term ‘soft austerity urbanism’: seemingly progressive, instrumental small‐scale urban catalyst initiatives that in reality complement rather than counter punitive hard austerity urbanism. Relating such processes of soft austerity urbanism to a wider context of state‐led gentrification, this study contributes to post‐political debates in several ways. Firstly, it questions demands for participation as a proper politics when it has become practically compulsory in contemporary biopolitical capitalism. Secondly, it demonstrates how an extreme economy of austerity urbanism remains the hard underside of post‐political, soft austerity urbanism approaches. Thirdly, it illustrates how these approaches relate to wider processes of ‘real abstraction’ – which is no mere flattery of the mind, but instead is rooted in actually existing processes of commodity exchange. Such abstraction, epitomised in the financialisation and privatisation of land and housing, buttresses the same ongoing property dynamics that were so integral to the global financial crisis and ensuing austerity policies in the first place. If we aim to generate a proper politics that creates a genuine rupture with the destructive play of capital in the built environment, the secret of real abstraction must be critically addressed.
    September 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12299   open full text
  • Migration decision‐making: a geographical imaginations approach.
    Maddy Thompson.
    Area. September 22, 2016
    Within the past two decades, scholars of migration are beginning to understand the importance of incorporating cultural dimensions into research concerning migration decision‐making practices. While it is recognised that economic, social and political factors are central in the formation of the desire to migrate, these factors alone are unable to explain the migratory decisions of many. However, although cultures of migration has emerged as the dominant approach for incorporating cultural facets of migration decision‐making, I suggest this approach does not offer a holistic exploration into the impacts of ‘culture’ due to its reluctance to fully engage with the importance of place. This paper outlines a geographical imaginations approach that is able to account for the complexities of culture and place on migration decision‐making, based on insights developed from interviews undertaken with Filipino nurses in the UK and in the Philippines. The approach is able to account for the impacts of culture and place on migration decision‐making in four main, interlinking ways. It is sensitive to the influence of geographical scales, to ideas of culture and place, to understandings of both home and away, and is able to account for non‐migration.
    September 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12292   open full text
  • Getting participants' voices heard: using mobile, participant led, sound‐based methods to explore place‐making.
    Andrew Stevenson, Julian Holloway.
    Area. September 18, 2016
    Varieties of sound‐based research methods have been used for exploring participants' relations with environment, space and place. For example, soundwalking, field‐recording and audio guides have all been employed to help research participants become attuned to the sonic environment. Some of these have been used as participant‐led approaches, enabling participants to devise walking routes and produce their own soundscape compositions. This paper explores these various uses and reports on two primary research collaborations that adopt mobile, participant‐led approaches, in which participants negotiate the precise nature of the research collaboration. Furthermore, it examines diverse methods for disseminating soundscape recordings that emerge from such projects. The examples presented here reveal that sound‐based research can be employed to do more than attune participants to sonic environments. This research highlights instances of productive, participant‐led research that reveal diverse strategies for disseminating this work. There are many channels and media through which sound work can be made available to a wider audience, across disciplines and beyond academia. Reflexively adopted, dissemination through web and social media, exhibition spaces and other public events offers researchers and their participants a performative complement to the publication of work through journal articles.
    September 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12296   open full text
  • Pleistocene glacial and lacustrine activity in the southern part of Mount Olympus (central Greece).
    George D Bathrellos, Hariklia D Skilodimou, Hampik Maroukian, Kalliopi Gaki‐Papanastassiou, Katerina Kouli, Theodora Tsourou, Nikolaos Tsaparas.
    Area. September 09, 2016
    Glacial activity affects landscape evolution in some parts of mountainous Greece. This paper deals with the southern part of Mount Olympus where the geomorphological impacts of Pleistocene glaciations are well presented. It is a preliminary study to demonstrate the landscape that has evolved as a result of glacial activity in these uplands. For this purpose, detailed field work and large‐scale geomorphological mapping were performed. A 25‐m sediment core was retrieved from the study area on which preliminary lithological and micropalaeontological–palaeobotanical analyses were performed. The intense glacial activity of the southern Mount Olympus area produced a number of landscape changes. Three cirques were identified in the uplands whose evolution has led to the formation of various types of moraines (ground, lateral, medial and terminal) down to an altitude of 1677 m. Intense glacio‐fluvial activity caused a major reconfiguration of the drainage network in this area and also caused the formation of a lake. The occurrence of a water body in the area is documented by the presence of aquatic vegetation in parts of a 25‐m core retrieved from this former lake basin. In recent times, the lake overtopped the fluvial deposits that bounded it, incising them and leading to the emptying of the lake.
    September 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12297   open full text
  • Who is taking part? Political subjectivity and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games.
    Susan Fitzpatrick.
    Area. September 04, 2016
    This paper examines the problems of locating political subjectivity in the midst of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games of 2014 and takes as its starting point Rancière's contention that politics cannot be defined on the basis of any pre‐existing subject. The Commonwealth Games, as both policy vehicle and a form of knowing the world, constructs subjects through the invocation of ‘legacy’. This involves assuming a consensual populism within which social problems are identified and rectified through the eventfulness of the event. However, leading on from Rancière's contention above, this paper suggests a critical perspective where the event itself is de‐centred in order to move beyond the citational response to mega‐events: that policy constructs subjugated subjects. The paper proceeds by examining how the logics of local residents of East Glasgow elude subjugation in their encounters with the official discourses of the mega‐event. It outlines the ways that political subjectivity is brought forth in two discursive spaces: first, within Games Legacy Evaluation Reports. Second, a public meeting organised by Glasgow City Council as part of their Get Ready Glasgow series. These spaces are considered alongside recent academic criticism that focuses on the corrective elements of social policy relating to sporting mega events.
    September 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12295   open full text
  • Equitable or elitist? The social impact of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ.
    Matthew Whittle, Nik Lomax, Alison Heppenstall, Simon Brerton.
    Area. August 17, 2016
    The Tour de France Grand Départ came to the UK in July 2014. It was heralded as a great success, drawing in an estimated 3.5 million visitors and generating over £128 million for the local economy, but there has been little research on assessing the geodemographics of who attended this event – did it reach out to all sections of society as hoped, or was it contained to the ‘typical’ cycling spectator? Using previously unpublished data, this research examines the demography of the crowd attending different sections of Le Grand Départ and explores whether the event was equitable, i.e. accessible to all sections of the population, or elitist, with a demographic bias in who attended. The results show that there was a bias towards a white, male, middle‐aged spectators, which is particularly prominent for the least accessible stages. Ethnic minorities and people with a disability were particularly underrepresented for large parts of the route. Where there were interventions to improve access, the demographic profile of spectators was more in line with the national picture. Understanding who does, and who does not, attend these events has wider implications for the planning of, and longer‐term socio‐economic impacts of, these events and we recommend that further advanced planning would improve the equitability of future sporting events.
    August 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12284   open full text
  • Amateur, professional and proto‐practices: a contribution to ‘the proficiency debate’.
    Janet Banfield.
    Area. August 10, 2016
    With increasing disciplinary interest in amateur practice, and growing geographical use of artistic practice as a research method, ideas of proficiency are increasingly coming under scrutiny. In this paper, I explore and unsettle different classifications of proficiency in relation to empirical data from practice‐based research with art practitioners. I focus on the role and nature of experimentation within artistic practices across different levels of proficiency, and suggest that this leads to increasingly individualised practices over time, which can be characterised by features from outside the conventions of a field (proto‐practices) irrespective of formal attributions of proficiency. I suggest an alternative understanding of proficiency that characterises the practice rather than the practitioner in terms of experimental style rather than skill, which has theoretical and methodological implications for geographical research into both amateur and artistic practices.
    August 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12294   open full text
  • Socio‐economic profile and working conditions of freelancers in co‐working spaces and work collectives: evidence from the design sector in Greece.
    Vasilis Avdikos, Athanasios Kalogeresis.
    Area. June 27, 2016
    Third places, such as business incubators, co‐working spaces and work collectives, represent a new ecosystem of collaborative working practices in the creative economy that alters significantly the spatial distribution of work and the notion of ‘workplace’. Collaborative workplaces emerged after the gradual collapse of the stable employment paradigm that was one of the main features of the Keynesian welfare state and as a response to precarious working conditions that were augmented during the recent economic crisis and the subsequent recession. The paper contributes to the critical understanding of these new geographies of workplace and working conditions that third places manifest. Using data from a large survey about the economics and the working conditions of Greek designers and from four interviews with freelancers in work collectives and facilitators of co‐working spaces, the paper sheds light on the socio‐economic profile and the working conditions of Greek freelance designers that use co‐working spaces and work collectives as means of reducing precarious working conditions and personal–professional risks. The results show that designers in third places, in contrast to freelancers who use formal workplaces or work from home, work long hours with poor pay and a large proportion have no safety net with regard to social security. Third places can be enclaves of the shadow economy and of very specific precarious working conditions. On the other hand, third places help freelance designers become more embedded to business networks, both local and foreign, rather than working in isolation. Networking effects between freelancers and self‐employed who choose to work in third places usually result in greater opportunities for outsourcing and subcontracting and in more exports.
    June 27, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12279   open full text
  • Dilemma of modernity: interrogating cross‐border ethnic identities at China's southwest frontier.
    Junxi Qian, Xueqiong Tang.
    Area. June 16, 2016
    Recent theoretical advancement in human geography has reconceptualised the border as a process and becoming, which is appropriated and constructed by myriad actors to yield diverse and changing meanings, and accommodate various needs and interests. This enables us to appreciate the dual qualities of the border, both as a barrier to be overcome and an enabling factor for practices and meanings. In particular, cross‐border mobility plays an essential role in mediating meanings of the border and identities of those whose lifeworlds are affected by the very existence of the border. On the one hand, mobilities transgress territorial orders imposed by official conceptions of the border. But, on the other hand, the distinctions between economic, social and political milieus at the two sides of the border may give rise to heightened senses of difference and lead to diverging identities. Building on these insights, this article argues for a more nuanced, dynamic understanding of the relationship between border crossing and belonging. It examines two empirical cases: the cross‐border attendance of Huashan Festival celebration for Miao people at the Sino‐Vietnamese borderland, and the trans‐border mobility of Buddhist monks from the Myanmar city Muse to the Chinese border city Ruili. Overall, this paper argues that the potentials of the border to both connect and differentiate are inscribed in the lifeworlds in the borderlands in equally visible ways. Also, this paper adds some twists to Scott's thesis on Zomia, and argues that we must not downplay the importance of the frame of nation‐states in shaping the lifeworlds of border inhabitants.
    June 16, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12283   open full text
  • Justice and care in the city: uncovering everyday practices through research volunteering.
    Miriam J Williams.
    Area. June 10, 2016
    In urban theory our knowledge of actually existing justice practices in the city are limited. In contrast, our collective knowledge of the ways an ethic of care is practised is better developed. In this paper I argue for the need to value care in conceptualisations of the just city by mobilising the unification of care‐thinking and justice‐thinking in a way that accepts that both care and justice may (or may not) be practised as situated responses to injustice and neglect, and as other ways of doing/thinking/being the city. I argue that researcher volunteering can help reveal actually existing justice and care in the city in their situated context. Drawing on a research project that documents everyday practices of care and justice at Alfalfa House Food Cooperative, Sydney, Australia, I use the example of waste to explore the ways actually existing care and justice are practised. My aim is to expose how, within everyday urban community organisations, the transformative and relational expressions of care and justice can be revealed through researcher volunteering. By focusing on the actually existing expressions of care and justice in the city we might begin to see how the just (and caring) city is being made and remade in the here and now.
    June 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12278   open full text
  • Shifting landscapes: from coalface to quick sand? Teaching Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences in Higher Education.
    Sarah Dyer, Helen Walkington, Rebecca Williams, Katherine Morton, Stephanie Wyse.
    Area. June 06, 2016
    In this paper we examine contemporary academic working lives, with particular reference to teaching‐only and teaching‐focused academics. We argue that intensification in the neoliberal university has significantly shifted the structure of academic careers, while cultural stories about those careers have not changed. We call for academics to re‐examine our collective stories about standard academic career paths. Challenging the stories and making visible the ways that they create and multiply disadvantage is a crucial step in expanding the possibilities for academic identities and careers. The paper begins by describing teaching‐focused academics within the context of the wider workforce. We then draw on narratives of those in these roles to illustrate the processes that (re)inscribe their marginalisation. We uncover the gendering of the teaching‐focused academic labour market. We end the paper by suggesting interventions that all academics can take and support to address the issues we highlight.
    June 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12261   open full text
  • United and divided responses to complex urban issues: insights on the value of a transdisciplinary approach to flooding risk.
    Christina Culwick, Zarina Patel.
    Area. June 06, 2016
    Transdisciplinary research has increasingly been emphasised as desirable, particularly for managing complex issues that exist within socio‐political environmental systems. However, achieving true transdisciplinarity, both in academia and practice, has proved challenging. In the case of natural disasters, the risk of not acknowledging the inherent complexity has the potential to increase the risk of fatalities, damage to property and perpetuate poor disaster management. The example of flooding in Atlasville, Ekurhuleni (South Africa) is used to make a case for the usefulness of transdisciplinary approaches. Understanding and responding to local flooding episodes is explored through comparing two hypothetical methodological frameworks – a divided and a united approach. The divided (disciplinary) approach, based on typical disaster response patterns, separated investigations into environmental, government and social factors. In contrast, the united approach, based on a transdisciplinary model, investigated the flooding context along non‐traditional lines including: drivers; absorptive and adaptive capacity; and mitigation and preparation. The research highlights that reframing the flooding problem along transdisciplinary lines forces researchers to analyse the context more comprehensively as isolated analyses are unable to determine or consider the cumulative impacts of individual phenomena. The transformative potential of the transdisciplinary findings indicates that means of translating this hypothetical analysis into reality are urgently required because of the important implications transdisciplinary approaches have for disaster risk reduction, and for managing other complex issues.
    June 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12282   open full text
  • From heterogeneous worlds: western privilege, class and positionality in the South.
    Mark Griffiths.
    Area. May 19, 2016
    The aim of this paper is to meet a repeated challenge that comes from within postcolonial writing: to turn postcolonial theory and strategies ‘inward’, and to examine our postcoloniality. Specifically I use social class to interrogate the idea of western privilege in a postcolonial context, examining whether postcolonialism can enable the politics of class to intersect with the politics of ‘Otherness’ in such a way to open up ethnography to a more ethical geographical praxis. The paper first presents a genealogy of the figure of the privileged western researcher, drawing attention to the historical contingency within subsequent issues of positionality in the South. Taking this figure, the discussion is then guided by two ‘heteros’ of postcolonial writing – heterogeneity and heterotemporality – to disrupt the assumption of historical contingency. I use my own class history as a heterotemporality to insist on a more heterogeneous conceptualisation of western postcoloniality that accounts for the varied experiences of the British working classes. The paper closes with the crucial question of what this largely theoretical work might offer the empirical business of ethnography in (especially) poor areas of the South, asking explicitly: can class, like gender and ethnicity, qualify western privilege in a way that reduces researcher–researched power imbalance? The main argument made is that geography's imperial past is an elite historiography that cannot draw the contours of western researcher relations with postcolonial ‘Others’. Consequently, I propose social class as an aspect of subjectivity that moves hyper self‐reflexivity towards a more ethical praxis across difference.
    May 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12277   open full text
  • Introducing i‐Docs to geography: exploring interactive documentary's nonlinear imaginaries.
    Ella Harris.
    Area. May 18, 2016
    This paper introduces interactive documentaries, or i‐Docs, to geography through an analysis of one i‐Doc, Gaza Sderot. I‐Docs are an increasingly popular documentary form. Broadly defined by ‘nonlinear’ spatiotemporal organisation, their interactive capacities enable multiple pathways through documentary footage and materials. It is often suggested that this nonlinearity is politicised by i‐Docs to enable polyvocality and the destabilisation of dominant narratives. I argue that i‐Docs deserve geographical attention for two key reasons. First, if geographers have long explored articulations and reformulations of space‐time through media, then i‐Docs offer an insight into contemporary constructions of nonlinear spatiotemporal imaginaries through an interactive medium. Second, nonlinearity and its politics have also become foundational to geography's own approaches to space‐time, making pertinent the explorations of nonlinearity and its socio‐political implications that engagement with i‐Docs enables. In this context, I analyse Gaza Sderot to explore its construction of a nonlinear spatiotemporal imaginary and question the political perspectives that imaginary generates for its subject of the Gaza conflict. In concluding, I also suggest that i‐Docs could be a valuable methodological tool for geographers.
    May 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12275   open full text
  • Comparison of data reduction algorithms for LiDAR‐derived digital terrain model generalisation.
    M Yilmaz, M Uysal.
    Area. May 10, 2016
    A digital terrain model (DTM) is a three‐dimensional representation of the terrain relief created from discrete points related to each other through their elevations. New technologies such as satellite remote sensing, airborne laser scanning and radar interferometry are efficient methods for constructing high‐quality DTMs in a cost‐effective manner. The accuracy of a DTM is influenced by a number of factors, including the accuracy, density and spatial distribution of elevation points, the terrain surface characteristics, etc. In this paper, direct comparisons of absolute and relative vertical accuracies are made between data reduction algorithms for the generalisation of DTM extracted from airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data. The absolute vertical accuracies are presented in terms of the mean error (ME), the mean absolute error (MAE) and the root mean square error (RMSE) and the relative vertical accuracies are characterised as per cent slope over Mount St Helens in southwest Washington State. The results show that LiDAR datasets can be reduced to 50 per cent density level by a uniform data reduction algorithm using triangulation with a linear interpolation method for the generalisation of DTM while still maintaining the quality of the original data.
    May 10, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12276   open full text
  • Agency, choice and restrictions in producing Latina/o street‐vending landscapes in Los Angeles.
    Lorena Munoz.
    Area. April 20, 2016
    This paper interrogates how street vendors and ‘street landlords’ (street gangs), the local state and its apparatus produce quasi‐organised street‐vending landscapes in Los Angeles. It draws upon the notion of urban informality, uneven geographies of value as well as work that engages with divergent enactments of agency negotiated in relation to restrictive social structural processes. It illustrates that despite complex layers of restrictions and codes imposed by the local state, gang members and the vendors themselves , street vendors do enact agency, not as collective efforts to resist or gain state legitimacy, but as an individual ‘choice’ to work as vendors among a range of employment options to them.
    April 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12266   open full text
  • Trade union banners and the construction of a working‐class presence: notes from two labour disputes in 1980s Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.
    J M Crossan, D J Featherstone, F Hayes, H M Hughes, C Jamieson, R Leonard.
    Area. April 17, 2016
    This paper draws on a project ‘Banner Tales of Glasgow’, which is the result of an ongoing collaboration between geographers, museum staff and trade unionists. The paper draws on testimonies from workers involved in two labour disputes in the mid 1980s. We use these testimonies to think about the use of banners in the construction of working‐class solidarities. This discussion is used to illuminate the relations between the formation of a working‐class presence and the role of discourses of a moral economy in shaping particular community‐making practices. Through doing so, we use a focus on banners to illuminate different aspects of the spatial practices of labour organising and argue that the construction of a working‐class presence and articulations of a moral economy can be mutually reinforcing.
    April 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12272   open full text
  • Are they nomads, travellers or Roma? An analysis of the multiple effects of naming assemblages.
    Gaja Maestri.
    Area. March 29, 2016
    What is the difference between the terms ‘Roma’, ‘gypsies’, ‘nomads’ and ‘Travellers’? These are a few of the names that are used to refer to the Roma minority in scholarly research, political speeches and the media. Most of the Romani studies literature on Roma labels and the state's categorisation underscores how these often derogatory denominations reflect the widespread stigmatisation of these people and, in turn, perpetuate regimes of exclusion and segregation. However, this literature implicitly conceives of language as purely functional to exclusion, overlooking the ways in which the construction and use of these labels have also created the conditions for the emergence of practices of resistance. This limitation is mainly due to the fact that these works follow a Foucauldian approach, which tends to overemphasise the importance of dominant discourses subjecting the individual, and to downplay the presence of generative and creative practices. I suggest integrating this approach with the notion of ‘assemblage’ as developed by Deleuze and Guattari, which entails both ordering and territorialising dynamics together with destabilising moves. By adopting this lens, the paper discusses the effects of two different Roma naming assemblages: on the one hand, the glossary published by the Council of Europe (CoE) that carefully defines and differentiates all the terms used for the Roma, and, on the other, the French and Italian governments' discourses that ambiguously lump together all these different denominations. Although at first sight it may appear that the latter bolsters discriminatory and segregating policies, while the former supports more inclusionary measures, by drawing on policy‐documents analysis and in‐depth interviews with pro‐Roma advocacy group members, I show that both these naming assemblages actually produce exclusionary as well as resisting effects.
    March 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12273   open full text
  • How did geese fly domestically? Firm demography and spatial restructuring in China's apparel industry.
    Jin Shi, Canfei He, Qi Guo.
    Area. March 29, 2016
    Using a firm‐level database from 1999 to 2008, this paper sheds new light on the industrial dynamics of China's clothing industry, highlighting the multi‐scalar process of spatial restructuring primarily driven by differences in the rate of job creation, especially through start‐up firms. At the inter‐provincial level, 2004 represents a turning point where the industry ceased to be concentrated in coastal areas and began to relocate inland, especially to central provinces. At the intra‐provincial level, cities in coastal provinces remained the most attractive locations for start‐up companies even after 2004. The results suggest that the regionally decentralised authoritarian regime, intertwined with market forces shaping the multi‐scalar process of spatial restructuring, is pivotal to understanding the changing geography of China's apparel industry.
    March 29, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12269   open full text
  • Immersive terrain: the US Navy, Sealab and Cold War undersea geopolitics.
    Rachael Squire.
    Area. March 20, 2016
    Like territory, terrain is a term that has been tied to its etymological roots on terra. This paper seeks to release terrain as both concept and practice from the terrestrial through an analysis of the Cold War‐era case study, Sealab II. This little‐studied project, led by the US Navy, sought to establish the feasibility of sustaining life under the sea and in doing so, provides a rich site of analysis through which to explore the notion of terrain that exists in volume, rather than simply on the earth's crust. Within this immersive voluminous framework, the function of the body is also re‐examined as both a site that experiences terrain, but also one that became a terrain of sorts during the Sealab experiments. The paper concludes by suggesting that understandings of terrain within geographical scholarship would be enriched were they to push off from the earth's surfaces and argues that there is a need to re‐think terrain's relational aspects, re‐root it from terra and re‐orientate it towards the body.
    March 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12265   open full text
  • Arctic ice edge narratives: scale, discourse and ontological security.
    Siri Veland, Amanda H Lynch.
    Area. March 20, 2016
    The Arctic ice edge centres deliberations over the region's futures, either as an explicit policy and research problem, or as an implicit control on innovations. This exploratory paper proposes a narrative approach to examine ontological security, identifying a common epistemic structure in multiple ways of knowing the ice edge, and of devising associated policy. These epistemic narratives weave discourse (ideas, concepts and knowledge) and scale (as relationships, networks and timelines) to provide coordinate systems of purpose and identity that unfold as the material world. Surreptitious, un‐narrated or interfering changes can produce ontological insecurities, often leading to closed decisions in authoritarian forums. Research and policy designed for complexity anticipate ontological insecurities through democratic and deliberative narratives of earth system processes.
    March 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12270   open full text
  • Have there been forest transitions? Forest transition theory revisited in the context of the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem.
    Jacek Kozak, Marcin Szwagrzyk.
    Area. March 15, 2016
    Forest transition, a concept introduced in the early 1990s by Alexander Mather, proposes a reversal of forest cover change trends: from long‐term deforestation to stable or increasing forest cover. Several well‐documented examples of forest transition have been described since its proposal, typically at the national level. Initially, forest transition was explained by endogenous drivers, yet recently researchers have linked forest transition to spatial interactions taking place over increasingly larger distances and land use displacements occurring beyond national boundaries. Therefore, in the telecoupled global land use system, country‐level analysis of forest cover changes includes several pitfalls highlighted by the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem (MAUP) and it may therefore not be appropriate to draw conclusions about the occurrence of forest transitions. In this study, we attempt to explain this problem with a simple land use change simulation that extends the model introduced by Mather and Needle in 1998, and case study data from the Carpathian Mountains in Poland. Our results suggest that an abrupt increase of interaction distance is sufficient to cause land use displacements beyond the boundaries of areal units, resulting in reversals of previous land use trends and forest transitions. With interaction distance exceeding the dimensions of areal units considered in the analysis, these areal units may be considered arbitrary, and forest transitions occurring within their boundaries spurious in the sense of MAUP. We conclude that this finding may apply to other contemporary country‐level analyses of forest cover change, and argue that at present, only the global‐level forest transition is MAUP‐insensitive, possessing properties relevant to its early theoretical meaning.
    March 15, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12267   open full text
  • Creating ambiances, co‐constructing place: a poetic transect across the city.
    Phil Jones, Chris Jam.
    Area. March 14, 2016
    Debates in cultural geography around ideas of atmospheres have been considerably enriched in recent years by engagement with the literature on ambiances particularly associated with the Centre de recherche sur l'espace sonore et l'environnement urbain (CRESSON). Those working on both atmospheres and ambiances are concerned, among other things, with how places feel. In the ambiances literature, however, there is much greater emphasis on undertaking active interventions with the intention of re‐engineering the feeling of urban spaces. This paper reflects on a collaborative intervention undertaken by a cultural geographer and a professional poet. Methodologically we report on a novel extension to the idea of the urban transect as it has been deployed by scholars at CRESSON. Rather than simply recording the feeling of urban places for later analysis, we develop the use of an arts‐based intervention to actively manipulate urban ambiances in the field. We thus respond to Augoyard’s notion that artists alter ambiances through their creative practice, but we do so in a more democratic manner, asking non‐artists to engage with poetry as a means of remaking the immediate feeling of places. The analysis of this exercise presented here is comprised of both conventional academic and poetic writing. We conclude that the ambiances literature provides a powerful rationale for engaging in more activist collaborations between artists and scholars seeking to improve the feeling of places in partnership with residents.
    March 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12262   open full text
  • Beyond capitalocentricism: are non‐capitalist work practices ‘alternatives’?
    Richard J White, Colin C Williams.
    Area. March 04, 2016
    It is widely believed that there is no alternative to capitalism. Over the last two decades however, the critical geography literature on diverse economies has demonstrated the existence of alternatives to capitalism by revealing the persistence of non‐capitalist forms of work and organisation. The aim in this paper is to question the validity and usefulness of continuing to frame these non‐capitalist practices as ‘alternatives’. Positioning non‐capitalist economic practices as ‘alternatives’ fails to capture not only the ubiquity of such practices in everyday life, but also how those engaging in them do not see them as ‘alternatives’ in the sense of a second choice, or less desirable option, to capitalist practices. The intention in doing so is to reveal that it is not non‐capitalist practices that are ‘alternative’ but rather, capitalist practices themselves, thus opening up the future to the possibility of a non‐capitalist world more fully than has so far been the case.
    March 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12264   open full text
  • Have climate sceptics taken the bait? What the deconstruction of instrumental climate records can tell us about the politics of climate change.
    Mathis Hampel.
    Area. February 25, 2016
    In the USA, more so than anywhere else, resistance against the government regulation of carbon‐based lifestyles is tied to claims against the veracity of the scientific climate knowledge and the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). In their deconstruction of what some consider a critical empirical test of AGW, self‐styled climate sceptics exploit the paradox of scientific authority, highlighting the ‘placefulness’ of a supposedly placeless climate science. The controversy about the empirical observation of 20th‐century temperature change directs our attention to the role of place, in its dual sense as locality and social rank, in the making of authoritative scientific knowledge and the climate change controversy. This paper debates whether the deconstruction of instrumental surface temperature records will have the desired effect of undermining orthodox politics of climate change.
    February 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12260   open full text
  • Achieving and evidencing research ‘impact’? Tensions and dilemmas from an ethic of care perspective.
    Ruth Evans.
    Area. February 18, 2016
    While many academics are sceptical about the ‘impact agenda’, it may offer the potential to re‐value feminist and participatory approaches to the co‐production of knowledge. Drawing on my experiences of developing a UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) impact case study based on research on young caregiving in the UK, Tanzania and Uganda, I explore the dilemmas and tensions of balancing an ethic of care and participatory praxis with research management demands to evidence ‘impact’ in the neoliberal academy. The participatory dissemination process enabled young people to identify their support needs, which translated into policy and practice recommendations and in turn, produced ‘impact’. It also revealed a paradox of action‐oriented research: this approach may bring greater emotional investment of the participants in the project in potentially negative as well as positive ways, resulting in disenchantment that the research did not lead to tangible outcomes at local level. Participatory praxis may also pose ethical dilemmas for researchers who have responsibilities to care for both ‘proximate’ and ‘distant’ others. The ‘more than research’ relationship I developed with practitioners was motivated by my ethic of care rather than by the demands of the audit culture. Furthermore, my research and the impacts cited emerged slowly and incrementally from a series of small grants in an unplanned, serendipitous way at different scales, which may be difficult to fit within institutional audits of ‘impact’. Given the growing pressures on academics, it seems ever more important to embody an ethic of care in university settings, as well as in the ‘field’. We need to join the call for ‘slow scholarship’ and advocate a re‐valuing of feminist and participatory action research approaches, which may have most impact at local level, in order to achieve meaningful shifts in the impact agenda and more broadly, the academy.
    February 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12256   open full text
  • Iterative parallelism as research praxis: embracing the discursive incommensurability of scholarship and everyday politics.
    Olivia R Williams, Joseph Pierce.
    Area. February 17, 2016
    Discussions of geography's role outside the academy have tended toward arguments for greater public relevance, either by revising the discipline's empirical foci, or by adopting more public‐oriented or activist approaches to research. While we are sympathetic to these ideas, we see an inherent tension between the discursive goals of academic scholarship and the everyday political world beyond it. Political discourse makes productive use of signifiers for which multiple meanings already exist, and gains power by exploiting their ambiguity. Academic discourse, on the other hand, seeks to clarify meanings through definitions and carefully delimited empirics in order to elucidate new ideas. We argue that the recognition and appreciation of these divergent discursive goals can serve efforts to make geographic scholarship more widely relevant if scholars make academic contributions iteratively parallel to political ones, rather than attempting to blend the two as a simultaneous practice. Scholarship that works to produce and utilise analytical terms of art within scholarly discourses to more accurately describe political processes can enable new critiques and the imagination of new political possibilities that are difficult to conceptualise from within everyday political discourses. The most strategic way for a scholar to make a political intervention, however, is to frame the suggestion within existing political discourses. Therefore, contributions in each discourse serve specific, unique purposes. The two discourses can also usefully play off of each other. When new political practices arise in the everyday political realm, new research projects can usefully evaluate their impacts to inform further suggestions for political interventions. We elucidate these ideas in three principles to guide an academic praxis of iterative parallelism for scholars interested in making political impacts alongside their scholarship.
    February 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12258   open full text
  • Social enterprises as spaces of encounter for mental health consumers.
    Robert Wilton, Joshua Evans.
    Area. February 11, 2016
    Recent geographical scholarship has suggested that disabled people's encounters with non‐disabled others might constitute an important mechanism for community participation and social inclusion. Existing studies recognise the importance of the immediate material and relational character of place in shaping the nature of encounters between disabled and non‐disabled people. Yet there has been little attention – beyond questions of physical access – to the ways in which places might be practically created to facilitate positive interactions. In this paper, we examine the potential of social enterprises to serve as a space of encounter between disabled workers and non‐disabled others. Drawing on interviews and focus groups, we explore how and to what extent social enterprises (coffee shops, catering businesses, cleaning and janitorial companies, courier services) create supportive environments for interaction and encounter between workers with mental health problems, clients and members of the public. Our analysis suggests that specific efforts to accommodate and support mental health consumers in their employment‐based interactions contributes to an enabling relational space for encounters that begin to unsettle prevailing assumptions about mental ill health. At the same time, broader social conditions and enduring assumptions about mental health consumers work to reinforce disabling differences.
    February 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12259   open full text
  • ‘As long as you're easy on the eye’: reflecting on issues of positionality and researcher safety during farmer interviews.
    Hannah M Chiswell, Rebecca Wheeler.
    Area. February 11, 2016
    This reflective paper explores gendered experiences of fieldwork encounters with farmers. Specifically, the paper considers how the particularities of farmer interviews – including the geographical remoteness of many farm holdings, the strength of tradition in farm families and the male‐dominated nature of the industry – pose a unique and challenging prospect for the young and relatively inexperienced female researcher. Drawing on a number of the authors’ own fieldwork experiences, we consider some of the ethical and safety challenges we have faced, and offer some practical strategies for addressing these. The paper also reflects on the implications of our positionality – specifically the intersection of our age, gender and non‐farming status – on our own, and participants’ interview performances. Although, as we discuss, we found these aspects of our identity broadly advantageous in securing and conducting successful farmer interviews, we also recount how they invited a number of unwelcomed behaviours, and often left us vulnerable to emotional risk. In sharing such experiences, we raise a number of questions concerning the ethical responsibility of negotiating or conforming to the identities conferred on us during farmer interviews and hope to prompt further discussion around these challenges. The paper concludes that young female researchers face a number of ethical and safety challenges during fieldwork in the rural and farming context and highlights the need to consider the impact of researcher positionality on the researcher, the participant(s) and the overall research process. By stimulating such a debate, we aim to bring the issue of gendered experiences of rural research to the fore, and hope to provide some reassurance and support to others working in similar areas.
    February 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/area.12257   open full text
  • Territory, bodies and borders.
    Sara Smith, Nathan W Swanson, Banu Gökarıksel.
    Area. December 18, 2015
    This special section builds on recent scholarship on territory and borders to call for attention to the ways that bodies are central in their constitution. Through a wide range of case studies from the delivery room to Tahrir Square, the six contributors find territory and borders in unlikely places, and reveal new lines of inquiry through their explorations of the ways that bodies both are marked by territory and borders and take an active role in their making. The contributors bring together recent work on territory with literatures from a divergent set of literatures, including feminist geopolitics, queer theory and actor network theory, to build a case for an embodied and material understanding of the intersections of bodies, territory and borders. We argue that territory is made, in part, through bodies – an intimate geopolitics. Bodies challenge and subvert state control of territory, become vulnerable to violence due to state bordering practices, and experience and produce smaller‐scale forms of territory in the refugee camp or hospital. Borders can limit our epistemological vision or expand it. Seeking to expand embodied nationalism and build on scholarship on globalisation that cuts across scale, we approach the body as an active, territorial agent in processes of border and territory‐making. Here, territory becomes a versatile, but grounded and material, focal point, allowing for the embodied experiences of border‐crossers, but also for other racialised, gendered and sexualised bodies as they give birth or seek to build neighbourhoods.
    December 18, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12247   open full text
  • Spaces of dissociation: the impact of childhood sexual abuse on the personal geographies of adult survivors.
    Alette Willis, Seamus Prior, Siobhan Canavan.
    Area. December 15, 2015
    The experiences of survivors of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) have received almost no attention in geography. However, activists and therapists working with survivors have long recognised that CSA has spatial impacts and that finding some sense of control over one's environment is an important step in recovering from this trauma. By bringing the stories of three adult women who are survivors of CSA into conversation with debates in human geography about the habitation of space and place, this psycho‐social paper goes some small way towards addressing this oversight. Set in the context of the high prevalence of CSA in all communities, we argue that efforts to understand everyday, domestic and marginalised geographies need to consider the potential impact of abuse. By understanding psycho‐social pathways by which abuse impacts on individuals we highlight how violence and trauma can impact on personal geographies in a myriad of ways.
    December 15, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12254   open full text
  • Exploring the minescape: engaging with the complexity of the extractive sector.
    Melina Ey, Meg Sherval.
    Area. December 14, 2015
    This paper introduces the concept of the minescape as a conceptual and imaginative tool through which to integrate and represent growing shifts in the way natural resource extraction is understood. In recent years, traditional perceptions of extractive processes as ‘natural’ and purely economic in nature have been increasingly challenged by new developments within the fields of human geography and anthropology. Likewise, growing insights into the multifaceted socio‐cultural terrain of extractive operations, and burgeoning work on the interplay of materiality and discourse within the extractive sector, have also transformed the way that extractive processes (and their potentialities) are being conceptualised. The concept of the minescape aims to draw together significant insights concerning the extractive sector, which are increasingly being deployed when representing extractive spaces. Appropriating the term from its current use in fine art, the minescape joins a number of recent appropriations of the ‘scapes’ suffix to capture the expanding analytical scope of extractive sector inquiry. In essence, the minescape stands as a representational tool that underscores the intricate ways in which extractive processes are imbued with complex socio‐cultural dynamics, and powerful material and discursive elements.
    December 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12245   open full text
  • Participatory video as a feminist practice of looking: ‘take two!’.
    Sara Kindon.
    Area. December 14, 2015
    In this paper, I use the idea of a ‘take’ to indicate that I have looked again at previous moments in a long‐term participatory video for research project to ‘rethink’ them from a different perspective now. My aims in doing this are to acknowledge the recent increase in critical engagements with participatory video, to raise concerns about uncritical uses of Western realist film production conventions and to call for renewed scrutiny of our methodological practice as researchers. I look at the conventions of ‘white balancing’ and ‘framing the horizon’ within a wider suite of film production techniques to argue that even when applied within a participatory epistemology, they inevitably develop a particular way of looking for participants and researchers that is ambivalent, rather than feminist, in its effects. The paper concludes by suggesting that as geographers (and other social scientists), we would do well to be more cautious of participatory video, and more circumspect in the claims we make about its empowering effects, including its ability to enable a feminist practice of looking.
    December 14, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12246   open full text
  • Can people talk together about their practices? Focus groups, humour and the sensitive dynamics of everyday life.
    Alison L Browne.
    Area. December 07, 2015
    The exploration of everyday social practices related to sustainability often touches on the most invisible parts of people's everyday lives. Given the multiple cultural forces that govern cleanliness and comfort, and the intimate spheres in which these practices are performed, practices associated with everyday water use (and associated energy consumption) bump up against ‘the taboo’. While it has been resolved that ‘people can talk about their practices’ in interviews, a range of other methods – including CCTV, video and other data to survey and document practices in homes – are increasingly being used. As we delve theoretically closer to these public/private boundaries with new studies on social practices and sustainability, greater attention to the ethics of methods is needed. Different ‘talk'‐based methodologies such as focus groups that could allow researchers to work more ethically with the strong moral sensitivities of certain domestic practices have not yet been considered. This paper explores six focus groups on ‘bodies, clothes, dirt and cleanliness’ that took place in Lancaster, UK. Reflecting on researcher positionality, and results of a follow‐up survey with participants, the paper concludes that focus groups, humour and laughter enable intimately political conversations about aspects of everyday practices that might be difficult to access or articulate through other research methods. The implications of using conversational humour and laughter as purposeful tools for exploring particular aspects of everyday social practices is also explored. This paper responds to recent calls for greater consideration of fieldwork and methodologies related to gender and embodiment within human geography, and on the ethics and politics of everyday life research.
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12250   open full text
  • ‘But what do you measure?’ Prospects for a constructive critical physical geography.
    Brendon Blue, Gary Brierley.
    Area. December 07, 2015
    Geomorphology shapes the way we perceive the world around us, making certain ways of understanding and interacting with landscapes more possible than others. Despite this, geomorphologists have a reputation for not engaging with philosophical questions regarding their work, particularly the role of theory, framing and language. Recent calls for a critical physical geography present significant opportunities for physical geographers to engage with questions that often go unasked, and unanswered, in the Earth sciences. Here we discuss what a critical physical geography might bring to geomorphology, examining the implications of what we measure in our efforts to classify and understand river form and process. While geomorphology benefits from using the approaches and methods of science, it struggles with the fundamental problem of closure. Through the example of river diversity we explore how our decisions, tools and knowledge frameworks shape environmental outcomes. We challenge the assumption that once a landscape is measured it is ‘known’, and argue for geomorphologists to actively explore alternative ways of knowing the landscape towards a discipline which is both more just and more scientific. We imagine an inclusive critical physical geography, drawing on disparate theoretical approaches to constructively critique the practice of geomorphology. We argue that this engagement will be most productive if it is framed in a readily accessible manner. Negotiating such a project is undoubtedly challenging, but there is more to be gained by building bridges over the science/humanities divide than by shouting across it.
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12249   open full text
  • Navigating borders' multiplicity: the critical potential of assemblage.
    Christophe Sohn.
    Area. December 07, 2015
    Various critical and scholarly works have underlined the multiplicity of borders, or the idea that borders mean different things to different people. This paper discusses the potential of the concept of assemblage for better understanding the ontological multidimensionality intrinsic to borders. An assemblage is understood to be a heterogeneous and open‐ended grouping of elements that do not form a coherent whole that helps explain how different meanings emanating from various actors may interact and endure in a contingent and provisional way. It can be argued that such a topological approach may be well suited to highlight the overall significance of a border's identity beyond its diversity and on‐going transformation.
    December 07, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12248   open full text
  • Remembering Kearneytown: race, place and collective memory in collaborative filmmaking.
    Pavithra Vasudevan, William A Kearney.
    Area. November 02, 2015
    This paper reflects on a collaborative project by the co‐authors, investigating how filmmaking may intervene into the racialised politics of place and the practices of memory. Warren County, North Carolina is credited as the birthplace of the US environmental justice movement for 1982 landmark protests linking environmental concerns with civil rights organising. Our 2012 short film, Remembering Kearneytown, looks at this significant environmental history through the perspective of co‐author Rev. Kearney, assistant pastor at a church nearby Warren County's iconic former toxic landfill. In the film, Rev. Kearney calls for his community to reclaim their legacy of environmental justice and re‐imagine Warren County as a model of health rather than waste. This article proposes that collaborative filmmaking can serve as a technology of liberatory praxis, to intervene in dominant racial narratives. Our approach conceives of filmmaking geographically, using visual methodologies to engage with the meanings and transformative capacities of place.
    November 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12238   open full text
  • To build a home: the material cultural practices of Karen refugees across borders.
    Ei Phyu Smith.
    Area. October 06, 2015
    Civil strife between the central military government and dissident groups in Burma has caused the displacement of Karen refugees since the late 1950s. Fleeing the practices of armed groups that include the confiscation of farmland, forced labour and gendered violence, Karen refugees seek refuge along the Thai–Burma border where they are not recognised as ‘legal persons’ and therefore forced to remain in camps established from the late 1980s. This long‐standing conflict has resulted in one of the most protracted refugee situations in the world. Since 2006, the Canadian government has been re‐settling Karen refugees from this border region. Situated within this context, in this paper I explore Karen refugees' creation of ‘home’ through an examination of their material cultures. I argue that while the notion of home becomes destabilised at different junctures of displacement, phases of mobility and immobility nurture the creation of home. Through their material engagements with dwellings at the Thai–Burma border and in Canada, Karen refugees' everyday practices reinforce the specialised role of place within flows of movement. The bordering projects at the Thai–Burma boundary are reinforced and troubled by both the presence of these shelters, which serve as physical reminders of the ongoing conflict, and the mobility and immobility of bodies.
    October 06, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12211   open full text
  • Visualising the visceral: using film to research the ineffable.
    Jessica Jacobs.
    Area. June 03, 2015
    While cheaper technology, wider training availability and the online digital learning environment have broadened the opportunities for geographers to use film and video, it has also led to calls to improve the discipline's media literacy. This need is made even more urgent by the shift in qualitative research to practice‐based methods targeted towards how we experience our lived environment. Other shifts in empirical and conceptual focus are also relevant, particularly interest in emotional beneath the surface geographies and calls for participation rather than observation encased in recent debates on the Anthropocene. The negative association of film with entertainment and marketeering has led to concerns about the suitability of film as a research output and has caused some scholars to restrict themselves to a stringent use of real‐time ‘video’ in a primarily data‐collection context. This paper adopts a practice‐based approach in order to identify some of the complex qualities that a research film holds and contribute to the debate about its future as a form of academic research and publication. Reflecting on a recent film‐based research project on heritage tourism in Syria and Jordan I argue that the potential to manipulate, distort or entertain should not be ignored or refuted. Rather the wide range of relationships between people, objects and landscape within the frame such as depth of field, mise‐en‐scene and between the frames via editing (montage) give film a complex viscerality and multi‐sensorial power that can help us explore how we communicate our feelings and connect the experiential qualities of filmic research methods to final outputs.
    June 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12198   open full text
  • Can a research film be considered a stand‐alone academic publication? An assessment of the film Climate Change, Voices of the Vulnerable: The Fishers' Plight.
    April Karen Baptiste.
    Area. April 20, 2015
    While widely used as a form of data collection, the use of film as a stand‐alone medium for the dissemination of research has not been fully realized in the social sciences. The hesitation on the part of many scholars to produce video is based on the lack of criteria for what constitutes a research‐film. Each academic publication has underlying research‐reporting characteristics. If these characteristics are evident then the medium of dissemination should not matter. This article argues that a research‐film can serve as an academic publication because it reflects the reporting of research that contributes to new knowledge or theories in a particular discipline(s). Taking a reflective approach, this article uses the film Climate Change, Voices of the Vulnerable: The Fishers' Plight, which advances knowledge in the fields of Environmental Studies and Geography, to critically assess the research‐reporting characteristics of research films. The film, based on fishers' perceptions to climate change in Trinidad and Tobago, meets some of the characteristics of research‐reporting through the representation of the theoretical framework and demographic sample data, a clear representation of the findings and analysis through thematic transition slides, and presentation of a conclusion. However it falls short through a lack of systematic representation of the sampling process and a well‐grounded theoretical frame with cited studies. The findings suggest that research‐films can stand‐alone as an output for academic research‐reporting as the short‐falls can be easily remedied in order to satisfy the characteristics of research‐reporting. The article concludes by raising the opportunities and challenges for social researchers who use this method for disseminating academic research, including the lack of outlets to provide peer‐reviews of research‐films in the published literature.
    April 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12194   open full text
  • Captive bodies: migrant kidnapping and deportation in Mexico.
    Jeremy Slack.
    Area. February 02, 2015
    Kidnapping, originally considered a problem for the super wealthy, has quickly spread to epidemic proportions among the relative poor, especially among clandestine international migrants. This article examines how people's relationship to the US–Mexico border shapes their vulnerability to kidnapping. Moreover, through one long ethnographic vignette and survey data of deportees' experiences with kidnapping, this article explores how the border helps produce and shape kidnapping. By exploring the border as topological, based on the relationships created through clandestine migration and deportation, we can see how kidnapping operates to produce certain, highly varied subjectivities. Moreover, this article explores the contours of sexuality and masculinity for a feminist geopolitical take on some of the darkest chapters of the war on drugs in Mexico.
    February 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/area.12151   open full text
  • Electric elephants and the lively/lethal energies of wildlife documentary film.
    Rosemary‐Claire Collard.
    Area. November 04, 2014
    Amid growing enthusiasm for documentary filmmaking as a more‐than‐human research methodology, particularly in geography, I interject a cautionary reflection on the possibilities and limitations of this medium, emphasising documentary film production's effects on nonhuman life. From one of the first films ever made, in which Thomas Edison electrocutes Topsy the elephant, to contemporary wildlife documentaries that observe the lives and deaths of animals, film's affective potential to electrify, animate or enliven has existed in tension with its reliance on an encounterable, killable and invade‐able animal life. Accordingly, this paper first briefly reviews the emerging context of filmmaking as a research tool for more‐than‐human or animal geographies, focused on the relationship between animal documentary film and affect. I then complicate this lively energy through an examination of the conditions of production for animal film, particularly wildlife documentary, underscoring the speciesism that positions animals as disposable objects. Drawing on historical and contemporary examples as well as my own ambivalent experience making a short research film on wild animals circulating within global live wildlife trade, I show that a reliance on an encounterable animal, and a persistent taking of or impinging on animal life, underpins wildlife documentary film's ability to bring animals to life on film screens. At a time when documentary filmmaking is poised to become a dominant method in more‐than‐human geography and animal studies more broadly, this long history of violence, or film's lethal energies, must be considered more centrally.
    November 04, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12133   open full text
  • The geopolitics of birth.
    Katharine McKinnon.
    Area. September 25, 2014
    Birth is usually depicted as a moment of celebration, of love and tenderness. The often sanitised image of birth, however, belies the ways in which birth spaces are spaces of acute geopolitical contestation. At the centre of this contested space is the birthing body. That body is a strange hybrid: it belongs in part to the woman who labours, the becoming‐mother, and in part to the not‐yet‐child she is working to bring forth. In part it belongs to the labouring process, the flood of hormones and waves of contractions that carry a woman off to labour land. Or, it is a body that becomes subject to the tools and technologies of a medicalised birth. What the sanitised images of birth conceal is that a woman's birthing body is overdetermined by competing rationalisations of obstetricians and nurses, midwives and doulas, and her own hopes and expectations about the kind of birth she wants. Here the discursive and the material intermingle in the spaces of birth and in the moment in which both a new child, and his or her new mother, come into being in the world. In this paper I begin to map the networks of human and non‐human actors that shape the space of birth and compete to govern the birthing body. Working with preliminary results from ethnographic research with mothers I argue that a closer examination of the intricacies of birth experiences reveals this as the site of an intimate geopolitics, where women's bodies are the territories contested through multiple and overlapping claims of diverse actants.
    September 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12131   open full text
  • Critiquing the politics of participatory video and the dangerous romance of liberalism.
    Shannon Walsh.
    Area. May 23, 2014
    In this article I argue that participatory video must acknowledge its often technocratic, liberal presumptions, and take a more critical look at the political underpinnings of ‘empowerment’ and ‘voice’. I am interested in how we can use participatory video while resisting the romance of community, seeing beyond short‐term individualist approaches towards a longer‐term collective project of social justice. A reflexive approach to how power and agency work within participatory video is essential if the method is going to effect change and not merely manage social conflict. While the participatory video process can be discussed from many perspectives, I focus here on a critique of the often‐hidden politics of participatory video, its relation to academic research and in turn, to project participants within a progressive social change agenda.
    May 23, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12104   open full text
  • Noise in Guangzhou: the cultural politics of underground popular music in contemporary Guangzhou.
    Chen Liu.
    Area. May 13, 2014
    Popular music in Guangzhou can be considered as a noise that applies social and political power to challenge the mainstream aesthetics and ideologies, rather than a low culture that lacks aesthetics. The main purpose of this article is to examine the cultural politics of underground popular music in contemporary Guangzhou, drawing on the analysis of its lyrical and sonic meanings through three genres: campus rock/pop, Canton‐rock and urban folk songs. Different types of underground popular music in Guangzhou engender different spaces/places through the lyrical and sonic power, and map out the non‐commercial popular music in south China. These findings not only respond to the previous music geographical studies on lyrics and sounds/voices, but also extend the research areas of Chinese popular music.
    May 13, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12102   open full text
  • Towards a more‐than‐sea geography: exploring the relational geographies of superrich mobility between sea, superyacht and shore in the Cote d'Azur.
    Emma Spence.
    Area. May 09, 2014
    Geographies of the sea are no longer a marginal concern in the discipline but are increasingly diverse, encompassing connections, relationalities and materialities that transcend typical human–non‐human, wet–dry boundaries. Thus, as studies of the sea become progressively varied, it is necessary to move beyond justifying why we should look at the sea, and towards establishing how, ontologically, geographies of the sea can be done. In response, I present a more‐than‐sea geography. A more‐than‐sea geography not only views the maritime in terms of the sea's connections and divides, but also in terms of the diffuse relations that emerge when we view the sea from the sea itself. Drawing on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork of superrich mobility at sea, I identify relational processes within and between sea, ship and shore that shape and are shaped by those who live, work and vacation on board superyachts. Tracing the mobility of the luxury superyacht presents a unique opportunity to identify the more‐than‐sea relationalities and hyper‐mobilities of the superrich, while identifying potential areas of enquiry that can be further informed by a more‐than‐sea framework.
    May 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12101   open full text
  • Generic security concern influencing individual response to natural hazards: evidence from Shanghai, China.
    Xin Lu Xie, Alex Y Lo, Yan Zheng, Jiahua Pan, Jing Luo.
    Area. May 09, 2014
    Shanghai is a megacity located in a hazard‐prone region, but one in which local residents have not actively engaged in disaster risk management. This paper aims to identify factors of perception that influence residents' propensity to adopt risk‐mitigating measures. It presents results of a structured questionnaire survey administered to Shanghai residents. Results show that risk‐mitigating measures are deemed to be important if people: (1) have frequently experienced extreme weather; (2) believe that extreme weather events are severe in Shanghai; and (3) are concerned about other public risks confronting international society, such as energy security and terrorism. It is important to note that the third point has resulted in greater impacts than the other two factors. A cultural explanation is offered in this paper. Public risk awareness emanates from a generic concern over the security of the human world. This generic concern acts as a socio‐cultural backdrop that contextualises the ways in which individuals respond to natural hazards. The significance of this factor indicates the need for broadening the analytical scope of risk perception research in China. These findings are useful for local policymakers, emergency managers and community and aid organisations seeking to develop creative strategies for risk education and communication.
    May 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12098   open full text
  • A larger herd size as a symbol of wealth? The fallacy of the cattle complex theory in Tibetan pastoralism.
    Yonten Nyima.
    Area. May 09, 2014
    Through a case study from Nagchu, the Tibet Autonomous Region, China, this paper deconstructs the cattle complex theory in the context of Tibetan pastoralism. Specifically, it demonstrates that it is desirable for Tibetan pastoralists to have a larger herd size for three overlapping reasons that do not follow the logic of the cattle complex theory. First, owing to biological, cultural and economic factors, herd sizes are not equivalent to actual livestock available for production. Second, pastoralists desire a larger herd size as a long‐term strategy for livelihood security and flexibility. Third, pastoralists desire a larger herd size as a means to improve their standard of living. This paper also points out that in practice pastoralists' maximum herd size is a function of labour power, rangeland area and conditions and economic status.
    May 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12099   open full text
  • The catchment area of the Milesian colony of Histria, within the Razim‐Sinoie lagoon complex (Romania): hydrogeomorphologic, economic and geopolitical implications.
    Gheorghe Romanescu.
    Area. May 09, 2014
    The Greek colonies were founded in areas of economic and geo‐strategic interest. From this perspective, Histria benefited from the advantages offered by the sea, the delta (the Danube River) and the coastal zone. It also benefited from the continental resources within the hydrographic basin corresponding to the Razim‐Sinoie lagoon complex. This study combines physical geography (especially geomorphology) and archaeological parameters to delimit, according to the deontological principles, the sphere of influence of the city of Histria and the manner of settlement of the Greek cities. The study delimits Histria's area of influence along the coastal fringe and hinterland. The principles behind the study (the delimiting of the hydrographic basins as areas of influence) represent a novel approach in Romanian archaeology. The closure of the Halmyris bay began around 3000 bp and the city of Histria ceased activity around 2000–1500 years bp. The coastal settlements were based on exploitation of marine resources as well as those provided by the land. When trying to delimit the area under the influence of the Greek city of Histria, one has to take into account the existence of geological and soil resources, but excluding local topography. Based on geomorphological and cartographic rules, as well as local considerations, the area served by the city was delimited. The limits follow the outline of the watershed closing the lagoon complex. From this perspective, three types of territory (horizons) were delimited. Each of the delimitations is based on geographic criteria: topography, resources and geo‐strategy.
    May 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12093   open full text
  • On the creative (re)turn to geography: poetry, politics and passion.
    Clare Madge.
    Area. April 15, 2014
    This paper contributes to the debate about the creative (re)turn to geography through the lens of poetry. In considering the potentialities and limitations of geopoetics, I explore three issues in particular: evaluation of the poetic creative moment; poetry as a means of expressing an embodied, affective geopolitics; and the limitations involved in this particular creative move as a means of empathetic, passionate storytelling. The paper highlights the ambivalences and complexities of using poetry as a creative literary form of geographical world‐writing.
    April 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12097   open full text
  • Considering nationality and performativity: undertaking research across the geopolitical divide in the Falkland Islands and Argentina.
    Matthew C Benwell.
    Area. April 15, 2014
    This paper explores the substantial challenges of doing research with citizens living in nation‐states on different sides of a geopolitical dispute. It draws on an on‐going research project being undertaken in Argentina, the Falkland Islands and the UK focusing on tensions in the South Atlantic over the status of the Falkland/Malvinas Islands. Geographical research that looks to examine the impacts of geopolitics on everyday lives is increasingly commonplace and some of this work is being undertaken in politically volatile and (post)conflict settings. Set in this context, the paper argues that more attention needs to be placed on the process of doing this kind of research in ways that take account of researcher–researched relations, performance and positionality. First, it argues that doing multi‐sited geographical research of this nature can enable and disable relations with respondents in ways that require constant analysis during fieldwork. The prevailing historical, socio‐cultural, (geo)political and temporal dynamics of research encounters must be sensitively considered. Second, national identity was consistently referenced in my field diary entries and the paper contends that this aspect of researcher identity has been neglected in discussions of positionality. Drawing on theoretical literatures that discuss the performance of national identity, the paper suggests how researchers might think more self‐reflexively about nationality and its performativity through the doing of research.
    April 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12095   open full text
  • Why place matters: imaginative geography and international student mobility.
    Suzanne E Beech.
    Area. April 09, 2014
    This paper develops and extends the recent work on international student mobility by expanding beyond the traditional push–pull factors of migration to show that students are influenced by more than the economic in their decision of where to study. It uses original data collected through interviews and focus groups with 38 higher education international students at three UK universities located in Aberdeen, Belfast and Nottingham to show that when students choose to study overseas they are influenced by diverse perceptions of place that they have constructed over long periods of time. These imaginative geographies are the direct result of exposure to a range of different media, as well as stories relayed to them from members of their social networks. This paper demonstrates that students studying in Scotland and Northern Ireland appear to have highly developed imaginative geographies in relation to their chosen study sites. By contrast, international students studying in England tended to have little conception of their chosen place of study. In this case the powerful imaginative geographies that had been instilled within them focused on London, overshadowing their understanding of their chosen study site.
    April 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12096   open full text
  • Geographical representations: the role of the military in the development of contemporary Chilean geography.
    Jonathan R. Barton, Felipe Irarrázaval.
    Area. April 01, 2014
    This article points to two geographical representations. Both relate to the activities of the Military Geographical Institute (IGM) in Chile. The first representation, following on from the importance of the cartographic tradition in state‐building, and the role of military institutions in this process, is a critical engagement with the representation of Chilean academic geography on the international stage via the IGM. The paper will reflect on the circumstances through which the IGM assumed this role, and questions its legitimacy as a consequence. The second points to the representation of geography as a cartographical exercise. Historically, similar institutions to the IGM in Latin America have played important roles in creating their national spaces, through mapping and other practices that communicate geopolitical representations of the national space. These representations of geography as cartography remain important since maps are used to communicate a ‘national truth’ to the wider population as well as associated expansionist geopolitical narrative. The representation of the ‘Chilean Antarctic’ will be used as an example of this activity. Both of these representations – of national space‐building, and as the face of Chilean geography in international fora – are based on core elements of geopolitics that have to be engaged with critically since they reveal the continued importance of the military in representing national geographies. This article provides such an engagement, and concludes by arguing that representations of Chilean geography need to be democratised and demilitarised.
    April 01, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12082   open full text
  • Interpreting autobiographies in migration research: narratives of Japanese returnees from the Canary Islands (Spain).
    Rosalia Avila‐Tàpies, Josefina Domínguez‐Mujica.
    Area. March 27, 2014
    Within the context of recent epistemological and methodological turns in geography and social sciences, this paper explores the use of autobiographical narratives in international migration research and learning through the analysis of three books written by Japanese returnees from the Canary Islands (Spain). These narratives were interpreted by focusing on their content from a categorical perspective, using a type of reading known traditionally as ‘content analysis’ and adopting a cross‐cultural framework of research, reflecting a biographical approach to the study of embodied experiences of migration and cross‐cultural processes. A major finding in this study is the recognition of migration and mobility as transformative experiences that changed the authors’ way of looking at the world and have had a profound impact on every aspect of their lives. The article emphasises the importance of reflexivity, positionality and communicative competence between cultures in geography.
    March 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12081   open full text
  • Life after the volcano: the embodiment of small island memories and efforts to keep Montserratian culture alive in Preston, UK.
    Lisa Hill.
    Area. March 26, 2014
    In recent years cultural geographers have turned their attention to issues of mobility, migration and diaspora. Yet the lives of those displaced by natural disaster remain under‐researched. In July 1995, the Soufriere Hills Volcano began a devastating and drawn‐out volcanic crisis on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat. The volcano was eventually to kill 19 people and see approximately two‐thirds of the population leave the island, scattered throughout the Caribbean, the USA and UK. This article focuses on those now living their lives in Preston, in the north west of England. Drawing on an evening spent ‘under the coconut tree’ with members of the Preston Montserratian community, I seek to explore the embodiment of small island memories and efforts to keep Montserratian culture alive in the UK. As such, this article makes a contribution to literature on cultural geographies of migration, diaspora and ‘home’, and geographies of being and belonging.
    March 26, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12084   open full text
  • What is the geography of Geographical Indications? Place, production methods and Protected Food Names.
    Matthew J Rippon.
    Area. March 25, 2014
    Copyright, patents and trademarks are well‐known types of Intellectual Property (IP). However, there is another form of IP known as Geographical Indications (GIs). Foods, drinks and agricultural products can be certified as GIs. The quality of each GI is considered to exclusively or significantly derive from the supposedly unique physical attributes of the defined and bounded locations from which they originate. The use of GIs discriminates between producers who are categorised as in‐place or out‐of‐place. This determines the firms that are permitted to invoke economically valuable geographical names. Producers of GIs rely on notions of place, boundaries and terroir to validate their claims to GI status. These are intrinsically geographical factors with which our discipline has long engaged. However, the GI system itself has rarely been studied from a geographical perspective. This paper interrogates the constructions of place, boundaries and terroir common to the conceptual infrastructure of all GIs. It employs Stilton Cheese – one of Britain's most iconic territorial foods – to illustrate these ideas. The Stilton case also shows that taken‐for‐granted ideas of place and production methods can be challenged by motivated adversaries who introduce new evidence in their quest to destabilise this GI. The overall aim of this work is to draw attention to the geographical infrastructure of this expanding regulatory system and more fully reveal the interests served by the GI model.
    March 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12085   open full text
  • The traditional food market and place: new insights into fresh food provisioning in England.
    Julie Smith, Damian Maye, Brian Ilbery.
    Area. March 25, 2014
    This article adds to on‐going debates about food provisioning in England and the relative positioning of supermarkets vis‐à‐vis other sources of fresh food. Arguing that traditional food markets have been neglected in the agri‐food literature, the paper investigates the suggestion that they are at ‘a critical juncture’, with many in decline and others being (re‐)gentrified for a wealthier type of customer. Theoretically, the article argues that the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ spaces and places of traditional food markets are tightly interwoven. It draws on database analysis and detailed findings from interviews with market managers, traders and shoppers conducted on markets in contrasting regions of England in the cities of Newcastle and Cambridge. The findings provide new insights by examining the connective spaces and places that link market actors and consumers as fresh food moves across the geographical regions and through the marketplace. Taking a relational view, the paper challenges the suggestion that traditional food markets are at ‘a critical juncture’, arguing that there are unique points of difference on how the traditional food market adapts to rapid retail change, according to its geography, history and the spatial and temporal tensions between traditional and modernised fresh food provisioning systems, and suggests the need for further in‐depth research.
    March 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12083   open full text
  • Sustainable city‐building and the new politics of the possible: reflections on the governance of the London Olympics 2012.
    Mike Raco.
    Area. March 25, 2014
    This paper draws on the example of the London Olympics 2012 to argue that a new ‘realistic’ politics of good governance and output‐focused private sector delivery now dominates sustainability policy thinking. It is a politics that makes a series of normative claims and promises based on a pragmatic and non‐ideological approach to sustainability. Its advocates claim that it converts the lofty ideals and aspirations of utopian sustainability into tangible, verifiable and output‐based delivery mechanisms. The discussion examines the governance arrangements that were put in place for the Games and the ways in which sustainability objectives were defined, institutionalised and mobilised by hybrid public and private actors. It outlines some of the wider impacts of this new development model and its implications for thinking about sustainability planning elsewhere.
    March 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12080   open full text
  • Beyond activism/academia: militant research and the radical climate and climate justice movement(s).
    Bertie Russell.
    Area. March 24, 2014
    The problematic of the activist/academic relationship has been a source of sustained concern for radical Geographers over the past 15 years. Drawing on my personal experience within the radical climate movement(s), this paper looks to develop on the commitments of militant research, contribute to the development of militant ethnography as a research approach and consider the subsequent implications for thinking through the activist/academic problematic. Elaborating on the epistemological distinction between ‘truth relaying’ and ‘knowledge production’, it is contended that militant research is an orientation and process synonymous with the disavowal of positivist knowledge and the construction of situated partisan knowledge(s). Rather than the (social) science of transmitting truth, research thus becomes the art of producing tools you can fight with. From this perspective, the activist/academic problematic is not a ‘neutral’ problem but a product of a certain way of knowing associated with the academy. The paper concludes that our concern should not be to navigate between (and thus reiterate) the fields of ‘activism’ and ‘academy’, but to surpass the problematic altogether. We are tasked not with reproducing the university in its current form, but reimagining it as a machine for the production of other worlds.
    March 24, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12086   open full text
  • Globalising sustainable urbanism: the role of international masterplanners.
    Elizabeth Rapoport.
    Area. February 13, 2014
    How do you design a sustainable urban area from scratch? A growing number of urban development projects, marketing themselves as sustainable or ‘eco’ cities, claim to have the answer. This paper focuses on the companies who create the masterplans that guide the development of such sustainable urban projects. While these projects are appearing in a diverse array of locations around the world, they are largely conceived and designed by a small, elite group of international architecture, engineering and planning firms based in North America and Europe sometimes referred to as the global intelligence corps (GIC). Drawing on research into these firms, the paper examines the contemporary drivers of internationalisation in sustainable urban planning and design. These include enhanced professional reputations and satisfaction for designers and branding benefits for clients with a desire to be seen as modern and ‘global’. The paper then considers the role of international masterplanners in the global dissemination of ideas in this area, concluding that the GIC and the plans they develop are playing a significant role in the development of an international model of sustainable urbanism. However, the way in which this model is actually expressed in material form is strongly influenced by the demands and priorities of the GIC's international clients. The paper concludes by reflecting on what this research demonstrates about what it means for a planning model to be both relational and territorial.
    February 13, 2014   doi: 10.1111/area.12079   open full text
  • Do changes in vegetation quality precede urban sprawl?
    Luca Salvati, Carlotta Ferrara.
    Area. August 15, 2013
    The present study compares trends in vegetation quality observed from 1975 to 2000 in two Mediterranean cities (Athens and Rome) with the distribution and density of urban settlements in 2010 to test if urban sprawl was preceded by changes in landscape characteristics. These cities are characterised by unregulated expansion and similar long‐term population dynamics, but possess different urban forms. The results indicate that changes in vegetation quality are correlated with the type of urban development found around the two cities. In particular, it was found that (i) dispersed settlements are more likely to be located on land of higher vegetation quality than compact settlements and (ii) land with stable vegetation quality over time was primarily associated with compact settlements, while land with both increasing and decreasing vegetation quality was associated with low‐density, dispersed settlements. In 2010, low‐density, dispersed settlements were concentrated in areas associated with decreasing vegetation quality between 1975 and 2000. Trends in vegetation quality could thus be a proxy indicator of urban sprawl in the Mediterranean region.
    August 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12047   open full text
  • Homeless people and the city of abstract machines: Assemblage thinking and the performative approach to homelessness.
    Michele Lancione.
    Area. August 15, 2013
    The paper focuses on one central point of the ‘performative’ approach to homelessness that is still inadequately explored by the current literature: the conceptualisation of the relational entanglements between homeless people and the city. The argument is that only through a critical attention to these fluid and more‐than‐human details will we be able to re‐imagine a different politics of homelessness. The paper, engaging with the work of Deleuze and Guattari as well as with critical assemblages thinking, proposes two concepts that are considered to be fundamental in this sense. First, assemblage, as a concept able to render the hybrid constituency of the individual within the city; and second, abstract machines, as a way to take into account the fluidity of power in affecting one's own experience of homelessness. The approach proposed in the paper is illustrated through the presentations of original ethnographic material derived from ten months of ethnographic fieldwork in Turin, Italy. The paper concludes by suggesting that the abstract machine of homelessness can be tackled in at least two ways. First, re‐working the institutional assemblages of care that produce stigmatising discourses and deep emotional effects. Second, liberating homeless people's capacities and resources, which are currently poorly accounted by canonical literature and policies.
    August 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12045   open full text
  • Variations in landform definition: a quantitative assessment of differences between five maps of glacial cirques in the Ţarcu Mountains (Southern Carpathians, Romania).
    Florina Ardelean, Lucian Drăguţ, Petru Urdea, Marcel Török‐Oance.
    Area. August 15, 2013
    Geomorphological mapping is an important tool in geomorphology and related disciplines, yet it depends on the expertise and experience of the practitioner. The reliability of the technique and its products has not been subject to sufficient quantitative evaluation. In this study, we evaluated the magnitudes of differences in mapping glacial cirques between five maps in a mountainous area in the Southern Carpathians in Romania and attempted to identify the causes of the differences observed and possible solutions for obtaining more objective geomorphological mapping. We found notable differences between maps (in paired sample comparisons in all cases for the total values in each dataset) in the number of cirques, the total area and in headwall crest lengths. Statistically significant differences were found between datasets based on different semantic models of glacial cirques. Differences in mapping arise mainly from differences in conceptualising glacial cirques. When mapping relied on an explicit semantic model (a geomorphometric approach), differences were significantly smaller. Therefore, explicit semantic models of landforms based on land surface variables can result in more similar maps and further facilitate the transition from manual delineation to automated recognition of landforms from Digital Elevation Models (DEMs).
    August 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12043   open full text
  • ‘Running a studio's a silly business’: work and employment in the contemporary recording studio sector.
    Allan Watson.
    Area. August 15, 2013
    This paper is concerned with work and employment in the recording studio sector of the contemporary musical economy. More specifically, it aims to begin to address the lack of attention paid to the issue of individual subjectivity in the cultural workplace, through an empirically informed account of how the changing economic conditions in the recording studio sector are impacting on work as seen from the perspective of those working in the sector. The sector is one marked by a continued move towards more temporary and flexible forms of project working, as seen in the comparatively recent development of a freelance project‐based model for recording. For record producers and studio engineers, these developments have impacted negatively on employment relations, working conditions and job security. Recent developments in digital technologies, which have resulted in a crisis of reproduction in the musical economy, have further heightened the importance of these issues. Drawing on qualitative interviews with record producers and engineers working in recording studios in London, the paper highlights how the rise of freelance work has resulted in a precarious work environment that has shifted the pressure of obtaining work, and the financial risk of not doing so, on to individual producers and engineers, and at the same time resulted in exhausting yet bulimic work regimes. Both for new and experienced producers and engineers, the sector is revealed as an increasingly difficult one in which to find and maintain gainful employment; for many, it is an increasingly exploitive one. Yet, the individuality afforded to producers and engineers by digital technologies, and the potential symbolic and financial rewards on offer to those who can successfully follow a career in music production, means that it remains an attractive and much sought‐after career.
    August 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12037   open full text
  • Coded police territories: ‘detective software’ investigates.
    Till F Paasche.
    Area. August 15, 2013
    Policing literature has shown how the police deal with protests on the street. This paper aims to add another dimension to this work by focusing on the use of radio‐cell analysis and codes in police tactics to identify and single out protesters. Combining the literature on policing with work on codes and software sorting, the paper shows how an algorithm structures and narrows down large datasets on thousands of protesters into a manageable number of suspects whom officers can investigate using the means they have. The case study involves large‐scale anti‐fascist direct actions and blockades in Dresden, Germany, in 2011 that disabled one of Europe's largest fascist demonstrations. Using this example the paper makes two points. First, the police used the radio‐cell grid to create digital kettles to isolate groups of protesters. Radio cells that overlay spaces in which riots or blockades occur become the boundaries of these digital kettles. Every mobile phone user within one of these spaces is automatically subject to further investigation by the algorithm. Second, the algorithm analyses all phone users within a digital kettle according to movement and call patterns. This way, the code identifies a manageable number of individuals out of hundreds of thousands of connectivity data. As opposed to using officers in riot gear, a radio‐cell analysis and the use of codes enable the ‘kettling’ of far larger numbers of protesters, making this tactic an efficient way of dealing with protests and civil disobedience. Empirically, the paper is based on an analysis of minor interpellations dealing with radio‐cell analysis and semi‐structured interviews with key informants.
    August 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12033   open full text
  • Reflections on a participatory documentary process: constructing territorial histories of dispossession among Afro‐descendant youth in Colombia.
    Irene Vélez‐Torres.
    Area. August 15, 2013
    This paper seeks to discuss the use of a participatory documentary process (PDP) in human geography as a method of constructing critical visual information on territorial histories of dispossession. The process was also used to enhance social change both in conjunction with local communities and within the communities themselves. The project involved 14 local young participants and four professionals who collectively produced a documentary on the rural context of violence in La Toma District, Colombia. By enabling the reflections and intentions of young participants in the research process, PDP gave special value to their social and political commitment to supporting community social organisation, and provided fresh research insights into comprehending territorial conflict. The paper concludes that this method amplifies participatory and action research approaches in geography by producing knowledge that is academically and socially relevant. Such collective, emancipatory and anti‐hegemonic visual representations and actions for social change in PDP are especially pertinent in spaces of conflict and violence.
    August 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12032   open full text
  • Technologising the opinion: focus groups, performance and free speech.
    Natalie Koch.
    Area. August 05, 2013
    Focus groups, like interviews and survey research, are typically employed in liberal settings, and are often designed to reveal the ‘opinion’ of participants. However, as I argue here, the ‘opinion’ is itself a technology of government, which cannot be assumed to operate the same under different regimes of governmentality. Giving the example of my experience with focus group research in Kazakhstan in autumn 2010, I demonstrate how, in many places around the world, popular ‘opinions’ are not technologised under prevailing regimes of government: they are not the basis of rule and/or legitimacy. Extending the geographic literature on methodological research as a set of ‘collaborative performances’, I argue that differential subjectivity practices in ‘closed contexts’ have important implications for the field methods that researchers choose to employ. I thus call for attention not just to the micro‐political context of these research practices, but also to the macro‐political context (and its concomitant technologies of government) in the conduct of qualitative field research.
    August 05, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12039   open full text
  • Spacing access to justice: geographical perspectives on disabled people's interactions with the criminal justice system as victims of crime.
    Claire Edwards.
    Area. July 22, 2013
    Over the past two decades, research emerging from the sub‐discipline of ‘geographies of disability’ has highlighted the significant socio‐spatial barriers that shape disabled people's everyday lives. Disabled people's battles to obtain equitable access through the justice system when they are victims of crime is one such arena in which these barriers become readily apparent, and yet to date, geographers' engagement with the spaces of the criminal justice system has been noticeably absent. This paper seeks to redress this lacuna by discussing the findings of qualitative research undertaken in Ireland on disabled people's experiences of the criminal justice system as victims of crime. It highlights not just how the justice system presents practical barriers to disabled people such as inaccessible courthouses or Garda stations, but also the fundamental ways in which legislation constitutes certain groups of disabled people as vulnerable or incapable, and therefore ‘out‐of‐place’ in the justice system. The paper makes a case for building disciplinary connections between geographies of disability, geographies of crime and ‘critical legal geographies’ in rendering these barriers visible.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12034   open full text
  • Insurance and sustainability in flood‐risk management: the UK in a transitional state.
    Tom Ball, Alan Werritty, Alistair Geddes.
    Area. July 22, 2013
    The emerging new paradigm of ‘sustainable flood‐risk management’, emphasising non‐structural management approaches over engineered defences, is subject to differing, and sometimes contested, interpretations by key actors. This is well illustrated by the present lack of agreement between the UK government and the private insurance sector on the future of flood insurance. This paper examines the diversity of views on how best to manage flood risk, given projected changes in the UK insurance market. The issues examined comprise: the linkage of flood defences to the insurability of properties at risk, possible implications of partial or full removal of cross‐subsidisation of policies, and the sustainability of communities in high flood‐risk areas. Finally, the paper looks critically at alternative models that might be applied in the future, based on international experience, which may offer a means of securing insurance for high flood‐risk areas, while also being compatible with sustainable flood‐risk management policies.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12038   open full text
  • The Lehman Minibonds crisis and financialisation of investor subjects in Singapore.
    Karen P Y Lai.
    Area. July 22, 2013
    Using the case of the Lehman Minibonds crisis in Singapore, this paper aims to elucidate processes of financialisation and geographies of investor subjects by investigating the reshaping of retail banking consumers into investor subjects. Instead of painting all investor subjects with a broad brush as part of a generic financialisation process, the Minibonds crisis demonstrates how the consumption of financial products is geographically specific and moderated by local factors, such that financial subjects are incorporated unevenly into global financial markets. Greater geographical sensitivity is therefore needed to tease out how distinctive groupings or ecologies of financial knowledge, practices and subjectivities emerge in different places with uneven connectivity and unequal material outcomes. The paper concludes by discussing the incomplete and contingent nature of subject formation and implications for understanding neoliberal subjectivities.
    July 22, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12040   open full text
  • White line fever: a sociotechnical perspective on the contested implementation of an urban bike lane network.
    Roger Vreugdenhil, Stewart Williams.
    Area. June 19, 2013
    In this paper we discuss the introduction of the Launceston Bike Network, a local government project progressed in Tasmania, Australia. The project's implementation became subject to intense community conflict, or what we refer to here as white line fever because it arose in relation to the white traffic lines used to mark the on‐road bike lanes. Our analysis of textual data gathered from relevant documents and interviews with key stakeholders relies on the development of a sociotechnical perspective. Adopting this perspective allows us to recognise the various agencies emerging collectively from the technical and social aspects and interactions analysed. The findings add to how cycling and infrastructure might be reconceptualised as an urban sociotechnical system, and assist in its transition towards the transport mainstream through policy and planning.
    June 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12029   open full text
  • Desiring more: complicating understandings of sexuality in research processes.
    Gradon Diprose, Amanda C Thomas, Renee Rushton.
    Area. June 19, 2013
    Reflexively considering one's position when undertaking research has become commonplace in geographic research and writing. This phenomenon is linked to the increasingly prevalent view that research is a co‐constituted process that involves the participant and researcher both constructing meaning. Yet, curiously, there has been relatively limited discussion around the role that sexual experiences play in the research process. In this article we draw on three experiences to illustrate the complex ways in which unwanted sexual encounters with research participants can affect the research process. Through these stories we show how sexual encounters shaped the research process, unsettled the way we understood and performed our own gendered sexuality, and challenged our understandings of what it means to be ‘good researchers’. We aim to initiate a wider discussion around how we can best prepare emerging researchers for, and support in the wake of, unexpected encounters of desire in the field.
    June 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12031   open full text
  • Reconstructing past atmospheric pollution levels using gravestone erosion rates.
    Rob Inkpen.
    Area. June 19, 2013
    Converting the erosion rates derived from gravestones into erosion rates for specific time periods is possible by averaging loss data for gravestones for that time period. This information can be used with Lipfert's damage function to postdict levels of atmospheric pollution for specific locations for specific time periods. A correction factor for stone type, derived from the literature, needs to be applied to the damage function. The derived sulphur dioxide (SO2) levels are likely to represent atmospheric pollution conditions 20 years after the time period to which the erosion rates refer, because there is a lag in the response of the gravestone erosion to environmental conditions. With these correction factors applied, distinct temporal trends can be identified in both Oxford and Swansea, specifically a rapid increase in atmospheric SO2 in the early 20th century, a distinct dip in levels during the 1940s and a dramatic rise in the 1950s. In addition, there is a clear urban/rural difference in derived SO2 levels, with levels in urban Oxford being significantly higher than those in rural Oxford throughout the period of data availability. The significance of industrial activity is clearly illustrated by the very high levels of derived SO2 in Swansea throughout the early to mid 20th century.
    June 19, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12035   open full text
  • ‘OccupyBufferZone’: practices of borderline resistance in a space of exception.
    Marco Antonsich.
    Area. May 13, 2013
    This article focuses on the practices of resistance organised by a group of Cypriot activists in the Buffer Zone that separates the island of Cyprus into two sovereign entities, the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Being a space where the territorialising norm of these two entities is suspended, the Buffer Zone constitutes a space of exception. By drawing on a post‐colonial reading of this Agambenian notion, the article analyses the specifics of a ‘terrain of resistance’ deliberately located in the exception. It argues that rather than being a dispossessing condition, the exception might actually be empowering, because it offers the activists a terrain from which to contest the very norm that they are escaping. The article also critically reflects on the limits of this tactic, by revealing how power might adopt counter‐exceptions aimed at reterritorialising exceptional spaces that no longer work to its advantage. The OccupyBufferZone (OBZ) experience also allows for a series of theoretical considerations that can illuminate further the notion of ‘terrain of resistance’.
    May 13, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12005   open full text
  • Changes in rural–urban sex ratio differences in the young professional age group as an indicator of social sustainability in rural areas: a case study of continental Spain, 2000–2010.
    Mikel Gurrutxaga.
    Area. April 23, 2013
    Unbalanced sex ratio in rural areas is currently an endemic problem in most western countries that needs to be addressed if socially sustainable rural development is to be achieved. Higher percentages of females migrating from rural areas to the cities have given rise to an unequal spatial distribution of the sex ratio along the urban–rural gradient. In this paper it is proposed that temporal changes in rural–urban sex ratio differences in the young professional age group who are mostly independent and living outside the parental home should be included as a relevant factor in the framework of multi‐criteria monitoring of rural development policies. As a case in point, an analysis is carried out in continental Spain between 2000 and 2010 using the 30–39‐year‐old age group to focus on young people who for the most part have left the parental home. The overall results show that the sex ratio gap between rural and urban areas decreased during the decade in rural municipalities, independently of their size, which are contiguous to or at an intermediate distance from urban areas, as it did also in more remote medium‐sized and large rural municipalities. The gap did not vary significantly in the case of smaller and more remote rural municipalities, though there were specific regional tendencies upward or downward. The method can be applied to other study areas at different spatial and temporal scales.
    April 23, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12024   open full text
  • Exploring weather‐related experiences and practices: examining methodological approaches.
    Eliza Vet.
    Area. April 17, 2013
    With projected climate change, it is increasingly important to understand the current role of weather in everyday life and how it may change in the future. This paper evaluates two qualitative research approaches for their ability to generate insight into weather‐related experiences and everyday practices. As these mundane day‐to‐day weather interactions often escape memory over time, the paper calls into question the ability of conventional methodological approaches that rely on recall to accurately excavate these events. The research examined serial one‐on‐one, semi‐structured interviews with an adapted short‐term focus, and daily diary‐photographs. Each approach was applied to one of two Australian cities with sharply contrasting climates – Melbourne and Darwin. Both approaches were able to generate insight into weather‐related experiences and practices. However, both presented problems. In interviews, these problems related to retrospective accounts beyond ‘yesterday’, where physical experience recollections became limited. For diary‐photographs, inspiring participants to continually complete and submit contributions proved problematic. I argue that interviews are better for documenting routine practice and generalised experiences, while diary‐photographs are better at showing fine‐grained detail of physical experiences. Where both aspects are sought, as in this study, a combination is possible. However, using dual methods increases the risk of participant fatigue.
    April 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12019   open full text
  • Community resilience, social memory and the post‐2010 Christchurch (New Zealand) earthquakes.
    Geoff A Wilson.
    Area. April 16, 2013
    This article explores the importance of social memory for community resilience pathways in the city of Christchurch (New Zealand) in the wake of the post‐2010 earthquakes. Specific emphasis is placed on understanding how past earthquake history in Christchurch has influenced knowledge about, and responses to, the recent series of earthquakes. Building on previous work about possible impacts of social memory on community resilience, the paper argues that Christchurch residents were ill prepared for the sudden onset of on‐going earthquakes, and that the continuing threat, and associated uncertainty, posed by these tremors is gradually eroding residents’ ability to cope and plan for the future.
    April 16, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12012   open full text
  • Liquid materialities in the landscape of the Thames: mills and weirs from the eighth century to the nineteenth century.
    Stuart Oliver.
    Area. April 12, 2013
    The geography of the former watermills on the River Thames demonstrates the state of contingency upon which the liquid materiality of landscape is founded. Watermills were introduced into England during the Roman occupation and came to have an important role in the socioecology of the Thames, and an important place in its medieval and early‐modern landscape. The pattern of mills established on the river by the eleventh century remained stable for some hundreds of years because of the locational constraints enforced by a framework of capital investment and legal rights. However, the built form of the mills caused conflict in the use of the river between milling and navigation, and this conflict was worsened by the growth of traffic in the early‐modern period. By the late eighteenth century the ownership and operation of mills was perceived a significant element in the crisis affecting the Thames. That crisis was only resolved in the nineteenth century with the marginalisation of milling in the socioecology of the river and therefore in its water landscape.
    April 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12018   open full text
  • Waste, commodity fetishism and the ongoingness of economic life.
    Andrew Herod, Graham Pickren, Al Rainnie, Susan McGrath‐Champ.
    Area. April 09, 2013
    Waste in general, and e‐waste in particular, has become a topic of interest in recent years. One focus of attention has been on how commodities are broken up after the putative end of their lives, with such commodities' constituent elements then being used as inputs into other products. The fact that much waste is recycled in this manner has led several scholars to emphasise the ‘ongoingness’ of economic life. In this context, Lepawsky and Mather have recently drawn on actor network theory to make a case in this journal that analytical attention should be placed on processes of wasting and valuing as a way to look beyond the end of commodities' initial lives. This can be done, they contend, by exploring how commodities are physically transformed into new objects to the point where their constituent elements are no longer recognisable as what they once were and through how waste is ‘performed’ in different ways in different times and places. Although their paper rightly emphasises economic continuity, we suggest that their approach nevertheless ultimately fetishises commodities' form and that their claim that ‘[i]n following ‘e‐waste’ qua waste, we were bringing its reality as waste into existence’ represents an idealist approach to waste. By way of contrast, we seek to retain their nuanced conception of ongoingness but without abandoning analysis of the movement of value – conceived of here in the Marxist sense of congealed labour – through the chain of product destruction, the processing of products' constituent parts, and their reuse through incorporation into new products. In order to do so we distinguish between two ways in which value can be used up: devalorisation and devaluation. Such an approach allows us to retain insights into the specifically capitalist nature of waste recycling and to engage with the materiality of Nature.
    April 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12022   open full text
  • Force‐full: power, politics and object‐oriented philosophy.
    Ian G R Shaw, Katharine Meehan.
    Area. April 09, 2013
    In this paper we construct an object‐oriented approach to power and politics. Building on the work of Graham Harman, we argue that objects are engines of power, able to fully shape the contours of existence through the production of difference and affectivity in the world. We present four key points to underpin our argument. First, we define an object by expanding on the Heideggerian idea that objects are split between their ‘present qualities’ and ‘absent qualities’. Second, we discuss why objects are irreducible to scientific naturalism or social relativism. Third, we contend that the world is ‘policed’ by objects that act as phenomenological viruses. And finally, we explain that such policing is never exhaustive and autonomous forces are constitutive of new commons. We conclude that a speculative metaphysics is vital for building new geographic understandings of objects and power, and a politics of action – one brick at a time.
    April 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12023   open full text
  • Changing forest recovery dynamics in the northeastern United States.
    Peter Klepeis, Peter Scull, Tara LaLonde, Nicole Svajlenka, Nicholas Gill.
    Area. March 15, 2013
    Historical deforestation and forest recovery in the northeastern United States holds important implications for ecosystem services and social conditions. Bridging natural and social sciences perspectives, and incorporating both quantitative and qualitative analysis, we contribute to a rich, multidisciplinary literature on US forest change by documenting at a fine scale changing land‐cover patterns, identifying their key geophysical and social driving forces, and evaluating the strength and character of the on‐going forest transition. The interpretation of five sets of aerial photographs – spanning the period 1936–2008 for a town in central New York State – shows that 25.8 per cent of the land area reforested. Two approaches explain the trend: (1) spatial analysis of landscape features (e.g. soil type, distance to road) and (2) a land‐use history analysis based on secondary and grey literature as well as interviews with longtime landowners. Findings underscore the importance of cross‐scalar analysis, with key explanatory variables ranging from local topography to national development patterns. Twentieth‐century forest recovery is linked primarily to well‐established inter‐decadal processes: a decline in the farming sector, changing life and livelihood goals within farming families and associated land abandonment on areas marginal for agriculture. In contrast to historical trends, recent forest recovery is occurring on high‐quality soils; in 2008 approximately 15 per cent of all forest occurred on such soils, which may hold implications for biodiversity. In addition, landowners are increasingly engaged in a mix of new land uses, including energy development, and there is a steady rise in the number of amenity‐oriented rural residents. The Eaton study contributes detailed mapping of forest‐cover change in an understudied part of the northeastern USA. It also informs debates about forest transition theory and the prospects for a ‘regressive tertiary stage’ for the study region.
    March 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12016   open full text
  • How public participation in river management improvements is affected by scale.
    Carly M Maynard.
    Area. March 15, 2013
    The importance of extending physically based approaches to catchment management to include social considerations has recently been highlighted alongside increasing legislative pressure to utilise public participation in river management processes. Nine water managers, operating at varying geographical scales, from the UK and north‐west Europe were interviewed to determine their approach to, opinion of, and success in utilising public participation for decisionmaking. The results indicate that despite variations in approaches to, and perceptions of, participation, one dominant factor constrained the use of higher level participation: scale. The results demonstrate that the degree of participation and influence for ‘non‐certified’ experts was inversely proportional to the scale of the project. This was attributed to issues of practicality in communicating between a large number of individuals, but also to underlying factors such as availability of financial support and governing regulations that differ between organisations of different sizes. The findings were used to consider the role of Callon's public education, public debate and co‐production of knowledge models of scientific knowledge production (Callon 1990). It is suggested that, for practical application, traditional models be developed into more reflexive approaches that account for the complexity of real‐world situations.
    March 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12015   open full text
  • Situated knowledge and the EU sugar reform: a Caribbean life history.
    Pamela Richardson‐Ngwenya.
    Area. March 15, 2013
    This paper draws inspiration from an elderly sugarcane farmer in Barbados, Mr Thompson, who took part in a participatory video (PV) project and informal life history interviews with the author in 2007. The author mobilises Mr Thompson's life history as a situated account of the influence of the European Union (EU) sugar regime, considering how this trade regime and the local state‐owned sugar industry have been implicated in his life. It is demonstrated how Europe's wide‐reaching trade agenda is embodied in both the life history and the living present of a particular individual. Tracing the story of Mr Thompson, the paper draws heavily on his own words and audio‐visual presentations. From these video‐based expressions, we glimpse relations between a personal history, a set of embodied encounters and a broader (post)colonial legacy. Mr Thompson evokes an alternative understanding of sugar in Barbados, acting as a counterpoint to claims that promote neoliberal reform. Charting the experiences of one person, the paper suggests, offers a useful and valid position from which to critique the EU sugar reform at large. Finally, the paper discusses how a methodological coupling of PV and life history interviewing provided a valuable tool for engaging with and expressing situated knowledges.
    March 15, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12011   open full text
  • Who's counting? Spatial politics, ecocolonisation and the politics of calculation in Boundary Bay.
    Emma S Norman.
    Area. January 24, 2013
    Answering the simple question, ‘who's counting’, reveals much about the spatial and cultural politics of ecosystem management. In this paper, I unite the concept of ‘ecocolonisation’ with the body of work on the politics of calculation. I argue that political technologies – including calculative techniques such as the enumeration of contamination levels – are a form of ecocolonisation that have considerable political effects on Indigenous communities. I explore the ways that historically connected Indigenous communities are divergently impacted by shellfish regulations and water pollution through an investigation of Boundary Bay, which straddles the Canada–US border on the Pacific coast. In closing, I suggest the on‐going need to decolonise our understanding of calculative techniques for ecosystem management, and offer a more nuanced interpretation of space that accounts for both traditional boundaries and connected ecosystems.
    January 24, 2013   doi: 10.1111/area.12000   open full text