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geografias sociais Janeiro 26, 2012

Posted by paulo jorge vieira in teoria e epistemologia da geografia.
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Social geography is a broad field that attends to the socio-spatial differences, power relations, and inequalities that shape every person’s life. Social geography is also a way of going about the intellectual work that focuses in on these very political questions and issues. How exactly social and spatial differences are embodied and reproduced through communities, individuals’ identities and subjectivities, and indeed societies, are of course issues of debate. Not all geographers agree on how to theorize social-spatial life, or how difference exists and gets reproduced in the world, what matters when and where, and the mechanisms for the reproduction of social categories and power relations. It is thus important to recognize that social geographies have developed over time using contrasting theoretical traditions that have different ideas of the world. This means that social geographers do not produce knowledge about social geography in the same ways. The question of how social geographers know what they know – or what we would call epistemology – is very much tied to their theories of what the world is or could be – what we call ontology. What social geographers know is connected to how they examine and explore social geographies – that is, their methodologies. Our quest for this volume has been to illuminate the different ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies that make up today’s social geographies. We revel in the differences found throughout these chapters, which means we do not necessarily advocate for a synthesis of all social geographic thought and practice. Illustrating the tensions that propel social geographers’ work as scholars, theorists, and sometimes activists, can energize debate and research. New thinking about the social and spatial differences that constrain and enable life can grapple with questions that are crucial to a range of different everyday lives in different places. It is this sort of energy that animates social geography today. Social geography has occupied an important position in the wider canon of human geography scholarship for Social geography is a broad field that attends to the socio-spatial differences, power relations, and inequalities that shape every person’s life. Social geography is also a way of going about the intellectual work that focuses in on these very political questions and issues. How exactly social and spatial differences are embodied and reproduced through communities, individuals’ identities and subjectivities, and indeed societies, are of course issues of debate. Not all geographers agree on how to theorize social-spatial life, or how difference exists and gets reproduced in the world, what matters when and where, and the mechanisms for the reproduction of social categories and power relations. It is thus important to recognize that social geographies have developed over time using contrasting theoretical traditions that have different ideas of the world. This means that social geographers do not produce knowledge about social geography in the same ways. The question of how social geographers know what they know – or what we would call epistemology – is very much tied to their theories of what the world is or could be – what we call ontology. What social geographers know is connected to how they examine and explore social geographies – that is, their methodologies. Our quest for this volume has been to illuminate the different ontologies, epistemologies, and methodologies that make up today’s social geographies. We revel in the differences found throughout these chapters, which means we do not necessarily advocate for a synthesis of all social geographic thought and practice. Illustrating the tensions that propel social geographers’ work as scholars, theorists, and sometimes activists, can energize debate and research. New thinking about the social and spatial differences that constrain and enable life can grapple with questions that are crucial to a range of different everyday lives in different places. It is this sort of energy that animates social geography today.

(Vincent J. Del Casino Jr., Mary E. Thomas, Paul Cloke, e Ruth Panelli, “introduction” in A Companion to Social Geography)

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