||This has two distinctive meanings in geography: political resistance, the more common usage, refers to resistance to domination or oppression; psychic resistance refers to unconscious attempts to maintain repressions of traumatic or dangerous memories (see psychoanalytic theory, geography and). Pile and Keith (1997) discuss how the two concepts work in relation to each other.
Debates about political resistance crystallize key trends in critical geography. Marxist geography has a long tradition of studying collective organizing and everyday resistance to class exploitation, and struggle against patriarchy is well articulated in feminist geography. Resistance places emphasis on the creativity, ingenuity and resilience of non-dominant groups and individuals. But what Loomba and Kaul (1994, p. 3, quoted in Moore, 1997) described as a \'tropology of resistance and hybridity\' emerged through the 1980s. It was part of the cultural turn, reflecting the influence of Identity and cultural politics. The frame of politics was enlarged to include a myriad everyday symbolic and material practices that contest not only class exploitation but also gender, racial, sexual (and other) forms of domination and oppression. James Scott\'s Weapons of the weak was a key text in which he identified as everyday resistance:
foot dragging, dissimulation, desertion, false compliance, pilfering, feigned ignorance, slander, arson, sabotage, and so on. These Brechtian â€” or Schweikian â€” forms of class struggle have certain features in common. They require little or no coordination or planning; they make use of implicit understandings and informal networks; they often represent a form of individual self-help; they typically avoid any direct, symbolic confrontation with authority. (1985, p. xvi)Concern was soon raised that that concept of resistance had become both too encompassing and too weak. When almost every action is conceptualized as resistance, critical distinctions between effective and ineffective political resistance, and commitments to collective organizing and the coordination across different forms of domination, may be lost (Pile and Keith, 1997).
Spatial vocabulary has been important for conceptualizing the relations between resistance and power. James Scott is credited with conceiving resistance outside domination, in the sense that resistant subjects are conceived as authoring their identities outside and beyond the reach of dominant groups, in spaces of relative autonomy (for a review of criticisms of Scott\'s text, see Moore, 1997). Those influenced by Foucault\'s version of post-structuralism reject this spatialization; from a Foucauldian perspective, resistance is neither inside nor outside but \'present everywhere in the power network\' (1990, p. 95). This is in part because subjectivity, resistant or otherwise, emerges in relation to dominant discourse (see subject formation, geographies of). To cite a familiar example, if the term \'queer\' now functions as a critique and a means of destabilizing heteronormativity, it first emerged as a mechanism to effect the opposite: to stabilize both heteronormativity and bourgeois class superiority; it is inextricably intertwined with dominant culture (see queer theory). De Certeau\'s vocabulary of tactics of resistance (as opposed to strategies of power) evokes a similar spatial imagery: a tactic \'cannot count on a â€œproperâ€ (a spatial or institutional) localization â€¦ A tactic insinuates into the other\'s place\' (1984, p. xix). A third spatial relation emerged out of an appreciation of the complexity of identity formation, in terms of both the multiplicities of identities negotiated by each individual and the hybridity of cultures; this locates resistance in spaces in between varying systems of oppression (see third space; Pile and Keith, 1997).
This spatial vocabulary is more than metaphorical; there is a rich body of writing about the geographies in which resistance develops and the ways that resistance is mobilized through space. Pile and Keith (1997) urge that resistance cannot, however, be easily located in particular spatial practices and warn against assumptions that resistance is aligned with, for example, mobility, the permeability of boundaries, or the local. In the latter case, recent theorizing points to the ways in which the production of scale is itself an outcome of political struggle (Smith, 1993; Massey, 1998) and new models for organizing resistance globally attempt to build networks that respect local specificity (Grewal and Kaplan, 1994).Â (GP)
References de Certeau, M. 1984: The practice of everyday life. Berkeley: University of California Press.Â Foucault, M. 1990: The history of sexuality, volume I: an introduction, trans. R. Hurley. New York: Vintage.Â Grewal, I. and Kaplan, C., eds, 1994: Scattered hegemonies: postmodernity and transnational feminist practices. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Â Loomba, A. and Kaul, S. 1994: Introduction: location, culture, post-coloniality. Oxford Literary Review 16: 3-30.Â Massey, D. 1998: The spatial construction of youth cultures. In T. Skelton and G. Valentine, eds, Cool places: geographies of youth cultures. London: Routledge, 121-9.Â Moore, D. 1997: Remapping resistance: \'ground for struggle\' and the politics of place. In S. Pile and M. Keith, eds, Geographies of resistance. London: Routledge, 87-106.Â Pile, S. and Keith, M., eds, 1997: Geographies of resistance. London: Routledge.Â Scott, J. 1985:Weapons of the weak: everyday forms of peasant resistance. New Haven: Yale University Press.Â Smith, N. 1993: Homeless: global: scaling places. In J. Bird, B. Curtis, T. Putnam, G. Robertson and L. Tickner, eds, Mapping the futures: local cultures, global change. London: Routledge, 87-119.