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  There are four main senses in which \'spatiality\' has been used in human geography to connote the human and social implications of space (see also space, human geography and). Each of them derives from a distinctive intellectual tradition.

Drawing upon existentialism and phenomenology, and in particular the writings of Heidegger and Husserl, Pickles (1985) proposed human spatiality as the fundamental basis on which \'geographical inquiry as a human science of the world can be explicitly founded\'. Pickles\'s primary concern was ontology: with understanding \'the universal structures characteristic of [human] spatiality as the precondition for any understanding of places and spaces as such\'. In particular, Pickles objected to those views which regard \'the physical space of physics [as] the sole genuine space\'. This sort of thinking is typical of spatial science but, in Pickles\'s view, is wholly inappropriate for a genuinely human geography. He urges in its place a recovery of our \'original experiences prior to their thematization by any scientific activity\', i.e. a rigorous exposure of the taken-for-granted world assumed (but unexplicated) by spatial science. One of its essential characteristics is what Pickles calls \'the structural unity of the “in-order-to” \'. Our most immediate experiences are not cognitive abstractions of separate objects, Pickles contends, but rather \'constellations of relations and meaning\' which we encounter in our everyday activities — what Heidegger termed \'equipment\' — and which are \'ready-to-hand\'. Such a perspective reveals the human significance of contextuality. For human spatiality is related \'to several concurrent and non-concurrent equipmental contexts\' and \'cannot be understood independently of the beings that organise it\'. Spatiality thus has the character of a \'situating\' enterprise in which we \'make room\' for and \'give space\' to congeries of equipment. Put in this way, one can perhaps hear distant echoes of time-geography, but Pickles is evoking an intellectual tradition antithetical to the physicalism of Hägerstrand\'s early writings and which fastens not on \'objective space\' but on social space (see Schatzki, 1991; cf. Hägerstrand, 1984).

Drawing upon structural Marxism, a number of Francophone Marxists suggested that concepts of spatiality identify the connections and correspondences between social structures (modes of production or social formations) and spatial structures. Althusser had argued that different concepts and constructions of time (\'temporalities\') could be assigned to different levels of modes of production — \'economic time\', \'political time\', \'ideological time\' — and that they had to be constructed out of the concepts of the different social practices within these domains. But if, as Althusser claimed, the distinctions between these temporalities are essential for any properly theoretical (\'scientific\') history, then, as one historian reminded him, history is not only an interlacing of times but of spaces as well (Vilar, 1973). In much the same way, therefore, it was argued that different concepts of space (or \'spatialities\') could also be assigned to the different levels of modes of production. According to Lipietz (1977), for example, the concept of spatial structure is dependent on and so must be derived from a concept of social structure. From his perspective, spatiality consists of a correspondence between \'presence-absence\' in space and \'participation-exclusion\' in the particular system of social practices contained within each level. Each of these correspondences is supposed to have its own topology, so that \'one can speak, for example, of the economic space of the capitalist mode of production … or of the legal space which is superimposed upon it\'. Spatial structure then becomes the articulation of the spatialities of these different levels, at once a \'reflection\' of different systems of social practices and a \'constraint\' upon them. In his early writings, Castells (1977) presented the most detailed analysis of spatial structure in these terms (see figure), but he concluded that it made more sense to theorize concepts of temporality and concepts of spatiality conjointly and to speak instead of space-times:

From the social point of view … there is no space (a physical quantity yet an abstract entity) … [only] an historically defined space-time, a space constructed, worked, practised by social relations. … Socially speaking space, like time, is a conjuncture, that is to say, the articulation of concrete historical practices. (Castells, 1977)Drawing upon Lefebvre\'s vision of a critical Marxism, and in particular his account of the production of space, Soja (1985) used the term spatiality \'to refer specifically to socially produced space, the created forms and relations of a broadly defined human geography\'. \'All space is not socially produced\', Soja continued, \'but all spatiality is\'. In the course of his work as a whole Lefebvre provided critiques of existentialism and phenomenology and of structuralism and structural Marxism, and for this reason Soja insists that his \'materialist interpretation of spatiality\' cannot be assimilated to either of the two traditions summarized above. For to speak of \'the production of space\' in the spirit of Lefebvre (1991) is to accentuate spatiality as \'both the medium and the outcome\' of situated human agency and systems of social practices in a way which is, so Soja claimed at the time, broadly consonant with structuration theory. Hence:

Spatiality and temporality, human geography and human history, intersect in a complex social process which creates a constantly evolving sequence of spatialities, a spatio-temporal structuration of social life which gives form not only to the grand movements of social development but also to the recursive practices of day-to-day activity. (Soja, 1985)Transcending his earlier claims for a \'socio-spatial dialectic\' (Soja, 1980), he concluded that \'spatiality is society, not as its definitional or logical equivalent, but as its concretisation, its formative constitution\'. And it is precisely this realization, he subsequently argued, that is characteristic of postmodernism and its reassertion of space — of spatiality — in critical social thought (Soja, 1989; see also third space; trialectics). Other writers have registered similar claims, though without the postmodern inflection. In his later writings, for example, Castells (1983) repudiated the monolithic structuralism of his previous formulations and declared that \'space is not a “reflection” of society, it is society\'. Giddens (1984) also rejected the possibility of a distinctive social science of space predicated on the belief that \'space has its own intrinsic nature\'. \'In human geography spatial forms are always social forms\', he asserted, and \'spatial configurations of social life\' — spatialities — \'are just as much a matter of basic importance to social theory as are the dimensions of temporality\'.

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Drawing upon post-structuralism, and in particular the work of Deleuze and Foucault, a number of writers use spatiality to indicate the ways in which constellations of power-knowledge are inscribed in space and through which particular subject-positions are constituted and particular identities fabricated (see Gregory, 1994).

For all the differences between these four traditions, they are united in their opposition to the conventional separations between \'space\' and \'society\' (which can be traced to a persistent Kantianism) and in this sense can be read as four moments in the movement towards an exploration of what Smith (1990) calls \'deep space\': that is to say, \'quintessentially social space … physical extent fused through with social intent\'. (DG)

References Castells, M. 1977: The urban question. London: Edward Arnold. Castells, M. 1983: The city and the grassroots. London: Edward Arnold. Giddens, A. 1984: The constitution of society. Cambridge: Polity Press. Gregory, D. 1994: Geographical imaginations. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. Hägerstrand, T. 1984: Presence and absence: a look at conceptual choices and bodily necessities. Regional Studies 18: 373-80. Lefebvre, H. 1991: The production of space. Oxford: Blackwell. Lipietz, A. 1977: Le capital et son espace. Paris: Maspero. Pickles, J. 1985: Phenomenology, science and geography: spatiality and the human sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Schatzki, T. 1991: Spatial ontology and explanation. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 81: 650-70. Smith, N. 1990: Uneven development: nature, capital and the production of space, 2nd edn. Oxford: Blackwell. Soja, E. 1980: The socio-spatial dialectic. Annals of the Association of American Geographers 70: 207-27. Soja, E. 1985: The spatiality of social life: towards a transformative retheorisation. In D. Gregory and J. Urry, eds, Social relations and spatial structures. London: Macmillan, 90-122. Soja, E. 1989: Postmodern geographies: the reassertion of space in critical social theory. London: Verso. Vilar, P. 1973: Histoire marxiste, histoire en construction: essai de dialogue avec Althusser. Annales ESC 28: 165-98.

Suggested Reading Pickles (1985). Smith (1990), Afterword. Soja (1989).



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