Tuesday, November 11, 2008

How do we transform our landscapes/ How do our landscapes transform us?

Here is Tim Cresswell's conclusive summary from In Place, Out of Place: Geography, Ideology, and Transgression, on the ways in which dominant ideologies manifest and persist within our landscapes.

1. Place is a fundamental form of classification. Classification is a basic ideological mechanism. The classification of things by place structures our judgment of those things (objects, actions).

2. We differentiate through place between "us" and "them," "in" and "out," "high" and "low," "central" and "marginal." The process of differentiation through which "others" are created is a basic ideological mechanism.

3. Ideological beliefs, to be effective, must connect thought to action, theory to practice, the abstract to the concrete. Place, insofar as it is the material context of our lives, forces us to make interpretations and act accordingly. Place thus contributes to the creation and reproduction of action-oriented (ideological) beliefs.

4. Ideologies involve the removal of beliefs and actions from their social roots and their placement in the realm of "nature." The materiality of place gives it the aura of "nature." The "nature" of place can thus be offered as justificaiton for particular views of what is good, just, and appropriate.

Tim Cresswell,
In Place, Out of Place: Geography, Ideology, and Transgression (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1996), 161.

No comments: