Article

Time-Space Compression

Barney Warf

in Geography

ISBN: 9780199874002
Published online March 2013 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199874002-0025
Time-Space Compression

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Time-space compression refers to the set of processes that cause the relative distances between places (i.e., as measured in terms of travel time or cost) to contract, effectively making such places grow “closer.” The idea of a “shrinking world” is not new and, in the face of rapid advances in travel, such as the jet airplane, and communications (especially the Internet), has entered into the public geographical imagination. In geography, the topic was long an integral part of the work of those who study transportation and communications systems. In the 1970s and 1980s, Marxists, led by David Harvey, recast the process as not simply a set of technological advancements but as part of the general process of capitalist commodity production and capital accumulation, particularly the reduction in the turnover time of capital. More recently, cultural theorists, historians, and others interested in the perception of space have invoked the notion to understand the sense of disorientation that often accompanies periods of major technological change.

Article.  8370 words. 

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography ; Human Geography

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