feminist geography

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Feminist geographies are concerned with the relationships between gender relations and space—how space impacts upon gender relations, and how gender relations express themselves spatially. The defining characteristic is a concern with patriarchy—feminist geographies question the patriarchal and hierarchical assumptions on which geography is based, and emphasize the oppression of women and the gender inequality between men and women. G. -W. Falah and C. Nagel (2005) examine gender relations as they are mediated by Islamic practices: ‘Muslim women are not only subject to patriarchal forces within their own communities and societies, but are also subjected to patriarchal structures of the west.’ Gender can be understood as an organizing principle of societies; a social relation that shapes the forms, functions, structures, and governance of cities (Bondi (2006) estudos feministas/études feministes). Women's subjectivities, relationships, and symbolic productions occur within processes and practices of development, generating multifaceted experiences and diverse challenges to exclusion (Radcliffe (2006) PHG30, 4). M. Domosh and J. Seager (2001) discuss the gendering of space, and the ways that geographies restrict women's access to, and movements within, space. J. K. Gibson-Graham (2006) and Pratt and Yeoh (2003) Gender, Place & Cult. 10 provide accounts of the entanglement of gender in the global workings of the economy; Nagar et al. (2002) Econ. Geog. 78 examine the ‘double marginalization’ of subjects and space characteristic of dominant accounts of globalization: ‘Women are sidelined, as is gender analysis more broadly, and southern countries are positioned as the feminized other to advanced economies.’ Hyndman (2003) ACME2, 1 argues that feminist geopolitics ‘provides more accountable, embodied ways of seeing and understanding the intersection of power and space’; that it ‘refers to an analytic that is contingent on context, place, and time, rather than a new theory of geopolitics or a new ordering of space’ (Hyndman (2007) Prof. Geogr. 59, 1). See also Sharp (2007) PHG31, 3.

L. Staeheli and E. Kofman, eds (2004) argue that a feminist political geography recognizes a different outline of the political from other forms of political geography: ‘the political is not just about differences—either between people or between perspectives; it is also about the webs of power and social relationships that are the basis of connections.’

Dias and Blecha (2007) Prof. Geogr. 59, 1 believe that feminist geographies should be seen not solely as a separate sub-discipline in Geography, ‘but as a critical perspective useful to all subdisciplines’; Longhurst (2001) PHG25, 4 claims that feminist geography can be seen as a ‘strong protagonist in a complex and mature politics of geographical knowledge’. L. Nelson and J. Seager (2004) offer a useful, concise, and densely referenced overview of the history of feminist geography.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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