Marxist geography

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A theory and methodology for understanding the political economy of the world—and changing it. It highlights the dialectical processes between the natural environment, spatial relationships, and social formations (‘layers of relations—economic, social, cultural, political—arranged in space in patterns generally similar, but particularly different, under a given mode of production’, Peet (1979) AAAG69). At all scales, the capitalist mode of production assumes a centre–periphery pattern: ‘uneven development is integral to capitalism. Capitalism produces and remakes landscapes and natures of differentiation and is sustained through their continual reworking…. Rent, profit (and loss), urbanization (and counterurbanization), devaluation (and speculation), gentrification (and devalorization), imperialism (and revolution), and enclosure (and globalization) are forceful spatial-temporal projects’ (Castree and Gregory (2007) AAAG97, 1).

Perkins (2006) Antipode 38, 1 observes an emphasis within Marxist political thought on the social production of nature, and Castree (1999) TIBG24, 2 seeks to show how a certain kind of Marxism, and a certain reading of the nature of capitalism and class, can offer the basis on which questions of identity, difference, and otherness can be articulated. While Sage (2006) Prof. Geogr. 58, 1 comments that constant contextualizing through Marxism often seems to limit, rather than widen, the scope of locally derived concepts, Corbridge (2005) PHG29 thinks that the Marxian critique of capitalism has been absorbed and normalized in geography, such that ‘we are all political economists now’.

Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.

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