Since the late s, many feminist geographers have moved on to three new research areas: categories of gender between men and women, the formation of gender relations and identities, and the differences between relativism and situational knowledge. Firstly, feminist geographers have contested and expanded the categories of genders between men and women. Through this, they have also begun to investigate differences in the constructions of gender relations across race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexuality and nationality, paying particular attention to women who are positioned along multiple axes of difference.
Secondly, to gain a better understanding of how gender relations and identities are formed and assumed, feminist geographers have drawn upon a broader extent of social theory and culture. Building upon this theoretical platform, feminist geographers are more able to discuss and debate the influence that post-structuralist and psychoanalytic theories have on multiple identifications.
Lastly, the difference between relativism and situated knowledge is a key area of discussion. Through these discussions, feminist geographers have discovered ways to reconcile partial perspectives with a commitment to political action and social change. Critical human geography emerged from the field of Anglophonic geography in the mids, and it presents a broad alliance of progressive approaches to the discipline. Critical human geographers focus on key publications that mark different eras of critical human geography, drawing upon anarchism , anti-colonialism , critical race theory , environmentalism , feminism , Marxism , nonrepresentational theory, post-Marxism , post-colonialism, post-structuralism, psychoanalysis , queer theory , situationism , and socialism.
Critical human geography is understood as being multiple, dynamic, and contested. Rather than a specific sub-discipline of geography , feminist geography is often considered part of a broader, postmodern , critical theory approach, that draws upon the theories of Michel Foucault , Jacques Derrida , and Judith Butler , and many post-colonial theorists. Feminist geographers often focus on the lived experiences of individuals and groups in the geographies of their own localities, rather than theoretical development without empirical work. Many feminist geographers study the same subjects as other geographers, but focus specifically on gender divisions.
Examples of areas of focus include:. Feminist geographers are also deeply impacted by and respondent to contemporary globalization and neoliberal discourses that are manifested transnationally and translocally.
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Feminist geography also critiques human geography and other academic disciplines, arguing that academic structures have been traditionally characterized by a patriarchal perspective and that contemporary studies which do not confront the nature of previous work reinforce the masculine bias of academic study. This geographic masculinization includes traditions of writing landscapes as feminine spaces—and thus as subordinate to male geographers—and subsequent assumptions of a separation between mind and body.
Thus while geography is unusual in its spanning of the natural and social sciences and in focusing on the interrelations between people and their environments, it is still assumed that the two are distinct and one acts on the other.
Geography, like all of the social sciences, has been built upon a particular conception of mind and body which sees them as separate, apart and acting on each other Johnston, , cited in Longhurst, , p. Thus, too, feminist work has sought to transform approaches to the study of landscape by relating it to the way that it is represented 'appreciated' so to speak , in ways that are analogous to the heterosexual male gaze directed towards the female body Nash Both of these concerns and others - about the body as a contested site and for the Cartesian distinction between mind and body - have been challenged in postmodern and poststructuralist feminist geographies.
Other feminist geographers have interrogated how the discipline of geography itself represents and reproduces the heterosexual male gaze. Feminist geographers such as Katherine McKittrick have asserted that how we see and understand space are fundamentally bound up in how we understand the hegemonic presence of the white male subject in history, geography and in the materiality of everyday space. Linda McDowell and Joanne P.
Firstly, ideas that originate from feminist discourse are often seen as commonsense once the wider field accepts them, thereby rendering geography that is explicitly feminist invisible. Furthermore, feminist geography is understood to be the only subfield of geography where gender is explicitly addressed, permitting the wider discipline to disengage from feminist challenges.
Finally, within the field, some geographers believe that feminist practice has been fully integrated into the academy, making feminist geography obsolete. Challenges of feminist geography are also embedded in the subfield itself. The epistemology of feminist geography argues that the positionalities and lived experiences of the geographers are as central to scholarship as what is being researched.
In this way, feminist geographers must maintain diverse identities to fully engage with the discipline. Linda Peake and Gill Valentine point out that, while feminist geography has addressed gender issues in more than twenty-five countries across the world, scholarship in the field of feminist geography is primarily conducted by white female scholars from institutions in the Global North. Feminist geographers draw upon a broad range of social and cultural theory, including psychoanalysis and post-structuralism , to develop a fuller understanding of how gender relations and identities are shaped and assumed.
This has led to the fundamental rethinking of gender and the contradictions and possibilities presented by the seeming instability and insistent repetitions of gender norms in practice. The focus on multiple identifications and the influence of post-structuralist and psychoanalytic theories has allowed feminist geographers to enter into dialogue with other strands of critical geography. This open dialogue, however, has also allowed tensions to build between geographers in the United States and geographers in Great Britain. Theoretical differences among feminist geographers are more obvious than in the past, but since , the national differences between America and British geographers have begun to diminish as both parties pursue new directions.
In , a leading journal in feminist geography entitled Gender, Place and Culture , was subject to a scholarly publishing hoax. Helen Pluckrose, James A. The paper suggested that this could provide insight into training men out of the sexual violence and bigotry. The paper has since been retracted. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. Please help improve it to make it understandable to non-experts , without removing the technical details. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. An approach in human geography which applies the theories, methods and critiques of feminism. Women's suffrage Muslim countries US. First Second Third Fourth. Variants general.
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