Alff, Henryk and Benz, Andreas (2019) The multi-dimensionality of space - an analytical framework for the empirical investigation of the production of place. Erdkunde, 73 (2). pp. 111-125. DOI

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The spatial-conceptual basis of the construction of place across the social sciences, including in human geography (and particularly in the field of area studies), has long been questioned and criticised for its strong grip on territorial and container-like thinking on spatiality. Alternative spatial dimensions, such as scale, place and networks, have been put forward by a range of authors. Building on these critical perspectives, this article proposes rethinking ‘spatial bias’, or what we would call the ‘one-dimensional framing of space’, and combining the most promising perspectives on spatial construction in a multi-dimensional analytical framework, in order to synergise their individual strengths instead of playing off one against another. The framework, considered a heuristic tool for empirical analysis, combines the categories of space as place, territory, network, positionality and mobility from a relational, actor-centred and translocal perspective. Operationalised for the empirical analysis of socio-spatial dynamics and phenomena, it allows one to trace interconnections between different spatial dimensions and offers a range of different entry points for empirical inquiry. We demonstrate the utility and practical value of the suggested analytical framework through its application in one empirical case study in northern Pakistan.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Development and Knowledge Sociology
Refereed: No
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 00140015
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 12:45
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 12:59

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