PUTTING MASSEY'S RELATIONAL SENSE OF PLACE TO PRACTICE: LABOUR AND THE CONSTITUTION OF JOLLY BEACH, ANTIGUA, WEST INDIES

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

Place is a central concept in geographical thought. Though places continue to play an important role as a scale and site of research, place is not widely used as a method of analysis. Doreen Massey's efforts to conceive of, first, a global and then a relational sense of place provide the foundation for such an analytic frame. However, she does not provide a research methodology. This study has two goals; the first is to provide a methodology for the application of a relational sense of place in field research. I develop that methodology through a review of Massey's epistemology of place. In accord with Massey's concerns with the imposition of more global perspectives, the proposed methodology prioritizes a weak theory perspective and balances deduction with induction. I then provide a case example of this methodology through research into labour relationships negotiated by people in a specific place, Jolly Beach in Antigua, West Indies. My second goal is to demonstrate that the particularistic findings produced through that research can contribute uniquely and critically to geographic knowledge and theory. The findings produced by this research bear importantly on a number of propositions in the current literature, including but not limited to what has been called new work, enclave economies, gendered performativity of labour, and tourist–worker dialectics in the Anglophone Caribbean. These specific findings are of interest, but are not limited to tourism studies.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2012.00410.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park, CA, 95404, United States,

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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