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Geographical Explanation of Contemporary Spatial Dynamics

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In primitive stage of development process, the spatial identity of a region was characterized by simple mode of production, distribution pattern and its overall surroundings space with less interaction of human beings and their developmental activities have been confined with minimum contradictions. But on the other hand, the contemporary development processes are restricting our socio-economic sphere of life and landscape in a bigger way. In this context, urban-rural divide and other space related emerging conflicts now become the vital issue for geographers to relate these complexities of space in geographical paradigms. To initiate any discussion on the issue of place vs. geography, first of all we should be clear in our mind about the concept of our discipline. Geography is not just about place but also about space: about how the distinctive economic characteristics of places, and the conditions of economic possibility that they face, depend on their economically geographical interdependencies with other places (Barnes and Sheppara 2003).

Moreover, geography in the contemporary world may be described as a discipline which deals with the emerging spatial dynamics of regions. This regional dynamics has many new things for geographers and geography. It has many possibilities for and challenges to young and imaginative geographers. The complexities and the nature of spatial dynamics need to be looked into an investigative perspective. This new perspective in the field of geography is now becoming vital issue for discussion and searching for an alternative research methodology in the subject. The agenda of “spatial dynamics” is related, in terms of explaining injustice and inequality, and developing strategies, to social changes. Peet (1977, 20) explained, “… it was not just a matter of radicalizing geography, but first and foremost the search of a politics of transformation and the scripting of a “Social Science” that would support and develop in tandem with a progressive and emancipatory political commitment”. The required research design can be fulfilled as many geographers favour historicalgeographical materialism. Historical-geographical materialism starts from the premise that things (as objects and phenomenon) exist, but that these objects or phenomenon are the product of relationships, and this process has a dialectical mechanism in a geographical space. In this context, Ollman (1993, 11) pits his observation: “Dialectics restructures our thinking about reality by replacing the common sense notion of “thing” as something that has a history and has external connection to other things, with a notion of process, “which contains its history and possible futures and ‘relation’, which contains as part of what is its ties with other relations”.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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