Creating an Awareness of Others: Highlighting the Role of Space and Place.
Geography, 84 (1).
The world of Others is little considered in human geography beyond essentialist and imperialist1 calls for a recognition of cultural diversity and mutual understanding. Others are those groups in society who are generally marginalised or excluded on the basis of some characteristic (s) (e.g. disability, race, gender, sexuality, lifestyle). In this article, it is argued that school-based geography is a modernist enterprise which treats space as a container of objects and place as the arrangement of those objects. It is suggested that the national curriculum should include new developments within academic geography which recognises that social relations are socially constructed and that space is not passive and abstract but rather that space is dynamic, contested and socially produced. As such, space is a powerful medium that regulates human life. Space acts as a social text, conveying messages of belonging and exclusion, and socio-spatial organisation is an important agent in maintaining and reproducing current power relations within society. Using the example of disability, the power of space and place in shaping social life is illustrated. In the final section, possible classroom agendas are outlined based around three related themes: exploring socio-spatial constructions of difference; investigating the spatial manifestations of difference; and examining social justice.
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