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Religion, Space, and Place

The Spatial Turn in Research on Religion

Kim Knott

Following a consideration of the impact of the late twentieth-century spatial turn on the study of religion by geographers, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and religious studies scholars, two trends are distinguished: the poetics of place and the sacred; and politics, religion, and the contestation of space. Discussion of these reveals substantially different approaches to religion, space, and place—one phenomenological, the other social constructivist. The spatial turn has been extremely fruitful for research on religion, bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines, and connecting not only to traditional areas such as sacred space and pilgrimage, but to new ones such as embodiment, gender, practice and religious-secular engagements.

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Michael Sheridan

-making get tangled up in boundary plants. Foregrounding the Background: The Spatial Turn In the 1990s a new approach to space and place emerged in the social sciences in the wake of post-Cold War geopolitical destabilization. The congruencies of peoples and

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Suburban Dissent

Defining Neighborhood Space and Place in Perth, Western Australia

Jocelyn D. Avery

somewhat by examining the history of the neighborhood and its conflicts, and the language of the protests, to show how this is embedded in neighborhood ideas of their space and place and embodied in the social relationships and political economy of the

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Chong-ro

A Space of Belonging for Young Gay Men in Seoul

Elias Alexander

For young men navigating a sexual identity that lies on the periphery of culturally understood and politically acceptable discourses, places where one expresses such identities becomes necessary to foster a sense of belonging. Gay districts have existed as bastions of open self-expression, providing a sense of belonging in restrictive societal contexts. This is particularly true in South Korea. Through direct ethnographic engagement, this article analyzes the ways in which Chong-ro, one of Seoul’s gay districts, reinforces identity to create a sense of belonging. Through methods of participant observations and semi-structured interviews with self-identified gay men, qualitative data was collected and analyzed. This article attempts to show how these places help formulate relationships that affirm young gay men’s understanding of self, community, and belonging.

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Introduction

Religious Plurality, Interreligious Pluralism, and Spatialities of Religious Difference

Jeremy F. Walton and Neena Mahadev

The introduction to this special section foregrounds the key distinction between ‘religious plurality’ and ‘interreligious pluralism’. Building from the example of a recent controversy over an exhibition on shared religious sites in Thessaloniki, Greece, we analyze the ways in which advocates and adversaries of pluralism alternately place minority religions at the center or attempt to relegate them to the margins of visual, spatial, and political fields. To establish the conceptual scaffolding that supports this special section, we engage the complex relations that govern the operations of state and civil society, sacrality and secularity, as well as spectacular acts of disavowal that simultaneously coincide with everyday multiplicities in the shared use of space. We conclude with brief summaries of the four articles that site religious plurality and interreligious pluralism in the diverse contexts of Brazil, Russia, Sri Lanka, and the Balkans.

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Introduction

Understanding Mobilities in a Dangerous World

Gail Adams-Hutcheson, Holly Thorpe, and Catharine Coleborne

, sociology, sports studies, and aid and development studies and practices to critically rethink mobilities in a “dangerous world.” Thinking about mobilities at different scales, spaces, and places within a “dangerous world,” Steve Matthewman’s article

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Jewish Dating or Niche-making?

A Topographical Representation of Youth Culture

Alina Gromova

In this article I am approaching the topic of Jewish dating among the young Russian-speaking Jews who live in Berlin. Using the analytical concept of space and applying grounded theory, I am presenting data I collected in 2010 using the methods of ethnographic interviews and participant observation. The article is organised around three main questions. Firstly, I am interested in the motivation of my interviewees, who are generally children of inter-ethnic and inter-religious couples, to find a solely Jewish partner. Secondly, I am asking for existing strategies applied within a relatively small Jewish community of around thirty to fifty thousand in Berlin in order to find a Jewish partner. Thirdly, I am looking for the concrete spaces and places used or constructed for the purpose of finding a Jewish girlfriend or boyfriend. Beside these empirical results, I am introducing the theoretical idea of Jewish niches, which is discussed against the background of 'Jewish space' as promulgated by Diana Pinto.

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(Un)seen Seas

Technological Mediation, Oceanic Imaginaries, and Future Depths

Stephanie Ratté

Remote technologies and digitally mediated representations now serve as a central mode of interaction with hard-to-reach sea spaces and places. This article reviews the literature on varied scholarly engagements with the sea and on the oceanic application of technologies—among them geographic information systems, remotely operated vehicles, and autonomous underwater vehicles—that allow people to envision and engage with deep and distant oceanic spaces. I focus on the extension of a digital and disembodied human presence in the oceans and the persistence of frontier fictions, in which the sea figures as a site of future-oriented possibilities. Finally, I ask what the emphasis on “seeing” through technological mediation means for how we imagine vast spaces, and consider how these elements of the oceanic imaginary can be productively complicated by drawing attention to the materiality of the oceans and the scalar politics of dynamic spaces.

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Editorial

South to a New Place

Suzanne W. Jones and Sharon Monteith

In 1971 Albert Murray published South To A Very Old Place. Commissioned by the editor of Harper’s magazine, Willie Morris, to write about ‘home’ in a series of articles, the African American writer produced much more: South To A Very Old Place is memoir, travelogue, social commentary. Orchestrated as a jazz and blues composition, it is a meditation on the American South. Taking his title as our starting point, in this issue of Critical Survey we have gathered contributors who continue the work of critically and creatively mapping the American South, a region that exasperates as it inspires definition(s). Murray’s blues forms are open-ended and improvised so the blues metaphor and the jazz form are key in a collection called ‘South To A New Place’. It begins to chart connections with ‘other’ Souths in ways that open up spaces and places from which we might read the South as a site of exchange – the South of Italy in Michael Kreyling’s essay; the South as shaped and commodified by the best-selling magazine Southern Living in Amy Elias’s essay; and the literary South of Walker Percy and Richard Ford’s making in Martyn Bone’s essay, for example.

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Jonathan A. Allan, Chris Haywood, and Frank G. Karioris

issue will include a different image that is reflective of the journal or perhaps of a particular article in the issue. One goal behind this practice is to promote spaces and places that may be unknown to scholars working in the field; as such, we will