Mapping the Reconfiguration of Space

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Gunter WEIDENHAUS, TU Berlin, Germany
Within the social theory and present diagnosis of social change, nearly all authors describe fundamental changes of the spatial order of the world. There is a consensus that spatial reconfiguration takes place. Most recent theories and concepts, like world system theory (Wallerstein), the idea of McDonaldization (Ritzer), the rise of the network society (Castells) or planetary urbanization (Brenner) for example, claim that the spatial order of the world changes. However, there are fundamental differences between these descriptions. The authors use different connotations of space and many different scales to analyse the spatial order of the world. That leads to different claims about territorialized, deterritorialized and reterriotorialized spaces, network spaces and so on.

On a more abstract level, these analyses of the social that lead to a description of the spatial order of the world have something in common: All authors use on the one hand reconstructions of the spatial constitutions of actors in everyday life and on the other hand more or less reflected assumptions about relevant spaces on methodological level. If we understand, how the authors conceptualize the interconnectedness of empirical constitutions of space, methodological assumptions and the spatial order of world, it is possible to categorize and analytically differentiate the ways of thinking about space by social scientists. By reconstructing existing perspectives on space in recent social theory, I offer a general schema to map the ways of thinking about spatial reconfiguration.