- 人文地理 (ISSN:00187216)
- vol.61, no.1, pp.1-22[含 英語文要旨], 2009
This article traces some trajectories of social and cultural geography since the end of the 1980s to the early 2000s and attempts to explain how the geography of materiality has become a matter in current Anglophone geography, especially in the United Kingdom. Although the new cultural geography of Japan redefines social and cultural geography and focuses on discursive practices and representations, in Japan there is low awareness of discussions on post-humanism, which is a topic in Anglophone geography. Anglophone geography consists of topics such as materiality, performativity, complexity theory, and actor-network theory. There is no paper in the Japanese or English literature in Japan that discusses such topics. Hence, this article attempts to establish a framework to facilitate the discussion of topics such as those mentioned above. To begin with, the process of development of the new cultural geography is detailed in order to review the questions raised towards the end of the 1980s on both sides of the Atlantic. The new social and cultural geography has progressed beyond the conventional understanding of culture, which is sustained by traditional cultural geography, stressing the complex relation between culture, economy and politics, and has also served to underline the crisis in geographical representations associated with anthropological discussions. In this consideration, moral geography, which forms webs of ideologies through space, place, and landscape, is examined. There have been criticisms of the new cultural geography, of which a problem of reification of the idea of culture is noted here. However, the controversy around this criticism seemingly still retains a problem of metaphysics, and rigidly assumes the existence of 'subject' and 'object'. Phil Crang's paper that intends to combine the cultural aspect with economic geography implies the idea of culture and economy as something performed. It states that there is no linearity or predetermined harmony among cultural, economic and political practices. This point of view was amplified in some lines of discussions in the late 1990s. Second, theoretical frameworks for performativity, hybridity, ethics, non-representational theory, complexity theory, and actor-network theory are outlined in this essay. The power of things, women, nature, etc. that have been objectified is included as these discussions revolve around the issue of western metaphysics which continually attempts to establish a rigid division between the subject and the object. The distinction has been always/already mediated by the corporeal. The traces left by the corporeal or things reveals the impossibility of the execution of the project of western metaphysics. Ethics are centered, instead of moral geography, to grasp the entanglement of humans and non-humans. Third, criticism of the material turn that occurred at the end of the 1990s is studied. The discussion on materiality became a critical vehicle to overcome the weakness of verbal analysis. Mike Crang's papers on heritage show that materiality emerges in various practices and affects people's memories. Materiality is not only an issue of matter. Subsequently, there is reference to a controversy between Daniel Miller, who influenced the material turn in geography, and Michel Callon, who proposed the actor-network theory. It demonstrates how Miller is captured by the classic Hegelian/Marxist concept: Miller assumes the linearity of ideology in a market and the predominance of the subject over the object. It is, therefore understandable that some geographers were accused of continuing to retain Hegelian beliefs, i.e., the belief that there is a binary relation between subject/object, spirit/thing, and human/nature. Finally, the concept of post-humanism that summarizes the bundle of discussions mentioned before, and an ontological understanding of existence (e.g., in geography, space, place, landscape, etc.) are explained. An understanding these topics leads to a grasp of current topics such as affect, complexity, a 'more-than-human world', liquidity, and care.