Clay Mosman's Reviews > Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory

Postmodern Geographies by Edward W. Soja
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's review
Mar 30, 12

bookshelves: boox-i-ve-reviewed

It seemed like this book was written primarily to illustrate marxist geographers shortcomings and to outline Soja's socio-spatial dialectic, which is something I didn't expect when I started it. From what I understood, marxist geographers are too hung up on Marx, who happened to be explicitly critical of Hegel's alleged spatialist ontology. Soja advocates a marxist-beyond-Marx geography inclusive of the idea that "social relations of production are both space-forming and space-contingent."
While I thought this book was really informative, a lot of the ideas were developed non-successively and were sometimes contradictory, which made it hard to muscle through at times. Often Soja would talk about how Lefebvre's spatiality did not mature enough to realize the socio-spatial dialectic, yet its definition is derived from something said by Lefebvre in The Urban Revolution.
I was really pumped to see his socio-spatial dialectic and the anti-historicist historico-geographical materialism he had been theorizing practically applied to L.A. and its "constellation of Foucauldian heterotopias", but in the end I was disappointed.
Overall I thought this was a pretty cool book, especially with the exciting and challenging language that Soja employed. I would cite this sentence as a good example: "The dymystification of spatiality will reveal the potentialities of a revolutionary spatial consciousness, the material and theoretical foundations of a radical spatial praxis aimed at expropriating control over the production of space." Rad!
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