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Rethinking Centers and Margins in Geography: Bodies, Life Course, and the Performance of Transnational Space
journal contributionposted on 2015-01-12, 11:17 authored by M. J. Andrucki, Jen Dickinson
In this article we propose a rethinking of the concepts of center and margin in geography. We review extant literatures from structuralist political geography and science studies and explore alternative theoretical approaches to develop the concept of axes of centrality. Using theories of performativity to understand centers and margins as produced across an array of axes allows for an expansion of the concept. Contemporary experiences of transnational migration offer a useful way of thinking about how bodies produce places differently as global centers and margins. Drawing on material from two studies of transnational communities—one of white, English-speaking South African return migrants and one of British East African Asians—we take a biographical approach, demonstrating how two individuals with extensive migration histories have performed England, South Africa, Uganda, and India as variously central and marginal across the life course. We develop the concept of axes of centrality to demonstrate how centers and margins are most usefully conceptualized not as places in themselves but as located in and between bodies in a variety of ways as they move through and perform space at a variety of scales and over time. We propose an understanding of centrality and marginality that takes into account the embodied conditionalities under which places become imagined and reimagined as central, marginal, or both.
CitationMax J. Andrucki & Jen Dickinson (2015) Rethinking Centers and Margins in Geography: Bodies, Life Course, and the Performance of Transnational Space, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105:1
Author affiliation/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Geography/Human Geography
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)