There's no such thing as culture: towards a reconceptualization of the idea of culture in geography

D. Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

278 Scopus citations

Abstract

The reconceptualization of "culture' in the "new cultural geography' has been important for turning attention to processes, politics and interrelationships with other "spheres' of social life. But cultural geography still reifies "culture' and assigns it an ontological and explanatory status. This paper argues that such a reification is a fallacy and that cultural geography would be better served by following the "new cultural geography' to its logical conclusion: a recognition that there is no such (ontological) thing as culture. A focus on the material development of the idea (or ideology) of culture is required. Such a further reconceptualization of the object of study in cultural geography may be undertaken in many ways but, by way of example, this paper suggests only one: how the idea of culture functions within systems of production and reproduction in the comtemporary city. The recognition that there is no such thing as culture allows us better to theorize the workings of power in systems of social reproduction. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-116
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions - Institute of British Geographers
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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