Technologies of place: time, social identity, memory and agency as architectural elements

Paula Mota Santos (Universidade Fernando Pessoa and Universidade de Lisboa, Centro de Administração de Politicas Públicas)
Marta Prista (CRIA - Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia)
Block 1, Piso 1, Room 46
Session slots:

Short abstract:

The panel deals with space as socially produced, proposing to discuss, theoretically and ethnographically, the different factors at play in the ways in which social groups produce and/or contest work, leisure, consumption, heritage, domestic, religious and other places.

Long abstract:

Space is never ontologically given: it is discursively mapped and corporeally practised. Space is not a collection of things or a thing among things, nor a product among other products. According to Lefebvre, 'space subsumes things produced and encompasses their relationships in their coexistence and simultaneity': 'space is a social product'. As such, space is more usefully thought of as 'place'. A place is structured space: it encapsulates order, meaning and emotion. To places we give names and to places we are always emotionally attached (be it through attraction or repulsion). As Tuan wrote: 'places are centres of values'. This panel takes a processual view of human space, one in which issues of time, social identity, memory (which is always intertwined with emotion) and agency are taken as central elements in this social production of structured space, ie, in the socially built 'architecture' of places. This panel deals with the social production of space, the ways in which social groups construct space as intentionally and specifically meaningful (a narrative) and how by doing so they include and exclude themselves and others in relation to a place (the politics and the poetics of belongingness and of its opposite, exclusion), reflecting on social practices and identifications through consumption of place. Thus, the panel welcomes papers that address how place simultaneously objectifies and is objectified by social actors' desires.