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Cultural Turn

  • By: Mark Jackson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term cultural turn refers to an intellectual recognition, within human geography and the wider human sciences, that all claims about the world and knowledge are mediated by culture. The logic of the cultural turn centers on the argument that no representation merely reproduces what it claims to represent. Representations construct, as much as they claim to explain, the person, place, or thing to which they refer.

The implications of the argument that knowledge produces the world, rather than simply mirrors it, are profound. The argument entails that to make, and/or accept, any claim, we need to attend to two interrelated terrains. First, we need to attend to how knowledge claims are complex products of particular contexts and specific perspectives and are shaped by forces such ...

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