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Difference, Geographies of

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

Difference is a measure by which individuals, societies, and even nations seek to distinguish themselves. It is a measure of separation (as being unlike someone) and distinctiveness. In its assertion it creates an “other”—those we are not. Forms of difference have been grouped into broad social categories such as class, gender, race or ethnicity, and sexuality. However, difference can be asserted using any criterion, such as language, nationality, birthplace, religion, ancestry, and profession. It can also be tied to particular places and operates across many scales. This entry examines the concept of difference and the many types of difference that geographers have studied. It then discusses the various theoretical approaches that have been used in this field and considers its significance for future research.

For geographers, ...

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