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Los Angeles School

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

In the late 20th century, an unusually large and fecund group of loosely affiliated, Marxist-inspired urban and economic geographers began to form in Southern California, particularly at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California. This group, including notables such as Michael Dear, Edward Soja, Allen Scott, Michael Storper, and Mike Davis, played a key role in shaping urban political economy and injecting space into debates about the changing structure of capitalism. In particular, it was instrumental in theorizing the urban division of labor under post-Fordism or flexible production and, more broadly, in injecting space into the heart of all social analysis, helping dethrone historicism.

The so-called Los Angeles School upheld the greater conurbation of the region as the prototype ...

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