- Subject index
Doing Cultural Geography is an introduction to cultural geography that integrates theoretical discussion with applied examples. The emphasis throughout is on doing. Recognizing that many undergraduates have difficulty with both theory and methods courses, the text demystifies the ‘theory’ informing cultural geography and encourages students to engage directly with theory in practice. It emphasizes what can be done with humanist, Marxist, poststructuralist, feminist, and postcolonial theory, demonstrating that this is the best way to prompt students to engage with the otherwise daunting theoretical literature.
Chapter 2: The Trouble with Theory
The Trouble with Theory
The main trouble with theory is that people will insist on making such a song and dance about it, but (as Alain de Botton 2000 demonstrated with his improbable best-seller on the uses of philosophy) the intention of theory is to make thinking easier, not more difficult. Trying to commit lists of names and salient points of different theoretical positions to memory usually results in nothing but confusion and failure; the published tables of swot notes one sometimes encounters often make things look simple, whilst rendering understanding near impossible (Kitchen and Tate 2000 pp. 20–2). One simply doesn't use theory like that.
The way to understand theory is to start by recognizing that everyone is (always and already) using ...