- 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 8: Selecting Topics for Study
Selecting Topics for Study
Clifford Geertz points out in Local Knowledge that, given the huge variety of possibilities of human behaviour, it is unrealistic for a student of society to try to demonstrate expert knowledge of all possible scraps of belief and practice: ‘It is, rather, that one welds the processes of self-knowledge, self-perception, self-understanding to those of other-knowledge, other-perception, other-understanding’ (1983 p. 181). When doing active work in cultural geography, it is worth considering whether the ‘welding’ Geertz recommends is taking place or whether ‘others’ are mere objects of study, like psychologists’ rats. Unless one is careful, work based on discovering and revealing cultural practice is no better than eavesdropping and gossiping.
If this consciousness of mutual ‘welding’ underlies one's work, selecting ...