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A Century of British Geography$
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Ron Johnston and Michael Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262863

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

The passion of place

The passion of place

(p.275) 8 The passion of place
A Century of British Geography

Doreen Massey

Nigel Thrirt

British Academy

Place has long been a key element in geographical thought and writing. Along with ‘region’, it has been a core conceptual focus of what geography, or certainly human geography, has been thought to be about. In some ways, indeed, it is hard to separate region from place or place from region. ‘Places’ as objects of conceptualisation and of research raise some crucial issues that have long been the concern of geographers: the issue of spatial variation, the conceptualisation of space, and the passivity or influence of the spatial realm; the ‘problem’ of specificity and uniqueness, of the significance of these and of how (indeed whether) they can be ‘scientifically’ analysed; issues around the conceptualisation of ‘identity’; and the problems and possibilities of geography's supposed character as a synthesising discipline. This chapter recounts a history of the role of place in British geography.

Keywords:   British geography, place, space, spatial variation, specificity, uniqueness, identity, history

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