Mrs Thatcher’s Iniquitous Geographies: Why Spatial Dynamics Matter
This chapter reflects upon Danny Dorling’s ‘forensic’ analysis of the spatial dynamics underlying Mrs Thatcher’s impact upon UK society. His innovative cartography, coupled to a remarkable facility with complex datasets, conclusively captures the deepening of socio-spatial inequalities that was integral (not incidental) to the Thatcherite project. The chapter also offers a thumbnail critical appraisal of Mrs Thatcher’s own understanding of ‘geography’. In one register, her approach might be cast as a ‘denying’ of the UK’s overall social geography, but in another it was envisioning a ‘tapestry’ of largely disconnected local social environments admonished constantly to compare and compete. Dorling claims that things could have been otherwise, since many regions of the world did not follow this path of ever-widening internal socio-spatial inequalities. Quite other, alternative visions of more equal and just geographies of the UK, antithetical to Mrs Thatcher’s geographical vision, should continue to feature on a progressive political agenda.
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