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The end of geography or the explosion of place? Conceptualizing space, place and information technology

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Stephen Graham



This article critically explores how the relations between information technologies and space and place are being conceptualized in a broad swathe of recent writings and discourses on the geographies of 'Cyberspace' and information technologies. After analysing the powerful role of spatial and territorial metaphors in anchoring current discourses about information technologies and society, the article goes on to identify three broad, dominating perspectives. These I label the perspective of 'substitution and transcendence' (dominated by technological Utopianists), the 'co-evolution' perspective (drawing from political economy and cultural studies) and the 'recombination' perspective (derived from recent work in actor-network theory). The discussion turns to each in turn, extracting the geographical dimensions and implications of each. The article concludes by considering the implications of the discussion for spatial treatments of society-technology relations and for broader debates about the nature of space and place.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Graham S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Progress in Human Geography

Year: 1998

Volume: 22

Issue: 2

Pages: 165-185

Print publication date: 01/01/1998

Date deposited: 17/03/2010

ISSN (print): 0309-1325

ISSN (electronic): 1477-0288

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1191/030913298671334137


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