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You are here: Home Archive 1993 Kann es eine Geographie ohne Raum geben? Zum Verhältnis von Theoriediskussion und Disziplinpolitik

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Kann es eine Geographie ohne Raum geben? Zum Verhältnis von Theoriediskussion und Disziplinpolitik

DOI: 10.3112/erdkunde.1993.04.02
Year: 1993
Vol: 47
Issue: 4
Pages: 255-266
Keywords: space, geography

The question: "Is geography possible without space?" will be answered from a pragmatic point of view. Regarding the academic disciplines from this position, "space" is declared as the essential concept of geographical cohesion. This is almost the only shared "theoretical" frame. Geography without space seems to be impossible. To declare space as the domain of geography does not protect geography from attempts by other disciplines to compete in this field. And other disciplines are concerned with the spatial dimension more and more. The problems of the world society and the corresponding globalization do not cause the spatial dimension to disappear, but give "space" a new quality. The differentiation of modern society and its internal boundaries are more and more expressed by spatial codes. The position of geography is not improved automatically by the increasing attention given to space. Geography, as the self-declared science of space, is sometimes asked for conceptual help which it cannot give sufficiently. Such a situation demands more theoretical reflecting. Now it becomes clear that geography is not a discipline with a real paradigm in the sense of KUHN, but is merely concentrated around the vague term "space". Other disciplines, however, look for the spatial dimension from a theoretical background. In this situation the discussion about spatial concepts promoted by the "theoretical geography" of the late sixties should be renewed and continued. Perhaps this could give way to the topics concerning the spatial dimension of society. Space is to be regarded as a medium of social processes. Difficulties in this perspective exist because of the ambiguous concept of space. Starting from the platonic "chora", geography might reduce conceptual difficulties and perhaps find an answer to the question: wh at is geography still good for?

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