Anthro-Simians – The Scalar Politics and Power-Geometries

6 Aug

Are we screwed tightly in a topology of power-geometries centred around a construed hierarchical scale? Scale is a representational practice deployed by participants in struggles, a practice situated within a community of producers and readers who actively negotiate and construct it (Jones 1998, p. 27. cited in Marston et al. 2005, p. 420 f). Well then, we should beware (less in a defensive but in a offensive manner) of imposed seating arrangement, and answer back the linked attributions. Marston et al (2005) attempt to weave a relational understanding of the two scales ‘global’ and ‘local’. And this requires a re-imagination of their oppositional associates. They present a list of conflated binaries (see p. 421, see also Ley 2004):

Local Global
Place Space
Difference Sameness
Concrete Abstract
Experential Causal
Agency Structure
Bordered Stretched
Static Dynamic
Sectarian Cosmopolitan
Defensive Open
Authentic Produced
Nostalgic Developmental

Culture Economy
Embodied Anonymous
Here There
Transformed Penetrating
Responsible Detached
Determination Orderliness
Contingency Complexity
Empirical Theoretical

For various reasons Marston et al. wants to “expurgate scale from the geographic vocabulary” (p. 422)!

If there’s no such thing as the local or the global, we don’t want to be the local content determined by global form. We don’t want to be naturalized or objectified Anthro-Simians, fitted, inserted or interwoven in events or processes pre-sorted by the scalar apparatus at hand.

Cast the skin → ECDYSIS

Free yourself as a SpaceFlaneur – a flowster, a scalar-transgressive monster, a glocal cyborg!


Jones, K. (1998): Scale as epistemology. In: Political Geography 17, 25-28.

Ley, D. (2004): Transnational spaces and everyday lives. In: Transactions Institute British Geographers NS 29, 161-164.

Marston, S. A.; J. P. Jones III & K. Woodward (2005): Human geography without scale. In: Transactions Institute British Geographers NS 30, 416-432.


Eine Antwort to “Anthro-Simians – The Scalar Politics and Power-Geometries”

  1. mawerner August 7, 2008 um 8:21 pm #

    Marston et al. (2005) propose a flat ontology: „In contrast to transcendent ontologies and their vertical semiotics of scale, flat ontologies consist of self-organizing systems, or ‚onto-genesis‘, where the dynamic properties of matter produce a multiplicity of complex relations and singularities that sometimes lead to the creation of new, unique events and entities, but more often to relatively redundant orders and practices. We highlight three key, trans-communicating conceptual zones that reveal the mechanisms necessary for both a coherent and pragmatic flat ontology. Briefly, these consist of: analytics of composition and decomposition that resist the increasingly popular practice of representing the world as strictly a jumble of unfettered flows; attention to differential relations that constitute the driving forces of material composition and that problematize axiomatic tendencies to stratify and classify geographic objects; and a focus on localized and non-localized emergent events of differential relations actualized as temporary – often mobile – ’sites‘ in which the ’social‘ unfolds.“ (p. 422 f.)

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