We hope we have shown that G/geography invokes both openings and closures when we investigate difference. G/geography is an analytical and material site through which the particularities of social difference can be perpetuated, exposed, and challenged. Recognizing difference(s) asks that processes of geographic placement and displacement be understood not simply for what they are or where they are, but also for the ways the rules and regulations that result in geographic 'placing' reveal how we know and organize the world we live in - and how we might come to know and organize this world differently. More clearly, geographies of difference ask how we are differently implicated in the production of space, and how geography shapes our present life. This means that we must think through how we participate in processes of exclusion, the displacement of difference, and socio-spatial order, within and outside the academy. This is not an easy task; indeed, geography is difficult. It is difficult because it is a site of desire. We are rewarded for different forms of capitalist geographic ownership, we succeed (particularly in overdeveloped nations) when we own space, place, and 'things'; we are rewarded when we control space, provide spatial order, exude spatial authority, follow maps. And we are punished when we act 'out of place', or are simply deemed 'out of place'. Hence we argue for a confrontation with the geographic desire to profitably displace difference but also for a recognition of the ways in which we perpetuate this desire through recycling body-codes, nature-culture divisions, race, and geographic differentiation which is predicated on visible (racialized, sexualized, classed) bodily differences.


1 How are visible body differences such as gender, race, class, and sexuality, spatialized in your home, community and beyond? To answer this question, see Neil Smith's (1993) discussion of the impact of homelessness and difference upon various spatial scales in New York City; see also Haylett (2001) and Woods (2002) for analyses of the ways in which white and non-white racial codes are spatialized.

2 To what extent has human geography, as a discipline, acknowledged 'differences? Most of the sources for this chapter are relevant, but see in particular the books by Don Mitchell (2000), Gillian Rose (1993) and Sarah Whatmore (2002), and articles by Gilmore (2002), and Pulido (2002)


1 See, for example, articles in the special edition of The Professional Geographer (2002), vol. 54, no. 1, devoted to studies on race and racism.

2 Don Mitchell, for example, points to the geographical project that spatializes difference vis-a-vis the racialization of both whiteness and blackness: 'the aim has been - and is - in white racist societies to create and maintain a world in which whites have near total freedom of movement precisely because blacks do not. The ''travel'' of whites is predicated on the sequestration of blacks' (2000: 257). What Mitchell allows us to see is the ease with which whiteness, and white identities, through a constant process of distancing, can displace, and hold in place, non-white communities and their geographies. The principal geographies of whiteness they point to include freedom, the creation of the world, and movement; the 'natural' exclusion is of blackness. See Peake and Ray (2001) and McKittrick (2002) for examples relating to the Canadian context.

3 Implicit in visible differences (such as race) are practices which dismiss and/or erase the histories and voices of non-dominant groups. The flip side of what might be called racial-sexual hypervisibility, then, is invisibility, disavowal, and silence. See Trinh (1989).

4 See, for example, the special issue of Society and Space (1995), edited by Jennifer Wolch and Jody Emel, and Sarah Whatmore's book Hybrid Geographies (2002).


Bonnet, A. (1997) Geography, 'race' and whiteness: invisible traditions and current challenges. Area 29,193-199.

Butler, J. (1990) Gender Trouble. Routledge, London.

Delaney, D. (2002) The space that race makes. The Professional Geographer 54, 6-14.

Driver, F. (2001) Geography Militant: Cultures of Exploration and Empire. Blackwell, Oxford.

Gilmore, R.W. (2002) Fatal couplings of power and difference: notes on racism and geography. The Professional Geographer 54, 15-24.

Glissant, E. (1989) Caribbean Discourse: Selected Essays, trans. M.M. Dash. University Press of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

Haraway, D.J. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. Routledge, New York and London.

Harvey, D. (2000) Spaces of Hope. Blackwell, Oxford.

Haylett, C. (2001) Illegitimate subjects? Abject whites, neoliberal modernization, and middle-class multiculturalism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 19, 351-370.

Longhurst, R. (1997) (Dis)embodied geographies. Progress in Human Geography 21, 486-501.

Massey, D. (1994) Space, Place, and Gender. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis.

Matless, D. (1996) New material? Work in cultural and social geography, 1995. Progress in Human Geography 20, 379-391.

McKittrick, K. (2002) 'Their blood is there and you can't throw it out': honouring Black Canadian geographies. Topia 7 (Spring), 27-37.

Mitchell, D. (2000) Cultural Geography: A Critical Introduction. Blackwell, Oxford and Malden, MA.

Peake, L. and Kobayashi, A. (2002) Anti-racist policies and practices for geography at the millennium. The Professional Geographer 54, 50-61.

Peake, L. and Ray, B. (2001) Racialising the Canadian landscape: whiteness, uneven geographies, and social justice. The Canadian Geographer 45,180-186.

Pulido, L. (2002) Reflexions on a white discipline. The Professional Geographer 54, 42-49.

Rose, G. (1993) Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge. Polity Press, Cambridge.

Scott, J.W. (1988) Gender and the Politics of History. Columbia University Press, New York.

Smith, N. (1993) Homeless/global: scaling places. In Bird, J., Curtis, B., Putnam, T., Robinson, G., and Tickner, L. (eds) Mapping Futures: Local Cultures, Global Change. Routledge, New York and London, pp. 87-119.

Smith, N. (1996) Rethinking sleep. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 14, 505-506.

Trinh, M. (1989) Woman, Native, Other. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN.

Whatmore, S. (2002) Hybrid Geographies. Sage, London.

Wolch, J. and Emel, J. (eds) (1995) Theme issue, 'Bringing the animals back in'. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 13, 631-760.

Woods, C. (2002) Life after death. The Professional Geographer 54, 62-66.

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