The Open UniversitySkip to content
 

Ways of Relating: Hospitality and the acknowledgement of otherness

Barnett, Clive (2005). Ways of Relating: Hospitality and the acknowledgement of otherness. Progress in Human Geography, 29(1) pp. 5–21.

Full text available as:
[img]
Preview
PDF (Not Set) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (283Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/0309132505ph535oa
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar

Abstract

This paper considers the relevance of the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida to geography’s engagements with both mainstream moral philosophy and poststructuralist theory. This relevance lies in the way in which their work unsettles the ascription of normative value to relations of proximity and distance. Distance is usually understood to be a medium of moral harm or indifference. In contrast, Levinas presents distance as the very condition of responsibility. Grasping the significance of this argument requires an appreciation of the temporality of responsibility and responsiveness that both Levinas and Derrida emphasise. They present an alternative way of understanding the relationality of subjectivity and social processes. Through a schematic exposition of key themes in Levinas’ work, prevalent understandings of the spatiality of relations are shown to harbour their own forms of indifference and moral harm. The full effect of Levinas’ reconsideration of the value of relations between proximity and distance is bought out in Derrida’s recent writings on hospitality. For both thinkers, there is no natural geographical scene for the cultivation of responsibility. Rather, their shared focus upon temporality emphasizes the degree to which responsibility is motivated in response to the activities of others. The implication of this argument is that critical analysis should be reoriented towards practices that shape individual and collective dispositions to acknowledge the claims of others.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 1477-0288
Keywords: Derrida; Levinas; Relationality; Hospitality; Temporality; Acknowledgement;
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Geography
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 7142
Depositing User: Clive Barnett
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2007
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2010 05:20
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/7142
Share this page:

Altmetrics

Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

View Item
Report issue / request change

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340   general-enquiries@open.ac.uk