Between informal organisation and space of emotion? Theorising the region

Budd, Leslie (2006). Between informal organisation and space of emotion? Theorising the region. In: Whither Regional Studies? Association of American Geographers Conference, 7-11 Mar 2006, Chicago.



Since Doreen Massey's seminal In What Sense a Region? there has been a variety of attempts to theorise the region. Many of these attempts have fallen into the intellectual play-zone of "fuzzy concepts" that sparked a recent debate in a special issue of the journal Regional Studies
It is the contention of this paper that unlike regional science, regional studies lacks a disciplinary base. As such, its attempts at theorising lack rigour and consistency. It is apparent that is a clear theorisation of the region is missing. This paper seeks to take up this challenge by theorising the region from two complementary perspectives: the region as an informal organization and the region as a space of emotion.
It begins by a brief review of regionalism and regions and why regional studies has failed to coalesce around a disciplinary base. The logic of tracing a conceptualisation of the region as an informal organisation to that of a space of emotion is reinforced by the argument that emotional labour is the linking mechanism between the region as a socio-economic entity and regional identity,
The paper concludes by challenging scholars in regional studies to promote a more theoretical perspective if a disciplinary locus

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