Masculinism, the use of dualistic epistemologies and third spaces

Pile, Steve (1994). Masculinism, the use of dualistic epistemologies and third spaces. Antipode, 26(3) pp. 255–277.



First, this paper establishes a ground from which to question not only the relationship between power and knowledge in the construction of geographical knowledge, but also the gendering of this relationship. From this starting position, second, it is argued that dualisms permit the gendering of particular binary opposites. The argument is not that certain dualistic categories - such as Reason and Emotion or Time and Space - are inherently wrong or to deny that western societies are organized through them, at least in part. Instead, dualisms are shown - at particular times and in particular places - to mark and help police supposedly fixed, natural divisions between the powerful and the disempowered (as in the masculine versus the feminine). In assuming away dualistic economies of meaning, the danger is that this helps to maintain the reproduction of the power-ridden values which dualisms help to sustain. Indeed, it is because dualist architectures are not as fixed, stable or natural as they are meant to be (i.e., precisely because they need to be policed) that it is possible to refuse them. Finally, this paper describes one alternative episte-mology which draws on the notion of a third space. The idea of third spaces uses a spatial metaphor to suggest an alternative radical geography which mobilizes place, politics and hybrid identities. One such third space is illustrated by an empirical example.

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