Deconstructing context: exposing Derrida

Barnett, Clive (1999). Deconstructing context: exposing Derrida. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 24(3) pp. 277–293.



Deconstruction has become a theme in various strands of geographical research. It has not, however, been the subject of very much explicit commentary. This paper elaborates on some basic themes concerning the relationship between deconstruction and conceptualisations of context, with particular reference to issues of textual interpretation. The double displacement of textuality characteristic of deconstruction is discussed, followed by a consideration of the themes of ‘writing’ and ‘iterability’ as distinctive figures for an alternative spatialisation of concepts of context. It is argued that deconstruction informs a questioning of the normative assumptions underwriting the value and empirical identity of context.

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