1993 volume 25(8) pages 1071 – 1084

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Lawson V, Klak T, 1993, "An argument for critical and comparative research on the urban economic geography of the Americas" Environment and Planning A 25(8) 1071 – 1084

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An argument for critical and comparative research on the urban economic geography of the Americas

V Lawson, T Klak

Received 2 January 1993

Abstract. The authors identify problems associated with the treatment of Latin American topics in the Anglo-American social science literature, particularly in geography. Latin American research has been peripheralized and the flow of concepts and learning between Latin and Anglo America has been almost entirely from North to South. To explain why research by Latin Americans, and by Latin Americanists, has had relatively limited influence on recent geographic debates over theory and method, the authors employ contemporary discourse analysis. This method assists us in (1) deciphering how development geography presents Latin America, (2) in posing questions about the character and origins of the concepts that shape writing and, indeed, thinking, and (3) in identifying the perspective biases that must be confronted for interregional dialogue to occur. This critical commentary on Latin and Anglo-American research is highly relevant to reconstructed regional geography. It, too, is confronting issues such as the role of theory in contextually grounded research, and how to operationalize research that spans several geographical scales of analysis.

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