Knopp L, 1992, "Sexuality and the spatial dynamics of capitalism" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10(6) 651 – 669
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Sexuality and the spatial dynamics of capitalism
Received 11 November 1991; in revised form 3 March 1992
Abstract. Sexuality, gender, and class (with race, ethnicity, physical mobility, and other social categories related to power) are deeply implicated in the constitution of each other as social relations. Spatial structures and conflicts that are constitutive of class relations are therefore also constitutive of sexuality. An examination of recent developments in feminist, lesbian and gay, and radical social theory, and certain elements of the historical geography of capitalism, reveals specific ways in which this is so. Urban spatial designs in Britain and the USA in the 19th and 20th centuries, for example, implicate hegemonic constructions of sexuality in gender-based and class-based spatial divisions of labor. Similarly, struggles over the social definitions of sexuality have involved individuals and groups recoding spaces that have been devalued by the market in potentially counterhegemonic ways. Thus, struggles over sexuality manifest themselves as struggles over sexual representations of, and sexual symbols in, space as well as over spatial organization. Indeed, these sorts of struggles may actually be more important in the contemporary era than those concerning the spatial organization of sexuality. This is because the sociospatial construction of otherness, which has as much to do with representational and symbolic space as with physical space, has become key to the survival of capitalism.
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