Reinterpreting regions through Bourdieu’s field theory

Authors: Christian Sellar*, University of Mississippi, Silvia Grandi, University of Bologna
Topics: Regional Geography, Political Geography, Economic Geography
Keywords: bourdieu, regional geography, political, economic
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Cleveland 2, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


As a result of the combined decline of regional geographies and the rise of thematic sub disciplines, it is becoming more theoretically challenging to account for new synergies between political economic and social geographies. Our usual frameworks are put into question by globalization along with the emergence of global value chains and production networks, as well as by new sovereignty regimes and transnational bureaucracies. This paper suggests that Bourdieu’s notion of field (Bourdieu and Johnson, 1993) provides a good entry point to re-interpret ‘the region’ as a place of synthesis between the political and economic domains, because this notion allows work across established conceptual boundaries, such as national/ transnational, public/private, and political/economic thereby laying the ground for a broader notion of the “political” that accounts for the actions of firms. In this view, regions become specific scalar manifestations of the struggles defining a field as well as strategic relations among distinct fields. This paper provides examples of fields regionalization drawing on transnational bureaucracies, banks-states relations, and firms’ internationalization

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