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2 - Putting Work in Its Place

Space, Place and Setting

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2019

Melissa Tyler
Affiliation:
University of Essex
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Summary

Place has often been conceived of in rather unproblematic, commonsensical terms: simply as the setting where social or economic activity occurs. Yet as feminist geographer Linda McDowell noted in her study of the City of London, ‘where things take place’ matters.1 Place matters in a material sense, giving something that is otherwise ideational a substantive form, but it also matters in terms of being ‘of importance’ to our perception and understanding; place matters insofar as it is of material significance and of significant meaning. Thinking about what place signifies in this way emphasizes that setting is far from a neutral backdrop against which social action occurs; on the contrary, it plays an active role in shaping the nature and lived experience of that action just as the ways in which we make sense of and interact with place impacts upon the setting itself.

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Soho at Work
Pleasure and Place in Contemporary London
, pp. 47 - 71
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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