Geography, pedagogy and politics



Publication Details

Castree, N., Fuller, D., Kent, A., Kobayashi, A., Merrett, C. D., Pulido, L. & Barraclough, L. (2008). Geography, pedagogy and politics. Progress in Human Geography: an international review of geographical work in the social sciences and humanities, 32 (5), 680-718.


This Forum takes seriously the proposition that everything we do as geographers is potentially `relevant' to the affairs of the wider society. Using expanded conceptions of `pedagogy' and `politics', the Forum suggests why and how we are always engaged in processes of shaping and steering this wider society, wittingly or not, and intentionally or not. In the minds of many of us, this shaping and steering only (or mostly) occurs through activities we assume to be self-evidently `relevant' in intention or effect - like undertaking policy-relevant research. However, this Forum argues that it is misplaced to regard only a select group of our activities as socially consequential. Pulling together recent debates on `participatory', `activist' and `public' geographies, the Forum offers arguments and examples that show readers the potential relevance of the whole range of diverse practices in which we professionally engage. The introduction and five subsequent contributions together suggest that we aim for a `joined-up' conception of ourselves and our activities as professional geographers embedded in a wider society. As such, the Forum aims to make a distinctive contribution to ongoing discussions of how big-G academic geography relates to the plethora of small-g quotidian geographies - imagined and real - that are the stuff of our world.

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