The Influence of Urban Spatial Practices on Moral Schemes: Analyzing the Cognitive Construction of Spatial Globalization Through Experimental Moral Philosophy

In French analytical geography, globalization is the emergence of the World as a spatial entity by which the planetary extension become one space. Taking a cognitive perspective, I suggest that globalization is by extension the process by which the individuals construct and tighten inter-spatial relations, from the spaces in which they live to other spaces, either physically or socially distant. In other words, globalization is the process by which otherness is neither ignored nor dissolved, but acknowledged and taken in account in the daily life; affecting spatial practices and spatial actions. Based on this premise, I pose that the analysis of moral schemes of daily organizational processes can inform us on the cognitive construction of the globalization of space. To do so, I engage in an ethnographic fieldwork on affectively constituted social networks. The fieldwork comprises observations of micro-political relations using “friendship as a method”; interviews on spatial practices, political behaviors and moral tendencies; and experimental moral questionnaires. I then look at possible relationships between the spatial practices of the interviewed individuals and their cognitive construction of inter-spatial relations and spatial otherness, in order to observe if these can relate to their moral schemes regarding social otherness. I hypothesize that the city, as a social condenser, promotes—through divergent spatial practices—different relationships to the social and spatial otherness in comparison to the suburban, rural or alpine lifestyles, and that these relations can be indicators of a given level of urbanity.

Presented at:
58th Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, California, April 9-13, 2013
Session: Rethinking Cities

 Record created 2015-12-18, last modified 2018-09-13

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