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Gramsci as a spatial theorist.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date6/11/2006
JournalPractice & Text
Number of pages0
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Antonio Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis is characterised by the spatialisation as well as historicisation of its analytical categories. These theoretical practices are deeply intertwined in his ‘absolute historicism’. Highlighting the spatiality of Gramsci’s analysis not only enables us to recover the many geographical themes in his work but also provides a useful counterweight to the emphasis on the historical dimensions of his historicism. In addition to obvious references to Gramsci’s use of spatial metaphors and his discussion of the Southern Question, it is shown that many of his key concepts are best interpreted from a spatio-temporal as well as social and material perspective. After introducing the concepts of space, place, and scale, the article shows that all three are relevant to Gramsci’s analyses of issues such as language, the historical significance of the Catholic Church, the role of intellectuals, cosmopolitanism, class and class struggle, Americanism and Fordism, the nature of the Italian state, the social bases of state power, Jacobinism, passive revolution, and hegemony. The article concludes that Gramsci’s interest in place, space, and scale was not merely academic but had to do with his analysis of revolutionary conjunctures.