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third space theory


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E. Soja (1996) proposes a different way of thinking about space and spatiality. First and second spaces are two different, and possibly conflicting, spatial groupings where people interact physically and socially: such as home (everyday knowledge) and school (academic knowledge). Third spaces are the in-between, or hybrid, spaces, where the first and second spaces work together to generate a new third space. ‘Soja is anxious to avoid the common dualities of the social and the individual, culture/nature, production/reproduction, the real versus the imagined, (which pervade geographical analysis, arguing “there is always another way”’ Wharf (2006) PHG 30, 819). Linehan and Gruffudd (2004) TIBG 29, 1 apply the term to the tented camps set up in inter-war Wales for retraining miners (‘isolated from their wives and families, and separated from the rural society around them’); and, in a cheeky usage, Starbucks propose their premises as ‘third space experience: the place between work and home’. See Moje et al. (2004) Reading Res. Qt. 39, 1 on third space in an educational context.


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