Contested Space Essay

1075 Words Nov 20th, 2011 5 Pages
Contested Space
Although many strive to avoid it, people are running into contested space moments after they open their eyes each morning. We form these walls of contested space automatically, sometimes subconsciously which comes into play as we go about life. Contested space is a generally used term; that has a fairly vague definition. However, Mary Louise Pratt In her work: Arts Of The Contact Zone expresses it use well, stating: “ I use this term to refer to social spaces where cultures meet, clash, and grapple with each other, often in context of highly asymmetrical relations of power” I have personally identified contested space to be space where people or ideals collide resulting in place for each player within the situation. By
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Place within the school is extremely abundant, because there is so much contested space, relationships, and connections forming constantly. The greatest example of a student’s place would be their locker. It holds their personal belongings, and they keep it for most of their high school career. “you add your own personall possessions… Thus space is turned into place. Your place.” (Tim Cresswell, Defining place, p. 2)Yet a locker lacks much contested space. This is because its walls are so personal, and well protected; no one else has to know about it, other than its location, creating a simple space, or even landscape for outside viewers. The only point where this space may be contested would be if someone were attempting to break into the locker, which would be a strictly physical contest of space. If a place as personal as a locker was ever contested, it would most likely affect the owner’s daily life and outlook drastically. Another contested space that relates to place would be a location where students meet prior to first period. Although this is a physical location, the contested space is also mental. No group truly claims a location within the school, however naturally a section becomes the normal, comfortable location where one can expect to meet their companions, creating a strong knit place. The place may

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