The book′s central argument is that spatial thinking, or what has been called the geographical or spatial imagination, has tended to be bicameral, or confined to two approaches. Spatiality is either seen as concrete material forms to be mapped, analyzed, and explained; or as mental constructs, ideas about and representations of space and its social significance. Edward Soja critically re–evaluates this dualism to create an alternative approach, one that comprehends both the material and mental dimensions of spatiality but also extends beyond them to new and different modes of spatial thinking.
Thirdspace is composed as a sequence of intellectual and empirical journeys, beginning with a spatial biography of Henri Lefebvre and his adventurous conceptualization of social space as simultaneously perceived, conceived, and lived. The author draws on Lefebvre to describe a trialectics of spatiality that threads though all subsequent journeys, reappearing in many new forms in bell hooks evocative exploration of the margins as a space of radical openness; in post–modern spatial feminist interpretations of the interplay of race, class, and gender; in the postcolonial critique and the new cultural politics of difference and identity; in Michel Foucault′s heterotopologies and trialectics of space, knowledge, and power; and in interpretative tours of the Citadel of downtown Los Angeles, the Exopolis of Orange County, and the Centrum of Amsterdam.
Part I: Discovering Thirdspace: .
1. The Extraordinary Voyages of Henri Lefebvre.
2. The Trialectics of Spatiality.
3. Exploring the Spaces that Difference Makes: Notes on the Margins.
4. Increasing the Openness of Thirdspace.
5. Heterotopologies: Foucault and the Geohistory of Otherness.
6. Re–Presenting the Spatial Critique of Historicism.
Part II: Inside and Outside Los Angeles: .
7. Remembrances: A Heterotopology of the Citadel–LA.
8. Inside Exopolis: Everyday Life in the Postmodern World.
9. The Stimulus of a Little Confusion: A Contemporary Comparison of Amsterdam and Los Angeles.
"Thirdspace is Soja′s most demanding theoretical work to date. It is a book which attempts to open up new ways of thinking about and responding to the binaries which continue to dominate the way we make practical and theoretical sense of the world. In concluding this short review of a very complex text I can only echo a comment Derek Gregory (1990:41) made when reviewing Soja′s Postmodern Goegraphies: ′its intellectually sparkle is the product of a rare and generous critical intelligence′." Richard Bedford, University of Waikato
"In all, a compilation of empirical and intellectual journeys." The Geographical Journal " Such as serious and important undertaking by such a prodigious intellect compels an in–depth and extended transdisciplinary and critical dialogue. Its destiny, I suspect, is to be the centre of a heated and fruitful debate. ed Soja has changed how we think about space." Robert Beauregard, Milano graduate School of Management
"Soja offers a powerful new way of thinking that simultaneously takes apart and reorganizes the basic premise from which dualistic thinking derives power." Geographical Review