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Reading: The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics, by Ryan D. Enos

December 11, 2017 Books, Featured No Comments

A recent book explores the the interrelationship between several fields, including geography & politics. The underlying research is fascinating.

The Space between Us brings the connection between geography, psychology, and politics to life. By going into the neighborhoods of real cities, Enos shows how our perceptions of racial, ethnic, and religious groups are intuitively shaped by where these groups live and interact daily. Through the lens of numerous examples across the globe and drawing on a compelling combination of research techniques including field and laboratory experiments, big data analysis, and small-scale interactions, this timely book provides a new understanding of how geography shapes politics and how members of groups think about each other. Enos’ analysis is punctuated with personal accounts from the field. His rigorous research unfolds in accessible writing that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike, illuminating the profound effects of social geography on how we relate to, think about, and politically interact across groups in the fabric of our daily lives. (Cambridge University Press)

You can read the Preface and Chapter 1 here.

  1. The Red Line
  2. The Demagogue of Space
  3. The Demagogue’s Mechanism: Groups, Space, and the Mind
  4. Laboratories: Assigning Space
  5. Boston: Trains, Immigrants, and the Arizona Question
  6. Chicago: Projects and a Shock to Social Geography
  7. Jerusalem: Walls and the Problem of Cooperation
  8. Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles: Contact and Exit
  9. Phoenix: The Arc of Intergroup Interactions and the Political Future

This is an academic book, though the subject matter is accessible to all. Time is spent explaining the research methodology used in the research, easily skipped unless you’re curious.

Author Ryan D. Enos worked as a teacher on the South side of Chicago, so Chicago’s North-South divide, like St. Louis’ Delmar Divide, makes a great subject for study.  Enos is now an Associate Professor at Harvard University. The banner at the to of his website proclaims:

I am a Social Scientist studying political psychology, race and ethnic politics, and political behavior in the United States and other countries. 

The Space Between Us is available locally from Left Bank Books, Amazon, and other booksellers.

— Steve Patterson

 

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