Shape-in(g) Space: Body, Boundaries, and Violence

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How does the body shape space, and space shape bodies? This article proposes an interdisciplinary conceptual framework based on characteristics of interpersonal and intrapersonal negotiations of space. I discuss how “personal” spatial boundaries and “levels” of space are constituted, sculpted, impacted, and negotiated across realms of lived experience. Categorizations are proposed according to embodied dimensions of the uses and perceptions of space: body centrality, portability, extensibility, social flexibility, and transversality. Spatial analyses often exclude theories from movement and body-based disciplines; therefore, an embodied approach is brought forth as a way to explore the relationship between spatial relations and different forms of violence. The impact on particular bodies, especially women and people with disabilities, is analyzed in terms of their spatial components, weaving in considerations from the field of movement analysis into social theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
JournalSpace and Culture
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2016


  • space
  • human geography
  • movement analysis
  • boundaries
  • embodiment
  • body


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