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Practice and Economic Geography

Jones, A. & Murphy, J. T. (2010). Practice and Economic Geography. Geography Compass, 4(4), pp. 303-319. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-8198.2009.00315.x


Economic geography has over the last decade become increasingly interested in the role of practice, conceptualised as the regularised or stabilised social actions through which economic agents organize or coordinate production, marketing, service provision, exchange and/or innovation activities. Interest in practice is most clearly manifest in a growing body of research concerned to conceptualise how the regularized social relations and interactions linking economic actors (e.g. entrepreneurs, firms) shape the nature of economies, industries, and regional development processes. However, an emphasis on social practice faces significant challenges in that it lacks conceptual coherence, a clear methodological approach, and relevance for public policy. This article critically assesses the idea that practice-oriented research might or should become a core conceptual or epistemological approach in economic geography. In doing so, we identify at least four distinct strands to economic geographical interest in practice: studies centred on institutions, social relations, governmentality and alternative economies respectively. We then argue however that this shift towards practice-oriented work is less a coherent turn than a development and diversification of longstanding strands of work within the sub-discipline.

Publication Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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