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Space and Relations of Domination -- Questions of Identity in the American Rush for Exploring the Final Frontier

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Abstract:

President George W. Bush's consideration of space-based components as part of his controversial plan for a national missile defence system has re-opened old wounds. Many critics are reminded today again of discussions that took place in the late 1980's regarding the militarisation of Space and the global repercussions of what has been most commonly seen as a potential warfare in Space. This paper wants to take the renewed concern about the weaponisation of Space, the creation of a new battlefield and notions of Space-warfare as its point of departure and do two things. Firstly, argue that the exploration/weaponisation of Space must be seen as an important social practice that informs US identity. Secondly, show how such an articulation of identity is made meaningful by recalling the meaning of Space as a socially embedded resource - the final frontier - for performances along the Self/Other nexus. With the above in mind, this paper is guided by the following question: What role, precisely, does Space play in the forging of identity? This paper proposes that Space as space is an important identity-practice in the way in which it facilitates the reproduction of relations of domination and superiority. By adopting a Bourdieuian perspective, this paper argues that what is distinctive about spatial order and its exploration is its encouragement of the process (embodiment) of certain dispositions: The use of Space must be understood as a means to classify and categorise the social world in particular ways; firstly through its notion of territory and the division into 'our' and 'their' space and, secondly, through its act of mobilising technology and weaponry of dominance. Both notions contribute to a sense of empowerment, collective identity, and superiority - the spatial symbolisms and metaphors of which will be the subject matter of this paper.
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Association:
Name: International Studies Association
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http://www.isanet.org


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MLA Citation:

Bormann, Natalie. "Space and Relations of Domination -- Questions of Identity in the American Rush for Exploring the Final Frontier" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii, Mar 05, 2005 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p71010_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bormann, N. , 2005-03-05 "Space and Relations of Domination -- Questions of Identity in the American Rush for Exploring the Final Frontier" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Studies Association, Hilton Hawaiian Village, Honolulu, Hawaii <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p71010_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: President George W. Bush's consideration of space-based components as part of his controversial plan for a national missile defence system has re-opened old wounds. Many critics are reminded today again of discussions that took place in the late 1980's regarding the militarisation of Space and the global repercussions of what has been most commonly seen as a potential warfare in Space. This paper wants to take the renewed concern about the weaponisation of Space, the creation of a new battlefield and notions of Space-warfare as its point of departure and do two things. Firstly, argue that the exploration/weaponisation of Space must be seen as an important social practice that informs US identity. Secondly, show how such an articulation of identity is made meaningful by recalling the meaning of Space as a socially embedded resource - the final frontier - for performances along the Self/Other nexus. With the above in mind, this paper is guided by the following question: What role, precisely, does Space play in the forging of identity? This paper proposes that Space as space is an important identity-practice in the way in which it facilitates the reproduction of relations of domination and superiority. By adopting a Bourdieuian perspective, this paper argues that what is distinctive about spatial order and its exploration is its encouragement of the process (embodiment) of certain dispositions: The use of Space must be understood as a means to classify and categorise the social world in particular ways; firstly through its notion of territory and the division into 'our' and 'their' space and, secondly, through its act of mobilising technology and weaponry of dominance. Both notions contribute to a sense of empowerment, collective identity, and superiority - the spatial symbolisms and metaphors of which will be the subject matter of this paper.

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