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Unformatted text preview: race. The poverty rates have been calculated according to place of residence because that is where the census is taken. On the other hand, the map in frame D shows as an alternative, not where poor people in West Philadelphia live, but where they work. 4 The map of where poor people work shows no correlation to patterns of unemployment and race. The map of where poor people live can be seen as a map of income consumption because the residence is the primary site at which incomes are consumed. The map of places where poor people work can be seen as a map of income production because incomes are produced at places of work. The two maps—geography of income consumption and the geography of income production give rise to two very different geographies of poverty. There is no logic that allows us to say that “the map of poverty” is the map of income consumption and not the map of income production. And yet the maps produce very different knowledges, and would, of course, lead to very different discussions. My point is not that either map is more right or wrong than the other, but that discursive selection is crucial to how knowledge is constructed. Fig 1a Where is the geography of poverty? 5 Fig 1b. Where is the geography of poverty? Discursive aggregation Every sign (or word) is not only a partial description of the object it represents, but also a discursive aggregation of disparate things. Words group things together in order to enable conversations. Consider the word “capitalism.” That word has no objective, discrete, bounded, scientific entity that lies at its core. The term "capitalism" groups a number of disparate things, including ownership of the means of production, flows of money, wages, advertising, pollution, 6 personal consumption, health, nutrition, lifestyles, cultural values, and innumerable other elements. It represents a way of talking about the world at a particular level of discursive aggregation such as the national economy. The term does not represent a concrete reality, but...
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This document was uploaded on 01/24/2014.

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