Linking capitalism and nature and making places more-than-human
Major in Sustainability at WOU

Geographers at work: mobility and (socio)nature

Here are examples of theory and research on this week's topics of mobility and (socio)nature.

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  • On mobility: This chapter by Alison Mountz critically analyzes what it means to be a "refugee" in a world of bounded places (nation-states). From Tim Cresswell and Peter Merriman (eds.), Geographies of Mobilities (2010).
  • This article is a recent example of research on mobility and disability: Denis İlkbaşaran, "Tracing deaf youth geographies and mobilities in Turkey: insights from a vocational high school," Journal of Cultural Geography, 2017 Vol. 34, No. 2, 194-221.
  • One of the most interesting ways in which cultural geographers have engaged in studies of socionature is through the field of animal geographies, which focuses on human-nature interrelations. In the article, "Animal geographies I," Henry Buller reviews the basic premises of this subfield in Progress in Human Geography, 2014, Vol. 38(2) 308-318. 
  • And here is a specific example of research in this area: Huw Griffiths, Ingrid Poulter & David Sibley, "Feral cats in the city," in Chris Philo and Chris Wilbert (eds.), Animal Spaces, Beastly Places (2000).


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Mack Little

In the article "Feral Cats in the City", I found it really interesting that there were two totally different views of what should be happening in such a small radius. I guess that is kind of expected though whenever there is a debate about something in a city, there is never going to be ONE solution. This really does depict what people care about. They are more worried about getting around than saving cats, so it is good that they created that program to save the feral cats.

Matt Herbert

The "Feral Cats in the City" article highlights the idea that "the urban environment is one where nature has been contained and transformed. The city is subject to an ordering process which signals what can be included in urban space and what does not belong.." Feral cats can be thought of as representational for the "wild" or "forest, nature, etc." The spaces in the city where feral cats are found can represent how nature in intruding into the city. Others feel that these spaces that provide habitat to feral cats are crucial and important to their survival, and thus creates conflict between the two sides. It was interesting to read all of the ways people view cats (Freud hates them, gypsies despise them, people who apparently "long for nature" love them, etc..) It's interesting to see how a city can be more-than-human because the presence of cats signify nature. And people's opinions of feral cats cause them to order and border the city in different ways.

Jeanette Betancourt

It was interesting to read the article about the "Feral Cats in the City" because there was different oppositions being mentioned, like Mack mentioned there's never going to be one solution there's always going to be more that can be solved. It was also interesting how the program was able to save the lives of the cats because that says a lot how people were caring enough to help them out. Not everyone likes cats but most people do and its nice to know that people actually care about their surroundings. Because cats can be found anywhere outside and they depend on the resources by humans.

Kamalei P.

In the Refugees chapter by Alison Mountz, it really does examine what it’s like to be a refugee in a world of bounded place, so in other words states amongst a nation. There was a part of the article that was an eye-opener because it talks about how certain states were immigrant-receiving states. But after 9/11, there were stricter policies and a stricter policy of the line between those with mobility and those without. So immigrants trying to migrate to America had a harder time trying to come to America, not only by getting into a state, but also by trying to just get through the national border. Even people who were trying to move from state to state felt displaced and excluded at the time. This is hard for people who identified themselves as part of a mobile body, since they were grouped as people who were linked to persecution, displacement and people on the search for protection. With that said, I think it gave me a better understanding of mobility and how it can be hard to move from place to place, when we live in a world filled with bounded places.

John Stone

"Feral Cats in the City" discusses the problem of feral cats in civilized areas. There are a few examples of how human culture and nature come together, since we're influencing the lives of these cats, just as they're influencing ours. Colonies of feral cats have created so called 'cat spaces', and in this way they live alongside us. However, feral cats can be seen as pests, so humans take action against the issue. People are attempting to help reduce the problem by spaying and neutering, which could slowly but surely solve the unfortunate issue of feral cats. Most of the cats sadly live terrible lives, but people can also influence their lives by leaving out food, water, and shelter. Every animal is a living part of nature, just like we are.

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