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Thinking of space relationally

Critical realism beyond relativism - A manifold study of the artworld in Beijing

Gao, Xiaoxue

Since the spatial and relational turns in the social sciences, it has become self-evident that one needs to combat methodological universalism and nationalism and explain the constitution of space relationally. Following the sociology of knowledge approach, Xiaoxue Gao takes relational spatial theories as `travelling conceptual knowledge', distinguishes them, and reflects on the `epistemic fallacy' which arises from re-contextualising them uncritically in studying contemporary urban space in China. Taking Critical Realism as a meta-theory, this book offers a methodology which leaps productively from causal hypotheses in plural travelling theories to explanations of locally observable events. It is exemplified in interrogating the poly-contextual formation of the artworld in Beijing as a conjunctive multiplicity.