Rum i tillblivelse

Detta är en avhandling från Fakulteten för samhälls- och livsvetenskaper

Sammanfattning: How is space conceptualized? The question is central to subject theory in human geography. In the present dissertation, this issue is actualized in discussions of the virtual, space, and an ontology of becoming. The point of departure is that in human geography, as well as in the general discourses in society, a science fiction-like conception of the virtual has been dominant. The virtual is understood as another reality and as an absolute space. Predominant perceptions of the space and the virtual are problematized in Space in Becoming, and based on analyses of complex sets of ideas grounded in actor-network theory and Deleuzian geophilosophy, an alternative approach is formulated. The aim is to provide an enhanced conceptual understanding of space and the virtual. In order to fulfill the aim, three tasks are performed. Firstly, the prevalent conception of the virtual is presented. Secondly, a conception of space grounded in an ontology of becoming is constructed and defined, expressed in three postulates. Thirdly, the importance of the ontology of becoming and the postulates for the conception and conceptualization of space are discussed in relation to subject theory in human geography. Since the present work centers on treatment of concepts and ideas, a postulate method was selected. The postulate method also makes argumentation and discussion on theoretical and analytical levels possible. The outcome of the project is formulated in three postulates – actants do space, assemblages fold space, and the virtual is a real dimension of space. Accordingly, the main contribution to the conceptual understanding of space and the virtual is the construction and specification of the three postulates. The notion of the virtual as an ontological dimension emerges, with direct implications for the conception and conceptualization of space. The ontology of becoming offers an alternative point of departure, a different perspective on the virtual, and thereby also on virtual geography. This is further elucidated by returning to the point of departure for the dissertation project. The postulates contribute to subject theory in human geography by providing an alternative point of departure for future theoretical research and the formulation of new theories. Accordingly, the particular conception of space expressed in the three postulates brings a challenge in terms of both method and vocabulary.