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Scientific article
English

Place Naming as Dispositif: Toward a Theoretical Framework

Published inGeopolitics, vol. 21, no. 1, p. 1-21
Publication date2016
Abstract

Recent critical toponymies have convincingly demonstrated that studying place names also reveals much about geopolitics and power relations. In this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for interpreting these toponymies, in order to bet- ter decipher, theorise, and compare the many very rich case studies in the field. Our first argument is that the focus of enquiry should be place naming processes rather than place names themselves. We then show that place naming is a dispositif in the Foucauldian sense. This allows us to build a framework that distinguishes between (a) four types of geopolitical contexts, from which place naming processes tend to stem; (b) four types of technologies that are commonly used;and (c) three types of actors. Lastly, we identify the preferential combinations and nexuses between these building blocks of place naming contexts, technologies, and actors.

Citation (ISO format)
GIRAUT, Frédéric, HOUSSAY-HOLZSCHUCH, Myriam. Place Naming as Dispositif: Toward a Theoretical Framework. In: Geopolitics, 2016, vol. 21, n° 1, p. 1–21. doi: 10.1080/14650045.2015.1134493
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ISSN of the journal1465-0045
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