Doreen Massey

A contemporary British social scientist and geographer, working among others on topics typical of marxist geography. She currently serves as Professor of geography at the Open University.

Doreen Massey's main fields of study are globalisation, regional uneven development, cities, and the reconceptualisation of place. Although associated with an analysis of contemporary western capitalist society, she has also worked in Nicaragua and South Africa.

She believes that social inequalities were generated by the uneveness of the capitalist economy, creating stark divisions between rich and poor regions and between social classes. 'Space matters' for poverty, welfare and wealth. Over the years this theory has been refined and extended, with space and spatial relationships remaining central to her account of contemporary society.

While Massey has argued for the importance of place, her position accords with those arguing against essentialised or static notions, where:

  • places do not have single identities but multiple ones.
  • places are not frozen in time, they are processes.
  • places are not enclosures with a clear inside and outside.