2012. december 9., vasárnap

Berry vs. Harvey

Brian Berry éles kritikája David Harvey-ról:

"It soon became clear that my path was not that of the discipline, however. The Comparative Metropolitan Analysis Project landed like a dull thud. By decade’s end I was forced to conclude in my presidential address to the AAG that we had “succumbed to a new tribalism” (Berry, 1980). If the 1960s had been a decade when progress was marked by a paradigm gained, the 1970s was one in which the central paradigm was lost and urban geography began to diverge along a variety of incommensurate paths.

Both external and internal forces worked to produce this change. The antiwar movement was reaching a crescendo, and the graduate schools were crowded with students using doctoral programs to extend their draft deferments. As universities experienced rapid growth, numerous new young faculty were hired who identified with the values of their students, clashing with older faculty who tended to be institutionally oriented. Leftwing activists were quick to turn antiwar sentiment into anti-American anticapitalist radicalism. There was a pliable group that, increasingly predisposed to left-wing ideas, welcomed David Harvey’s introduction of Marxist dialectics in Social Justice and the City in 1973. Harvey had done what his dialectics demanded and made a 180° turn from Explanation in Geography. In the Chicagoan view, urban problems were a consequence of urban processes. Harvey saw urban problems to be expressions of larger societal inequalities and cities to be an inconvenience. If the Chicago School believed that their contribution to solving urban problems was in use-inspired basic research tested by empirical study, Harvey’s approach was that of the armchair intellectual contrarian. People ask why I butted heads with him instead of welcoming his viewpoint. To me, David came to exemplify the tenured radical who lives comfortably on the rewards provided by the society that is the object of his disdain. This triggered earlier experiences. I had been a preuniversity student of Cambridge-educated Marxists and had developed a profound disdain for their Orwellian view that they were the pigs who were more equal than the others. In contrast, I was exceedingly grateful for the many opportunities that the United States had provided to me, a kid from an English working-class background. It should be no surprise that I was unsympathetic with Harvey’s turn, not only for the ideology he espoused, but for the left-wing ideologue he became, one who eschewed U.S. citizenship even while his advocacy of oppositional views enabled him to live very comfortably off his contrarian rents. Peter Goheen is correct. There could be no meeting of the minds, no common ground. David disavowed our fumbling attempts to build a social science, positioning his agenda squarely within the realm of politics and imprinting in the minds of young geographers the idea that science is merely one political viewpoint among many." (p. 443)

Brian J. L. Berry (2002) Paradigm Lost. Urban Geography, 23(5), pp. 441–445.

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