In Place/Out of Place was first published in 1996. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
What is the relationship between place and behavior? In this fascinating volume, Tim Cresswell examines this question via "transgressive acts" that are judged as inappropriate not only because they are committed by marginalized groups but also because of where they occur.
In Place/Out of Place seeks to illustrate the ways in which the idea of geographical deviance is used as an ideological tool to maintain an established order. Cresswell looks at graffiti in New York City, the attempts by various "hippie" groups to hold a free festival at Stonehenge during the summer solstices of 1984–86, and the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp in Berkshire, England. In each of the cases described, the groups involved were designated as out of place both by the media and by politicians, whose descriptions included an array of images such as dirt, disease, madness, and foreignness.
Cresswell argues that space and place are key factors in the definition of deviance and, conversely, that space and place are used to construct notions of order and propriety. In addition, whereas ideological concepts being expressed about what is good, just, and appropriate often are delineated geographically, the transgression of these delineations reveals the normally hidden relationships between place and ideology-in other words, the "out-of-place" serves to highlight and define the "in-place." By looking at the transgressions of the marginalized, Cresswell argues, we can gain a novel perspective on the "normal" and "taken-for-granted" expectations of everyday life. The book concludes with a consideration of the possibility of a "politics of transgression," arguing for a link between the challenging of spatial boundaries and the possibility of social transformation.
Tim Cresswell is currently lecturer in geography at the University of Wales.