Edward Soja describes postmodern geography as “the capacity to combine creatively what in the past was considered to be antithetical/uncombinable…the search for new ways to interpret the empirical world and tear away its layers of ideological mystification” (Dear, 649). A new geography, meaning a geography that is moving on from that of a modern geography to a postmodern geography, involves a new way a seeing. This new way of seeing will allow us to generalize all landscapes or find the similarities within them, even if they are not necessarily there (Dear, 649). Postmodernism became a trend and theoretical approach in human geography, becoming a critique against modernism (“Post-Modernism”).
Similar to the previous subject, space is a demanding topic in postmodernism. Postmodernism places the emphasis on space and where you are in space, rather then the history that may determine consequences. Geography becomes the deciding factor within which consequences have precedence. Postmodernism follows the belief that every person has a personal truth created by experiences and personal visions of one’s own life, not that each person has their own inherent absolute truth (“Post-Modernism”). This means that no person can be wrong in their truth because it is their own and each person has their own unique truth, making it impossible for another to have it and deny it (“Post-Modernism”). It also means that because the truth is developed based on experiences and personal beliefs then that truth can change.
In terms of geography, the human being is also known for its geography. When an individual resides can have a great amount to do with the culture and atmosphere with which the environment gives off. Post modern cities see a great amount of diversity and consist of different shades. These shades of a postmodern city include:
“1. Obliteration and dilution of materials and cultural relations which gave people identity confined/stuck to a specific special location. He fails to further explain this argument. 2. Urban spaces rapidly transforming themselves into specific pockets or enclaves catering to specific identities. 3. Postmodern city is infatuated with security concerns and virtual world. Internet and things of the internet have a strong influence on everyday lives, in the postmodern cities” (Singh, 8).
These three shades show the distinction in which specific theme-based identities follow in each area. In order for postmodern ideals to be integrated, deconstruction of the previous ideals need to occur (Singh, 8).
Human geography found itself placed under the antifoundational category when postmodernism was introduced. Geographer’s of this era had a hard time moving from the modernist view to the post-modernist, meaning there was some resistance with moving from and objective view to a subjective view of the world around us (Singh, 12). Geographer David Henry was one of the most resistant to changing with the times and wrote conditions of postmodernity to express his claim of anti-postmodernism, which became the foundational text for the new cross over to postmodern geography (Singh, 12). David Harvey shows a concern that with the new era of postmodernism and urbanization, the generalization of area will take away the intrinsic qualities about it (Dubey).
C. Minca stated that postmodern geography “‘is not seen as singular manifestation, awaiting discovery and description by geographers: it was envisioned, rather, as a complex of diverse perspective, processes, and objects, a confused and convoluted collage of people and objects undecipherable with the analytical tools of the past” (Singh, 12). Environments of consumption as well as the places being consumed with the postmodern ideals were focal themes that geographers focused on (Singh, 12). Postmodernism was both threatening to some and creative and innovative to others. The structuralist Marxist geographers were most resistant and feared that this new wave would take away both the thought of progress and the identity of the area in which change was happening. Postmodern geography was resisted but began to be more accepted.