Social Space UP195

A social space is physical or virtual space such as a social center, online social media, or other gathering place where people gather and interact. Some social spaces such as town squares or parks are public places; others such as pubs, websites, or shopping malls are privately owned and regulated.

Henri Lefebvre emphasized that in human society all space is social: it involves assigning more or less appropriated places to social relations. "Social space has thus always been a social product". Social space becomes thereby a metaphor for the very experience of social life - "society experienced alternatively as a deterministic environment or force (milieu) and as our very element or beneficent shell (ambience)".

Lefebvre's argument in The Production of Space is that space is a social product or a complex social construction (based on values, and the social production of meanings) that affects spatial practices and perceptions. This argument implies the shift of the research perspective from space to processes of its production; the embrace of the multiplicity of spaces that are socially produced and made productive in social practices; and the focus on the contradictory, conflictual, and, ultimately, the political character of the processes of production of space.

Though Lefebvre and Debord agree that (historical or human) time has been dominated by (capitalist) space, they disagree strongly as to what to do about it. Is the rediscovery of time the key to the liberation of space? Or is the reappropriation of space the key to the liberation of time? Are these questions mirror images of each other?