Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2019, Vol. 74 ›› Issue (8): 1680-1694.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201908014

• Culture and Tourism Geography • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Research progress of relational geography under the background of post-structuralism

CAI Xiaomei1,2,LIU Meixin2,3   

  1. 1. School of Tourism Management, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    2. Research Center for Cultural Industry and Cultural Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
    3. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2018-12-29 Revised:2019-04-28 Online:2019-08-25 Published:2019-08-07
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671146);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41630635);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41829101)


The relational geography is conceived with the development of post-structuralism and "relational turn". From the perspective of relational geography, the world is understood as a topological structure of flowing while things are not considered as products of eidos ego but products of the relations. Relational thinking is counter-essentialized, it stresses on the dynamic, inter-dependent interactions between things. Through literature review, we find out the development relational geography is strong influenced by the social network and non-representational theory. The appearance of relational geography reconstructs the connotations of space, place, scale and subjectivity. We put forward the concept of relational space, place relations, multi-scale or the end of scale and the geographical inter-subjectivity. We construct the networking, relational and the flow of topological geography. The current empirical studies of the relational geography focus on the spatial diffusion and expansion, subject development, socio-cultural, bodily, tourist, health issues. Besides, we hope to offer new perspectives for Chinese human geographers based on the concepts of "human", "more-than-human", "things" and "re-materialization".

Key words: relational geography, post-structuralism, relations, social network analysis, non-representational theory