The social construction of scale

Sallie A. Marston

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1217 Scopus citations


Over the last ten years, scholars in human geography have been paying increasing theoretical and empirical attention to understanding the ways in which the production of scale is implicated in the production of space. Overwhelmingly, this work reflects a social constructionist approach, which situates capitalist production (and the role of the state, capital, labor and nonstate political actors) as of central concern. What is missing from this discussion about the social construction of scale is serious attention to the relevance of social reproduction and consumption. In this article I review the important literature on scale construction and argue for enlarging our scope for understanding scale to include the complex processes of social reproduction and consumption. I base may critique on a short case study which illustrates that attention to other processes besides production and other systems of domination besides capitalism can enhance our theorizing and improve our attempts to effect real social change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-242
Number of pages24
JournalProgress in Human Geography
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Consumption
  • Difference
  • Gender
  • Home
  • Scale
  • Social reproduction
  • Space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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