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Narrating the Natural History Unit: institutional orderings and spatial strategies

Davies, G; (2000) Narrating the Natural History Unit: institutional orderings and spatial strategies. GEOFORUM , 31 (4) 539 - 551. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper develops a conceptualisation of institutional geographies through participation observation and interviews in the BBC's Natural History Unit (NHU), and the approach of actor network theory. The methodological and theoretical tenets of actor network theory are examined for the insights they offer for understanding the achievements of this pre-eminent centre for the production of natural history films. The scope, scale and longevity of the NHU are analysed through the means by which localised institutional modes of ordering extend through space and over time. Drawing on empirical material, the paper outlines three different modes of ordering, which organise relations between actors in the film-making processes in different ways: prioritising different kinds of institutional arrangements, material resources and spatial strategies in the production of natural history films. Through these three modes of ordering, and through the topological insights of actor network theory, a series of overlapping and interlinked institutional geographies are revealed, through which the identity of the Unit as a centre of excellence for wildlife filmmaking is performed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Narrating the Natural History Unit: institutional orderings and spatial strategies
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Keywords: institutional geographics, modes of ordering, media organisations, natural history film-making, GEOGRAPHIES, SPACES
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7993
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