Title

Population Geography II: Mortality, Premature Death, and the Ordering of Life

Publication Title

Progress in Human Geography

Publication Date

6-2015

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1177/0309132514527037

Keywords

body, mortality, necropolitics, premature death

Disciplines

Geography | Human Geography

Abstract

The geographic study of mortality is enjoying a renaissance. This is indicated by the growing number of studies on necropolitics, thanatopolitics, ‘deathscapes’, and the inequalities of premature death. Population geographers, however, have contributed little to the broader theoretical conceptualization – and spatiality – of mortality. Previously, I encouraged population geographers to reflect on the survivability of vulnerable populations. In this second progress report, I extend this focus through a reconsideration of mortality from the standpoint of survivability. As a discipline, population geography has long engaged with the concept of ‘premature’ death; here it is indicated how this concept is intimately bound to the modernist ordering of life that dominates our contemporary understanding of bodies and populations. First, I reflect on the embodiment of mortality, and this is followed by a critical engagement with the ‘bio-logics’ of life and death. I maintain that population geography is well positioned to contribute to ongoing debates regarding who lives, who dies, and who decides.


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