In their conclusion to the first feminist geography text, Geography and Gender, the WGSG state that a focus on gender relations greatly improves geographical analyses, and that gender relations are central to understanding gender inequalities; and they make explicit their political commitment to changing gender relations. They also identify gender relations and their variation between local areas as a key area for subsequent research in feminist geography and call for the abandonment of the systematic subdivisions - economic geography, urban geography, social geography and so on and so forth - which figure so centrally in defining geography. From our position, writing in the mid-1990s, such claims seem characterised by a remarkable degree of consensus and certainty. The product of a particular moment in both the history of feminist geography and in geography, these claims suggest both a common ground and a common agenda for feminist geography. In comparison, concluding this book is an immensely difficult task. As we have shown throughout the preceding chapters, feminist geography is characterised by such theoretical and methodological diversity and difference that it would be entirely inappropriate, not to say impossible, to offer here a straightforward summary of feminist geography and its future. Instead, feminist geography in the 1990s is more appropriately thought of as feminist geographies, and the only prediction which would seem safe to make is that over the next few years
prominent is one which tries to break with boundaries and bounded spaces, which tries to think about space in non-dichotomous ways. One such approach is to think in terms of what Gillian Rose (1993) refers to as paradoxical space. Thinking this way about space means working with the idea of being simultaneously inside and outside, occupying centre and margin - positionings which are frequently paradoxical according to dominant definitions of space and place. One such instance of paradoxical space cited by Rose is the work of Patricia Hill Collins (1990) on black women working as domestic workers in white homes. Being on close terms with the children in these families means that in many senses black women are insiders. But, they are also, through race and employment, made to know that they do not fully belong in these homes. The position which they occupy is one which is simultaneously present but absent, the outsider within.