Imagine a high-technology workplace devoted to research and development. It is a classic space of economic geography.
We know, of course, that it is not only an economic space/place. It is also 'social' (and the need for scare-quotes at once indicates the difficulty of distinguishing in any simple way between the economic and the social). It is a 'social' space which is devoted to a single activity (R&D), which is agreed to be of high status, and which is largely populated by men. These characteristics, we also know, are intimately interwoven through sets of relations which go way beyond what is conventionally termed 'the economic'. The high status and the masculinity are bound up together, and both are interwoven with the nature of the activity which is carried on here, and with its compartmentalization into a specialized time-space. And there are aspects of social class, as well as the calculations of economics, in the separate, and particular, location of this element in the social division of labour (see Massey, 1995b).