L’Espace géographique 2/96

Without summaries

Philip G. EIDELBERG. Apartheid and urban segregation in South Africa.

While many countries, at some point in their histories, have had officially imposed racial segregation, South Africa's own "apartheid" version was distinguished by its system of "homelands" or "bantustans" -- politically autonomous, or even independent states, each with an apparent ethnic identity. This paper will argue that it was the close symbiotic relationship between homelands and segregated African "townships" within South Africa proper, outside the homelands, which, during the three decades following 1948, became central to apartheid. As the relationship grew closer, apartheid intensified. Conversely, the steady loosening of these bonds, particularly during the decade from 1977, symptomized apartheid's erosion.

Christine CHIVALLON. Praise of spatiality: conceptions of the relations between space and identity in Patrick Chamoiseau's Texaco.

In this article, I shall examine the place given to the quest for identity in relation to space in the novel Texaco by the Martinican writer Patrick Chamoiseau in order to show how the different expressions of creoleness feed on the specific links with place. Three main images of identity can be found, each linked to a specific experience of space. The space of the hills in the interior enables the freed slaves to renew with a rooted community based on solidarity. But the experiment is short-lived. The desire for collective expression must come to terms with the chaotic space of the "En-Ville". Then a patchwork creoleness emerges whose disorganized character is celebrated by the author. However, it is a third image of identity which prevails, that in which the themes of coherence and chaos are reconcilied. While the novel becomes an effective geography lesson, it goes further in that it confronts us with the extremely contemporary (or postmodern) question of fluid identity, those which are eventually difficult to celebrate without risking the loss of what forms a people's unity.

Géo-humeur: Jérôme MONNET. Los Angeles, the city whose Prince is a criminal, a geographical tragedy in black and white.

Michel GRIGNON, Jeanne FAGNANI. Income transfers and female's activity in Europe. (2 tabl., 1 fig.)

Married women's behaviours regarding paid activity are partly determined by financial factors and particularly by the net income provided by the activity. In each country, this net income depends on the level of income transfers (taxation and benefits). Thanks to the calculation of the elasticity rate of the income available to female's wage, for different family shapes, and on the basis of a simulation, we could estimate married women's activity rates that supposedly result from financial factors only. By comparison with the observed rates, and using their difference, we measure what does not only concern the financial rationality in the activity behaviour. We compare, then, recorded differences with domestic contexts in which female's activity fits, i.e. value systems governing female's behaviours, benefits in-kind and institutional factors setting up employment.

Anne BRETAGNOLLE. Study of indexes of concentration of a population. (2 tabl., 3 fig., 2 annexes)

This paper deals with the study and the comparison of the most often quoted indexes of concentration (excepting the entropy indexes). The study is based on the data concerning 1795 communes of the Rhône valley down-stream basin. From the mathematical definitions of the indexes, we show that some are equal to each other and some are close, the differences being negligible. The digital computation of the indexes confirms these results. Besides, we show that one of the indexes properties restricts their use, in most of the cases, to the study of the concentration process of population. Finally, the obtained results suggest careful interpretations of the computed values of indexes.

Samuel ROBERT, Pascale SALÜN. Village-forest interface dynamics in the Western Ghats evergreen forested regions (India): a case-study from Uppugala. (5 fig.)

As in most other Indian forested areas, the spread of human settlement in the Western Ghats has been hindered by the forest-encroachment prohibitory rules of the Forest Department. Forest-enclosed localities operating as advanced stations or posts of human settlement are apparently «static fronts». Propelled by survival instinct, the inhabitants of Uppugala have developped strategies rendering spatial consequences that accelerate the village-forest interface dynamism and probably delay contingent human encroachment.

Denis GAUTIER. Russian dolls and Cameroon Bamileke Mountains. From concession to Chiefdom: spatial structures and dynamics interlocking in Cameroon Bamileke country. (13 fig.)

In a relatively homogenous area, whenever there is no central compelling organisation, one may assume that the same spatial structures and dynamics are valid both at local and regional levels. This assumption is tested in the case of the Cameroon Bamileke country. At the local level, the family group cultivates a plot of land in vertical stripes stretching down the slopes, so as to take advantage of the whole range of the hillside potentialities. These stripes place themselves side by side in hill structures each of them belonging to a lineage. The hillside structures aggregate to cover the whole sloping upland. At the regional level, the society organised in village groups (or chiefdoms) exploits the greatest number of ecological ranges from the edge of the upland to the top of the Bamboutos Mountains. The same four patterns, i.e. the stripe structure, the centre-periphery, the axial effect and the propagation front, are sufficient to explain the organisation of both levels of integration. Their combination leads to the same configuration for the individual production unit and the chiefdom patterns. It implies similar spatial dynamics.

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Last modified: September 5, 1996