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Birdsall, Stephen S. (1996). Regard, Respect, and Responsibility: Sketches for a Moral Geography of the Everyday. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 86(4), 619-629.


The patterns of our everyday interactions reflect basic currents in Western culture and describe our values about each other, our world, and our future. The frame within which our interactions take place and the expressions of this frame on the landscape portray the nature of our regard, respect, and responsibility for each other, our environment, and those who will succeed us. Time and space are increasingly disregarded as they are segmented and the here and now is privileged over other places and other times. In the process, we are disconnected from and devalue the world. Rationalization as method and efficiency as goal have been transferred from analysis of the physical world to prescription for the social world. This has led to strength of belief as the basis for validating one's actions and has, in turn, increased everyday disrespect for those with other beliefs or who are associated with groups whose members might hold other beliefs. Secularization has led to a loss of wonder at the immaterial. The resulting disconnection from those living in other times and other places has undermined our sense of communal responsibility. Intellectual and behavioral countercurrents suggest a continuing search for an alternative moral geography of the everyday.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Annals of the Association of American Geographers


Birdsall, Stephen S.