Spatiality and Agency: A Phenomenology of Containment

Kirsten Jacobson


In this essay, I consider how spatial experience is fundamentally connected to the development and maintenance of “existential healthy” agency. More specifically, I examine how our formation as choosing, active, and self-defining persons is dependent upon the spatially-thick and interpersonally-interwoven “gestures” through which we develop a lived sense of space as supportive and cooperative or hostile and threatening. I conclude from this both that existentially healthy agency is always already a relational capacity, and, more central to my focus here, that it depends in significant part upon the cultivation of an appropriately supportive spatial environment.


phenomenology; spatiality; existential health; agency; subjectivity


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