By Govindraj Venkatachalam

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Experience of space is the foundation and framework of all our knowledge of the spatio-temporal world. Abstract thought by its very nature is an attempt to transcend this framework and create planes of experience, which are at once less directly dependent on the immediacy of spatio-temporal experience and more organised. Abstract thought is concerned with the principles of order underlying the 30 The social logic of space spatio-temporal world and these, by definition, are not given to immediate experience.

The duality of inside mapping ideology and outside mapping transactional politics, is Introduction 21 only the case insofar as the system is considered as a local-toglobal phenomenon - that is, insofar as it constructs a global pattern from the inter-relations of the basic units. Insofar as a society is also a global-to-local phenomenon - that is, insofar as there is a distinct global structure over and above the level of everyday interaction - then the logic of the system reverses itself. One set of spaces is produced whose purpose is to define an ideological landscape through its exterior, and another set whose purpose is to produce and control a global politics through its interior; essentially, shrines of various kinds and meeting places of various kinds are the first specialised structures of the global formations of a society.

They are, it is true, always a set of primary cells (houses, etc), but there is also a continuous structure of open space, sometimes regular, sometimes irregular, sometimes forming rings, sometimes treelike, which is not easily decomposable into elements for the purpose of analysis. The problem of analysing settlements is the problem of analysing this continuous space and how it is related to other elements. This problem preoccupied us for a long time, but as had often happened, the eventual answer was lying in what had already been formulated, in the nature of 'beads' and 'strings'.

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