One of the most predominant thoughts that struck me as I was reading this chapter about the state was how similar some of the writings sounded to the reading from last week, “Place”. Both the chapter about place and this chapter about the state explicitly point out how difficult it is to define these terms. Going even beyond that, the two readings give very similar supporting details and reasoning on WHY they are so difficult to define.
This holds especially true with the section on “The state as a social process”. This is a direct copy of one of the definitions of place, and many of the points are the same. For one, this chapter speaks of how the state is always in the process of change, or mutation, to follow how the social and political situations are changing. Both readings use the phrase “always becoming” in description. However, in the instance of becoming in regards to a social process, I found that this chapter actually gave more description on the matter. This description is then applicable to both “place” and “the state”.
In this chapter it says that the formation of the state is a byproduct of other activities, and that the actual formation of “the state” wasn’t even intended at all. This concept helps me to understand how places come to be as well. The terms are almost interchangeable. It was really fascinating to see that as I read this chapter, I was better understanding the last chapter as well.f