When Bricks Become Pixels – The Contested Space Between the Virtual and the Physical

Activity: SupervisionMaster Dissertation Supervision


Cyberspace forms an integral part of lived space, and it is through the connections with the physical that it must be understood and examined within a contemporary society. In this thesis, the contested relationship between the real and the virtual is considered, resulting in a discussion of how cyberspace alters and disrupts typical systems of society and culture. This is achieved by first presenting cyberspace through the lens of Foucault’s theory of Heterotopic spaces. Then, a comparative study is made using a selection of physical spaces to establish an understanding of the contested areas that exist between the physical and the virtual. For the scope of this research, the areas chosen are split between the UK and China to expand on a Sino-British dialogue where the different modes of political systems and cultures will develop a deeper understanding of the influences that cyberspaces have on the physical environments in the respective societies. Finally, these contested areas between the physical and the virtual lead to a conclusion based on the growing impact the digital has which ultimately shapes the psychology and way of life for citizens and migrants of separate countries. It is argued that this will result in a blurring of geographic boundaries and where cyberspace plays an essential role in the future globalised society.
PeriodJul 2020