Rooted networks provide a conceptual framework that embeds network thinking in nature-society geography in order to investigate socio-ecological relations, while emphasizing the place-specific materiality of these relations. This progress report examines how geographers have put the framework into scholarly practice. The conceptual approach has enabled researchers to: 1) articulate the territoriality and materiality of networks as assemblages, which may be simultaneously rooted and mobile; 2) discern diverse types of power that flow through network connections; and 3) conduct analyses that unearth multiply-situated knowledges within networks. Challenges emerge as we seek to integrate the approach more fully with disciplinary traditions, including organizing complex relationships into bounded scholarly formats; choosing which aspects of the network are most salient to analyze; and illustrating networks for effective communication. We describe the ways in which rooted networks can be used as a tool for action, as a pedagogical guide, and to strengthen collective capacity to imagine and negotiate alternative futures based on ‘seeing multiple.’ Finally, we call for geographers and other scholars, researchers and activists to build upon a rooted networks framework as a tool for design, analysis, understanding and communication in the search for more socially just and ecologically viable futures.

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ACME: an International Journal for Critical Geographies

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This is an article published in ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies in 2018, available online: https://www.acme-journal.org/index.php/acme/article/view/1289