Geography notes - Lecture One: Introduction to Human...

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Lecture One: Introduction to Human Geography Holland Fall 2007 8/21/07 I. What is Geography? Geography can be viewed as the study of the spatial and temporal distribution of phenomena, processes and features, as well as the study of human environmental interactions. II. Geography as an Academic Discipline/The History of Geography 1. The Origins of Geography Mapping, Exploration, more mapping, geographic description, environmental determinism, landscape interpretation, quantitative revolution, rise of human geography 2. Geography as an Academic Discipline What is an Academic Discipline? Ways of looking at the world Set priorities about what is important to study and what isn’t Develop and borrow concepts, definitions, etc. from one another Overlap Set Standards for what makes research rigorous or persuasive Are evolving social systems Geography’s Trinity 1. Techniques: GIS, Cartography, Remote Sensing 2. Physical Geography: Climatology, Environmental, Geography, Hydrology 3. Human Geography: Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Cultural Geography, Regional Geography, Political Geography 3. Major Modes of Thought in Academic Geography 1. Environmental determinism Late 1800s-1920s. A doctrine that holds that human activities are determined, or controlled, by the physical attributes of geographic settings. Ex: Civilization and economic development made possible in Europe -Considered over-simplistic
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2. Carl Sauer: 1920s-1940s Landscapes as focus of geographic study Human-environment interactions in creation of distinctive landscapes and regions 3. Quantitative Revolution 1950s-1980s: Rise of positivism, using scientific method to test hypotheses and build universal theories and law. Scientific statements must derive from verifiable observations 4. Post positivism 1980s- present Human sciences distinct from natural sciences Broadening of theory and methods Postmodern turn (culture, representation, discourse) III. What is Human Geography? Its about recognizing and understanding the interdependence among places and regions without losing sight of the uniqueness of specific places It provides ways of understanding places, regions and spatial relationships as the products of a series of interrelated forces that stem from nature, culture and individual human action Studies patterns and processes that shape human environmental interaction Field of geography questions the “where”, the sub field of human geography questions the “why” of “where”. IV. What are some priorities in human geography? 1. Place Setting for different physical social, and cultural attributes Why Does Place Matter? Place provides the setting for peoples daily lives and their social relations. Places are highly interdependent and ever changing. Places are not just socially producing but socially produced.
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Geography notes - Lecture One: Introduction to Human...

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