Approaching Human Geography: An Introduction to Contemporary Theoretical Debates

This introduction to the development of new theoretical approaches to human geography sets out to explain the key features of these new approaches, and to trace their antecedents and implications. The authors also highlight points of comparison and contrast, inter-connection and dissimilarity.

An introductory chapter describes and accounts for the theoretical diversity present within twentieth-century human geography, and particular attention is paid to the transition from environmental and regional approaches to the spatial science of the 1960s. This chapter then sets the stage for the later chapters, which deal systematically with different post-1960s approaches: Marxism, humanism, realism, structuration and postmodernism. Each of these chapters deals with the chronological development of the appropriate literature, describes the key claims and arguments, and then presents a worked example to illustrate the benefits and pitfalls of an approach in practice. A concluding chapter re-integrates the diverse themes and reflects briefly on possible future theoretical developments in human geography in the 1990s.

The principal chapters of the book are framed by both a preface and an epilogue, which address questions about relativism in approaching human geography, while also stressing the need for continued commitment and critical sensitivity in geographical enquiry. The book is written in an easily accessible style with generous expositions of key claims and arguments, and thorough cross-referencing between chapters.


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Changing Approaches to Human Geography
Changing Times and the Development of Marxist Approaches
Peopling Human Geography and the Development
Anthony Giddens and the Bringing
Realist Approaches in Human Geography
The Differences of Postmodern Human Geography
Author Index

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Seite 6 - ... and elsewhere he defined the subject-matter which he wished to systematize as " definite areas of the surface of the Earth considered as a whole, not the configuration alone, but the complex of land, water, air, plant, animal, and man, regarded in their special relationship as together constituting a definite characteristic portion of the Earth's surface.

Über den Autor (1991)

Paul Cloke, Professor of Human Geography at the Dept. of Geography, St. Davids University College, Lampeter, Wales.

My ongoing research interests concern the historical, cultural and rural geographies of mental ill-health, supplemented by scholarship in the following fields as well: social geographies of 'outsiders'; children's geographies; new animal geographies; historical and contemporary figurations of public space; Foucauldian studies; the history, historiography and theoretical development of geography. I have recently brought together much of my historical research on 'madness' and asylums in a substantial book-length treatment: Philo, C. 2004. A Geographical History of Institutional Provison for the Insane from Medieval Times to the 1860s in England and Wales: The Space Reserved for Insanity. Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston and Queenston, USA, and Lampeter, Wales UK (712 pages). I gained a Degree in Geography from the University of Cambridge in 1983, and a PhD from the same institution in 1992 (yes, it took me a while!). I was a PhD student and then a Research Fellow in Cambridge from 1983 to 1989, and then my first lecturing post was in the Department of Geography at the University of Wales, Lampeter, starting in January 1989. I was appointed to a Chair in Geography at the University of Glasgow in 1995, starting in October that year, and it has been my pleasure to research and teach at this institution ever since. From April 2002 to July 2005, I was Head of the Department (of Geography and Geomatics). From 1st August 2005, I have gone back into 'the ranks'. From January 2005, I have been enlisted to the Geography and Environmental Studies RAE Sub-Panel.

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