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Approaches to Human Geography

Approaches to Human Geography

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360 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Approaches to Human Geography is the essential student primer on theory and practice in Human Geography. It is a systematic review of the key ideas and debates informing post-war geography, explaining how those ideas work in practice.

is the essential student primer on theory and practice in Human Geography. It is a systematic review of the key ideas and debates informing post-war geography, explaining how those ideas work in practice.

In three sections, the text provides:

  • A comprehensive contextualizing essay: Introducing Philosophies, People and Practices
  • Philosophies: Written by the principal proponents, easily comprehensible accounts of: Positivistic Geographies, Humanism, Feminist Geographies, Marxism, Structuration Theory, Behavioral Geography, Realism, Post Structuralist Theories, Actor-Network Theory, and Post Colonialism
  • People: Prominent geographers explain events that formed their ways of knowing the section offers situated accounts of theory and practice by, for example David Ley, Linda McDowell, and David Harvey
  • Practices: Applied accounts of Quantification, Evidence and Positivism; Geographic Information Systems; Humanism; Geography, Political Activism, and Marxism; the Production of Feminist Geographies; Poststructuralist Theory; Environmental Inquiry in a Postcolonial World; Contested Geographies
  • Student Exercises and Glossary

Avoiding jargon - while attentive to the rigor and complexity of the ideas that underlie geographic knowledge - the text is written for students who have not met philosophical or theoretical approaches before. This is a beginning guide to geographic research and practice.

Comprehensive and accessible, it will be the core text for courses on Approaches to Human Geography; Philosophy and Geography; and the History of Geography; and a key resource for students beginning research projects.


Positivistic Geographies and Spatial Science
Rob Kitchin
Humanism and Democratic Place-Making
J. Nicholas Entrikin and John H. Tepple
Feminist Geographies of Difference, Relation and Construction
Deborah P Dixon and John Paul Jones III
Marx and the Spirit of Marx
George Henderson and Eric Sheppard
Philosophical Bases of Behavioral Research in Geography
Reginald G Golledge
Structuration Theory
Agency, Structure and Everyday Life

Isabel Dyck and Robin A Kearns
Realism as a Basis for Knowing the World
Andrew Sayer
Postmodern Geographies and the Ruins of Modernity
David B Clarke
Poststructuralist Theories
Paul Harrison
Actor-Network Theory, Networks, and Relation Approaches in Human Geography
Fernando J Bosco
Space, Textuality and Power

Clive Barnett

Institutions and Cultures
Gerard Rushton
Places and Contexts
David Ley
Memories and Desires
David Harvey
Experiences and Emotions
Robin Kearns
Personal and Political
Vera Chouinard
Difference and Place
Linda McDowell
Local and Global
Richa Nagar
Movement and Encounter
Lawrence Knopp
Spaces and Flows
Janice Monk

Quantification, Evidence and Positivism
A Stewart Fotheringham
Geographic Information Systems
Michael F Goodchild
Humanism and People-Centered Methods
Paul Rodaway
Changing the World
Geography, Political Activism and Marxism

Michael Samers
Producing Feminist Geographies
Theory, methodologies and Research Strategies

Kim England
Poststructuralist Theories, Critical Methods and Experimentation
John W Wylie
Research is Theft
Environmental Inquiry in a Postcolonial World

Paul Robbins
Contested Geographies
Culture Wars, Personal Clashes and Joining Debate

Gill Valentine and Stuart Aitken

The book is appropriate for a human/cultural geography course, but I have not yet taught this course on my campus (has not been scheduled yet).

Dr Robin OSullivan
History Political Science Dept, Troy University - Dothan
May 4, 2012

The book provides a well-structured overview of key approaches of Geography. It could use some accentuation, though, for example through keywords in bold or marginal notes. There should also be more figures, maps and other visualizations.

Ms Christina Kerz
Institute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz
January 4, 2012

great work! students love to work with it! visualization is pretty poor and should be updated in the next edition.

Dr Stefan Zimmermann
Geography, University of Osnabruck
November 15, 2011

I found this book to be very useful and well structured, especially Part 1, Philophies that I think offers something more than several other books most books about methodology that Ii have come across. We are still looking in to the literature for this course. Probably will this book be included as Reference literature. We will change the course within the next year and probably will this book then fit the course better than today.

This book is not adopted at the moment, but might be within a year or so.

Ms Linda Sandberg
Department of Social and economic Geography, Department of Social and Economic Geography
August 8, 2011

I was hoping that there would be some more specific case studies. I.E. following the discussion of a particular approach/method I would like to see a detailed specific account of how this approach might be or has been carried out. The snippets in the book give clues, but I need something that students can really use as a sort of guidebook. I love the Passnotes section, but I was under the impression that each chapter or at least each section of the book would contain passnotes. Instead they only appear in one section of the book - after Philosophy.

Dr Todd Lindley
Geography Dept, Indiana University - Bloomington
September 2, 2010

This text provides useful material that will supplement a series of concepts and themes addressed in this first year course.

Dr Dan Swanton
Geography, Edinburgh University
March 31, 2010

Stuart C. Aitken

Dr. Stuart C. Aitken is Professor of Geography and June Burnett Chair at SDSU. He directs the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Young People and Space (ISYS). Stuart’s research interests include critical social theory, qualitative methods, children, families and communities. His recent books include The Ethnopoetics of Space and Transformation (Ashgate 2014), The Fight to Stay Put (Verlag 2013), Young People. Border Spaces and Revolutionary Imaginations (Routledge 2011), Qualitative Geographies (Sage 2010) and The Awkward Spaces of Fathering (Ashgate 2009). Stuart has published over 200 papers in academic journals and edited book... More About Author

Gill Valentine

Professor Valentine has held prestigious international visiting fellowships at the Universities of Sydney, Australia and Otago, New Zealand and has visited and given keynote addresses at a range of prestigious international conferences. She was co-founder and co-editor of the international journal Social and Cultural Geography, and co-edited Gender, Place and Culture. She has undertaken international research in Europe, Africa and the USA and is committed to developing the University of Sheffield's international strategy within the Faculty of Social Sciences. More About Author

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