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Geography
History and Concepts

Fourth Edition


280 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This now standard student reference has been totally revised and updated. It remains the definitive introduction to the history, philosophy, and methodology of human geography.

The book is organized into five sections:

  • An historical overview of the discipline and an explanation of its organization; with more on the growth of spatial sciences, Geographical Information Systems, and ways of representing the world
  • An examination of geography from Antiquity to the early modern period
  • An analysis of paradigm shifts in geography, the philosophy of science, and the quantitative revolution;
  • A critical discussion of positivism, empiricism, structuration theory, realism; as well as an introduction to core themes and concepts in current geographical thought including space, place, and post-modernism
  • A review of global processes and local responses, from economic globalization to global environmental change

Extensively revised to take account of new developments in geographical thought and methods, the text explores complex ideas in an intelligible and accessible style. Illustrated throughout with summaries, notes for further reading and a concept glossary, this is the essential student companion to the discipline: it will be an invaluable resource for undergraduate students.

 
What is Geography?
Introduction

 
Exploration and the cosmographic tradition

 
A science of synthesis

 
A modeloriented approach

 
Local responses to global processes; deviations from the models in focus

 
An organizational plan of geography

 
A new synthesis?

 
Homo geographicus

 
Specialization and pluralism

 
 
The Foundation of Geography
Geography in the ancient world

 
Middle Ages and the Renaissance

 
Varenius

 
The philosopher, Immanuel Kant

 
The `classical' period

 
From cosmography to an institutionalized discipline

 
Darwinism

 
The social anarchists

 
Geomorphology and physiography provide academic respect

 
Environmental determinism and possibilism

 
The French school of regional geography

 
Landscapes and regions

 
Regional studies in Britain

 
 
Geography 1950S-1980S; 30 Years of Progress
Changing job market

 
The development of applied geography

 
A discipline ripe for change

 
The growth of 'spatial science'

 
Critics of the spatial science school

 
The achievements of spatial science

 
 
Paradigms and Revolutions
Kuhn's paradigms

 
Critics of Kuhn

 
Induction, deduction and abduction

 
Changing paradigms in geography?

 
An idiographic or nomothetic science?

 
Absolute and relative space

 
What kind of revolution?

 
A 'critical' revolution?

 
Rerolution or evolution?

 
 
Positivism and its Critics
Positivism and critical theory

 
The development of positivism

 
Principles in positivism

 
Criticisms of positivism

 
Dialectics, Hegel and Marx; breaking down binaries

 
Science as a force transforming society

 
Practical consequences for research

 
Geography and empiricism

 
The positivism of spatial science

 
Humanistic approaches

 
Behavioural and welfare geography

 
Structuralism

 
 
New Trends and Ideas Developed in the Last Decades
Structuration theory

 
Realism

 
Agency, structures and actor-network theory

 
Post-structuralism

 
Post-modernism

 
Gender and feminist geography

 
New tools in geographical research; satellite photos and GIS

 
To unite a vernacular and an academic definition of geography

 
Conclusions

 
 
References and Bibliography
 
Author and Personality Index
 
Glossary and Subject Index

It is recommended, because it provides an overview of the different concepts that form the basis of knowledge in geography.

Mr Ahmad Izzo
Institute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz
June 25, 2015

I like very much the questions that are at the end of every chapter. I use them in order to evaluate my students.

Professor Gustavo Rodríguez
Geography , Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero
July 17, 2014

This book is particularly useful for 1st year students who are transitioning from school/FE to HE. Whilst a textbook it has many points for discussion and so is also suitable for other teaching formats such as seminars.

Dr Karen Parkhill
Environment & Natural Resources, Bangor University
October 10, 2013

I feel that this book should be given to undergraduates in staggered doses throughout their degree programme. It is not a book that a student maybe able to comprehend and appreciate at one go. It offers valuable material for discussion in class, in which concepts in Geography may be introduced and elaborated.

Mr Ritienne Gauci
Department of Geography, University of Malta
April 9, 2013

Wonderful introduction of a somehow old fashioned way. Gains it strength from the fact that the author is not following recent trends. Very well written and thoughtful!

Dr Stefan Zimmermann
Geography, University of Osnabruck
October 12, 2012

Well written and covers the material I think is important for upper level undergraduate and masters students.

Dr JOdy Decker
Geography , Wilfrid Laurier University
July 20, 2010

immensely useful as an overview for any course in the history and development of geographical thought

Mr Richard Kotter
Dept of Geography, Northumbria University
February 18, 2010

Very good and comprehensive treatment of fundamental concepts that guide geographic research design.

Dr Paul Elsner
Dept of Geography, Birkbeck College
November 13, 2009

Offers an accessible reference complement to other texts used in the course, Geographic Thought. While Peet's Modern Geographic Thought remains a course reference text as does Hubbard's Key Thinkers on Space & Place, H-Jensen's text will be in many ways more approachable for students and will serve as an effective teaching text

Dr Jeremy Tasch
Geography Envir Planning Dept, Towson University
November 3, 2009

New to the Fourth Edition:

All chapters revised and updated

A detailed explanation of key ideas in human geography's post-modernist and post-structuralist 'turns'

Student questions added to the end of each chapter

Reorganisation of the text (in response to teacher comments) to make the historical development more clear throughout the book

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


Arild Holt-Jensen

Arild Holt-Jensen (born 1937) is professor emeritus at Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Norway. He has been teaching geography in Bergen since 1965 and is the author of a number of books and articles on history and concepts of geography, environmental, urban and regional planning as well as general textbooks for highschool geography. Rewarded in 2000 ‘Modeens Minnemedalj’ by the Finnish Geographical Society for achievements in geographical education. He has served as Department chair, member of University Senate, member of editorial board for GeoJournal, member of the Council in the Association of European Schools of Planning... More About Author

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