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Geography 1400F/G
Godwin Arku

Introduction to Human Geography Lecture 1 What is Geography?  From Greek words – geo (“earth”) and graphei (“to write”)  Evidently Geography means “Description of the Earth  Hence “geography” is often referred to as the Spatial Science o Study of spatial variation (of how…and why?) physical and cultural items differ across the earth o How observable spatial patterns evolved through time  Basic concerns of geography o Spatial patterns – description (what?) o Spatial processes – explanation (why?) o Spatial meaning – interpretation (so what?)  Key geographic principle: “Things everywhere are not the same” What is Human Geography?  Human geography studies the distribution of humans and their activities on the surface of the earth and the processes that generate these distributions  “What is where, why there, and why care” Focus on…  People  Places  Landscapes ‘People’? What are human beings?  Dynamic – we change  Information processors – we take in information and process it  Decision makers – we make decisions on key issues  Preference makers – we have preferences on certain things  Adapters  Creative/destructive force  Part of the environment  In general…people are “active agents shaping the environment” ‘Places’? What is a place?  Physical site – materials located in space (i.e. “material space”)  Sense of place – immaterial meanings attributed to physical sits (i.e. “immaterial” or “mental space”)  “Sense of place” is created through: o Direct personal experience and observation o Secondary sources (ex: media, talk, etc.) o Intrinsic characteristics of the site itself (ex: Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, etc.) Why Places Matter? Places matter because they…  Are the setting for our daily lives  Carry meaning and so influence our lives  Allow us to express ourselves  Help to form personal and group identities  Express political, economic, or religious ideas ‘Landscape’? What is a landscape?  Scape – representation or view of  Land – “environment: that which sustains and surrounds us  Human landscape – arrangement in physical space of human-made artifacts and act
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