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1HA3 Review.docx

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McMaster University
Jeff Landry

Introduction Geography Geo = world Graphie = to write Geographer Write about the world Physical geography Concerned with the physical world Ex) climates and landforms Human geography Concerned with the human world (a landscape) Ex) agricultural activities and settlement patterns  “What is where, why there, and why care?” Three areas of study Relations between humans and land Regionalization Spatial analysis Landscape 1) Is what is there as a result of human modifications of physical geography ex) crops, buildings, lines of communication, and other visible, material features 2) Has significant symbolic content (meaning) ex) church, statue Interpret Landscapes As the outcome of particular relationships between humans and land Regions  When you divide large areas into smaller areas that exhibit a degree of unity that share one or more feature in common it is a region.  To regionalize is to classify on the basis of one or more variables. Spatial Analysis  Used to answer the question of why things are the way they are through - theory construction - models - hypothesis testing using quantitative methods  Primary goal is to explain such locational regularities  Secondary goal is often that identifying alternative locational patterns that might be more efficient or more equitable Two Types of Spatial Organization: 1) The creation of regions 2)The identification of distinct patterns of location Globalization A complex set of processes with economic, political and cultural dimensions Humans and Land The human world, a landscape is continuously changing because of human actions within institutional and physical frameworks Regional studies Describing the earth and diving the whole into parts – regions – in which one or more variables exhibit some uniformity Spatial analysis Explaining the locations of geographic phenomena using abstract arguments and quantitative procedures Chapter 1: Preclassical Geography  Earliest geographic descriptions were maps  World’s first civilization emerged in Mesopotamia (now southern Iraq) sometime after 4000 BCE st Classical Geography  Greeks were the 1 civilization to become geographically mobile to establish colonies  Greek scholars established 2 major geographic traditions 1) Literary, involving written descriptions of the known world. Herodotus is best known as the first great historian, but was also an accomplished geographer. Eratosthenes, considered the father of geography. 2) Mathematical, Thales (one of its originators) took a scientific view of the world. - Hipparchus devised a grid system of imaginary lines on the surface of the earth based on the poles and the equator – latitude and longitude. He also developed how to map the curved surface of the earth on a flat surface. Latitude  Calculated by observing the angle of the sun’s shadow using an early version of a sundial Longitude  Requires estimation because there was no way to measure the time precisely, especially at sea. Cosmology Refers to the universe, heavens and earth Chorography Refers to places smaller than the earth, such as countries Topography Refers to local areas within countries Teleology The general assumption was that God had designed the earth for humans Environmental The view that human activities are controlled by the physical Determinism environment Landschaftskunde A German term, introduced in the late 19 century best translated as ‘landscape science’ ; refers to geography as the study of the landscapes of particular regions Landscape School American school of geography initiated by Carl Sauer in the 1920s and stull influential today; an alternative to environmental determinism, focusing on human-made (cultural) landscapes Areal differentiation From Harthshorne, a synonym for ‘regional geography Possibilisim The view that the environment does not determine either human history of present conditions; rather, humans pursue a course of action that they select from among a number of possibilities Contemporary Geography 1) An increasing separation of the physical and human components of geography 2) A revitalized landscaped approach 3) A revitalized regional geography 4) An ongoing interest in spatial analysis 5) Recognition of the need for a global perspective 6) An increasing concern with applied matters 7) An increased emphasis on technical content Chapter 2: Possibilism Implies that the physical environment does not determine human matters, but simply offers various possibilities Determinism Is a philosophical concept postulating that all events, including human actions, are predetermined Free will Postulates that humans are able to act in accordance with their will Environmental A specific version of the larger concept of determinism, while determinism Possibilism is a specific variant of the larger concept of free will Empiricism A philosophy of science based on the belief that all knowledge results from the experience and therefore, gives priority to factual observations over theoretical statements Positivism A philosophy that contends that science if able to deal only with empirical questions (those with factual content), that scientific observations are repeatable, and that science progresses through the construction of theories and derivations of laws Scientific method The various steps taken in a science to obtain knowledge; a phrase most commonly associated with a positivist philosophy Theory In positivist philosophy an interconnected set of statements, often called assumptions or axioms, that deductively generates testable hypotheses Hypothesis In positivist philosophy, a general statement deduced from theory but not yet verified Law In positivist philosophy, a hypothesis that has been proven correct and is taken to be universally true; once formulated, laws can be used to construct theories Humanism A philosophy centered on such aspects of human life as value, quality, meaning, significance, and spirituality Pragmatism A humanistic philosophy that focuses on the construction of meaning through the practical activities of humans Phenomenology A humanistic philosophy based on the ways in which humans experience everyday life and imbue activities with meaning Verstehen A research method associated primarily with phenomenology, in which the researcher adopts the perspective of the individual or group under investigation; a German term, best translated as ‘empathetic understanding’ Existentialism A philosophy that sees humans as responsible for making their own natures; stresses personal freedom, decision-making, and commitment in a world without absolute values outside of individuals’ personal preferences Idealism A humanistic philosophy according to which human actions can be understood only by reference to the thought behind them Marxism The body of social and political theory developed by Karl Marx, in which mode of production is the key to understanding society and class struggle is the key to historical change Capitalism A social and economic system for the production of goods and services based on private enterprise Historical materialism An approach associated with Marxism that explains social change by reference to historical changes in social and material relations Forces of production The raw materials, tools, and workers that actually produce goods Relations of production The ways in which the production process is organized, specifically the relationships of ownership and control. Mode of production The organized social relation through which a human society organizes productive activity Infrastructure (base) The economic structure of a society, especially as it gives rise to political, legal, and social systems Superstructure The political, legal, and social systems of a society Idiographic Concerned with the unique and particular Nomothetic Concerned with the universal and the general Space Areal extent; a term used in both absolute (objective) and relative (perceptual) forms Absolute Space Is objective, it exists in the areal relations among phenomena on the earth’s surface. This conception of space is at the heart of map- making, chorology, and spatial analysis, and it is central to the ideas of Kant, who saw the geographer as ordering phenomena in space. Relative Space Is perceptual, it is socially produced and, therefore, unlike absolute space, is subject to continuous change. Spatial Separatism A phrase critical of spatial analysis for treating space or distance as (Spatial Fetishism) a cause without reference to humans Location A term that refers to a specific part of the earth’s surface; an area where something is situated Site The location of a geographic face with reference to the immediate local environment Situation The location of a geographic fact with reference to the broad spatial system of which it is a part Place Location; in human-istic geography, ‘place’ has acquired a particular meaning as a context for human action that is rich in human significance and meaning Sense of Place The deep attachments that humans have specific locations such as home and also to particularly distinctive locations Sacred Space A landscape particularly esteemed by an individual or a group, usually (but not necessarily) for religious reasons Placelessness Homogeneous and standardized landscapes that lack local variety Topophilia The affective ties that humans have with particular places; literally, love of place Topophobia The feelings of dislike, anxiety, fear, or suffering associated with a particular landscape Regionalization A special kind of classification in which locations on the earth’s surface are assigned to various regions, which must be contiguous spatial units Formal region A region identified as such because of the presence of some particular characteristic(s) Functional Region A region that comprises a series of linked locations Vernacular Region A region identified on the basis of the perceptions held by people inside and outside the region Distance The spatial dimension of separation; a fundamental concept in spatial analysis Distribution The pattern of geographic facts (ex people) within an area Distance decay The declining intensity of any pattern or process with increasing distance from a given location Friction of distance A measure of the restraining effect of distance on human movement Accessibility A variable quality of a location, expressing the ease with which it may be reached from other locations Interaction The relationship or linkage between locations Agglomeration The spatial grouping of humans or human activities to minimize the distances between them Deglomeration The spatial separation of humans or human activities so as the maximize the distance between them Scale The resolution levels used in any human geographic research; most characteristically refers to the size of the area studied, but also to the time period covered and the number of people investigated Diffusion The spread of any phenomenon over space and its growth through time Perception The process by which humans acquire information about physical and social environments Development A term that should be handled with caution because it has often been used in an ethnocentric fashion; typically understood to refer to a process of becoming larger, more mature, and better organized; often measured by economic criteria Translation A large organization that operations in two or more countries Globalization A complex combination of economic, political, and cultural changes that have long been evident but that have accelerated markedly since about 1980, bringing about a seemingly ever-increases and connectedness of both people and places Cartography The conception, production, dissemination, and study of maps Maps Communicating spatial data Large-scale Maps Portray small areas in considerable detail Small-scale Maps Portray large areas with little detail Contours Lines of equal elevation Choropleth map A thematic map using color (or shading) to indicate density of a particular phenomenon in a given area Isopleth Map A map using lines to connect locations of equal data value Projection Any procedure employed to represent position of all or a part of the earth’s spherical (3-D) surface onto a flat (2-D) surface Geographic Information A computer-based tool that combines the storage, display, System (GIS) analysis, and mapping of spatially referenced data Vector A method used in GIS to represent spatial data; describes the data as a collection of points, lines, and areas, and describes the location of each of these Raster A method used in GIS to represent spatial data; divides the area into numerous small cells and pixels, and describes the content of each cell Remote Sensing A variety of techniques used for acquiring and recording data from points that are not in contact with the phenomena of interst Remote Sensing Allows for the collection of entirely new sets of data. Valuable in aiding understanding of human use of the earth. Less useful if concerned with economical political processes. Data collected through remote sensing Qualitative Methods A set of tools used to collect and analyze data in order to subjectively understand the phenomena being studied; the methods include passive observation, participation, and active intervention Ethnography The study and description of social groups based on researcher involvement and first-hand observation in the field; a qualitative rather and quantitative approach Fieldwork A means of data collection; includes both qualitative (ex. observation) and quantitative (ex. Questionnaire) methods Participant observation A qualitative method which the researcher is directly involved with the subjects in question Ethnocentrism A form of prejudice or stereotyping that presumes that one’s own culture is normal and natural and that all other cultures are inferior Questionnaire
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