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Pilosophical and theoretical approaches to Geography

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Marxist geography. Non-representational theory. Non-representational theory is a theory developed in human geography, largely through the work of Nigel Thrift (Warwick University),[1][2] and his colleagues such as J.D.

Non-representational theory

Dewsbury (University of Bristol) and Derek McCormack (University of Oxford); and indeed, later, by their respective graduate students who have pushed non-representational thinking in various empirical registers. It challenges those using social theory and conducting geographical research to go beyond representation.[3] Thus, Dewsbury describes practices of "witnessing" that produce "knowledge without contemplation".[4] Jump up ^ Thrift, N. 2000. “Non-representational theory” in RJ Johnston, D Gregory, G Pratt and M Watts (eds) The Dictionary of Human Geography (Blackwell, Oxford)Jump up ^ Thrift, N. 2007.

Postcolonialism. Colonialism background[edit] In La Réforme intellectuelle et morale (1871), the Orientalist Joseph-Ernest Renan, advocated imperial stewardship for civilising the non–Western peoples of the world.


Post-structuralism. Post-structuralism is a label formulated by American academics to denote the heterogeneous works of a series of mid-20th-century French and continental philosophers and critical theorists who came to international prominence in the 1960s and '70s.[1][2][3] A major theme of post-structuralism is instability in the human sciences, due to the complexity of humans themselves and the impossibility of fully escaping structures in order that we might study them.


Post-structuralism is a response to structuralism. Structuralism is an intellectual movement developed in Europe from the early to mid-20th century. Theory[edit] Spatial analysis. Spatial analysis or spatial statistics includes any of the formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties.

Spatial analysis

Spatial analysis includes a variety of techniques, many still in their early development, using different analytic approaches and applied in fields as diverse as astronomy, with its studies of the placement of galaxies in the cosmos, to chip fabrication engineering, with its use of 'place and route' algorithms to build complex wiring structures. In a more restricted sense, spatial analysis is the techniques applied to structures at the human scale, most notably in the analysis of geographic data.

Complex issues arise in spatial analysis, many of which are neither clearly defined nor completely resolved, but form the basis for current research. Psychogeography. EvoL PsychogeogrAphix 2003 evoL PsychogeogrAphix 2004 evoL PsychogeogrAphix 2005 Psychogeography is an approach to geography that emphasizes playfulness and "drifting" around urban environments.


It has links to the Situationist International. Geography of food. The geography of food is a field of human geography.

Geography of food

It focuses on patterns of food production and consumption on the local to global scale. Tracing these complex patterns helps geographers understand the unequal relationships between developed and developing countries in relation to the innovation, production, transportation, retail and consumption of food. It is also a topic that is becoming increasingly charged in the public eye. The movement to reconnect the 'space' and 'place' in the food system is growing, spearheaded by the research of geographers. History[edit] Spatial variations in food production and consumption practices have been noted for thousands of years. Modern geographers initially focused on food as an economic activity, especially in terms of agricultural geography. Positivism. Positivism is the philosophy of science that information derived from logical and mathematical treatments and reports of sensory experience is the exclusive source of all authoritative knowledge,[1] and that there is valid knowledge (truth) only in this derived knowledge.[2] Verified data received from the senses are known as empirical evidence.[1] Positivism holds that society, like the physical world, operates according to general laws.


Introspective and intuitive knowledge is rejected, as is metaphysics and theology. Critical geography. Critical geography takes a critical theory (Frankfurt School) approach to the study and analysis of geography.

Critical geography

The development of critical geography can be seen as one of the four major turning points in the history of geography (the other three being environmental determinism, regional geography and quantitative revolution). Though post-positivist approaches remain important in geography the critical geography arose as a critique of positivism introduced by quantitative revolution. Two main schools of thought emerged from human geography and one existing school (behavioural geography) which made a brief comeback. Behavioural geography sought to counter the perceived tendency of quantitative geography to deal with humanity as a statistical phenomenon. See also[edit] Further reading[edit] Feminist geography. Feminist geography is an approach in human geography which applies the theories, methods and critiques of feminism to the study of the human environment, society and geographical space.[1] Areas of study[edit] The geography of women[edit] The geography of women focuses upon description of the effects of gender inequality.

Feminist geography

In terms of theoretical influences, it focuses on welfare geography and liberal feminism. Geographically, feminist geographers emphasize on constraints of distance and spatial separation. Socialist feminist geography[edit] Furthermore, there are two scales that socialist feminist geographers first worked primarily. Socialist feminist geographers widely attending to the ways that gender relations differ from place to place and not only reflect but also partly determine local economic changes.

Behavioral geography. Behavioral geography is an approach to human geography that examines human behavior using a disaggregate approach.

Behavioral geography

Behavioral geographers focus on the cognitive processes underlying spatial reasoning, decision making, and behavior.