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Inequality and Geography

  • By: Alan Gilbert
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Human geographers became directly interested in the study of inequality when the focus of the discipline shifted to examining spatial differences using quantitative methods and exploring how different variables varied across space. Typically, such variations occurred across a country or city, although a few scholars were interested in variations across the globe. At first, the main focus was on how to map, measure, and explain variations, but gradually more normative approaches began to address welfare and justice issues. How did the differences among areas that were being observed affect human life, and insofar as they did, how could the negative aspects be remedied? When Marxism began to influence the discipline in the 1970s, interest in spatial variations was transformed into a stronger, more explicit ...

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