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LEY, DAVID (1947–)

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

David Ley is a well-known humanistic geographer whose research has dealt with several topics, including symbolic landscapes, critiques of structural Marxism, gentrification, immigration, and urban neighborhoods.

After completing a bachelor's degree at Oxford University, Ley crossed the Atlantic Ocean by ship to begin graduate study in geography at the University of Pennsylvania with Peter Gould. Whereas Gould favored quantitative approaches to geographic analysis, Ley found himself leading others on a divergent path of qualitative research. On the forefront of humanist geography, geography that centers on human experience and interpretation, Ley's doctoral dissertation, The Black Inner City as Frontier Outpost: Images and Behaviour of a Philadelphia Neighbourhood, was published in 1974 by the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and became a “classic” in geography, celebrated in recollections ...

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