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Locality

  • By: Andrew E. G. Jonas
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Although human geographers sometimes disagree over the specific meaning of concepts such as place, space, region, and territory, few would question the centrality of such concepts to the discipline. Not so with the concept of locality, which is commonly taken to mean a distinct place or location in which events occur. This concept gained a certain currency in the 1980s and early 1990s but very quickly became embroiled in a wider debate about theory and methods in human geography. Concerns were expressed by some radical geographers that the study of locality equated with empiricism: It seemed to signal a retreat from geographic theories grounded in Karl Marx's historical materialism. Although proponents of the locality concept vigorously countered such criticisms, they could not fully dispel the ...

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