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Nomadism

  • By: Douglas L. Johnson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Nomadism describes a pattern of human behavior for which mobility is essential. Nomadism is defined as continuous wandering, usually in search of food or sustenance. The popular image of the hobo, a homeless male of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who jumped on and off freight trains while traveling the country looking for work probably comes as close to the basic definition as possible. A completely nomadic existence is almost never attained in reality. Nomadism seems more random in its spatial movement and organization to the outside observer than it is in reality to its practitioner. Most often, the term nomad is applied to animal herders, either as individuals or as groups, who move frequently and seasonally in search of support for the ...

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