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Phenomenology

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

In the simplest terms, phenomenology is the study and description of human experience. As used by geographers, phenomenology gives attention to the environmental, spatial, and geographical aspects of human experiences, actions, situations, values, and meanings. For example, why are places important in human life, and can their essential lived qualities be identified? How do aspects of physical space—a pathway structure, for example—draw people together informally or keep them apart? In what ways do human beings encounter the natural world experientially, and can these various modes of encounter be described in their lived fullness? How do the qualities of individuals, groups, cultures, and environments contribute to the range and modes of geographical experience? These are the kinds of research questions that a geographer drawing on ...

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