• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Practising Human Geography is critical introduction to disciplinary debates about the practice of human geography, that is informed by an inquiry into how geographers actually do research. In examining those methods and practices that are integral to doing geography, the text presents a theoretically-informed reflection on the construction and interpretation of geographical data - including factual and "fictional" sources; the use of core research methodologies; and the interpretative role of the researcher. Framed by an historical overview how ideas of practising human geography have changed, the following three sections offer an comprehensive and integrated overview of research methodologies. Illustrated throughout, the te

Understanding
Understanding
Introduction

So far in this part of the book we have traced a path from the initial stages of interpretation (sifting and sorting), through the so-called ‘thin description’ of enumeration, to the analytical mode of interpretation known as explanation. To oversimplify somewhat, each of these procedures can be seen as steps in a broadly scientific enterprise. Although the parallel is not exact, ‘sifting and sorting’ brings to mind the categorizing activities of the naturalists of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries – the exercises in classification of a Linnaeus or a Darwin. Enumeration, with its emphasis on quantification, generalizable descriptions and statistical testing, sits squarely in the ‘geography as science’ corner. Similarly, explanation (whether of a positivist, critical rationalist, structuralist, Marxian or critical realist kind) usually ...

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