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Spatial Turn

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

In the late 20th century, human geography underwent a profound conceptual and methodological renaissance that transformed it into one of the most dynamic, innovative, and influential of the social sciences. The discipline, which had long suffered from a negative popular reputation as a trivial, purely empirical field with little analytical substance, moved from being an importer of ideas from other fields to an exporter, and geographers are increasingly being read by scholars in the humanities and other social sciences. As a result of the rebirth in scholarship in geography, other disciplines have increasingly come to regard space as an important dimension of their own areas of inquiry, in what is widely called the spatial turn. Denis Cosgrove (1999), for example, argues that

a widely acknowledged “spatial ...

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