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Mary McDonald

In: The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies

Chapter 6: Geography's Contributions to Japanese Studies

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Geography's Contributions to Japanese Studies
Geography’s Contributions to Japanese Studies
Mary McDonald

Human geography takes many approaches and methods, reflecting the twentieth-century arc of paradigms in the social sciences. Environmental determinism held sway in the early twentieth century, giving way to views of environments as products of human action, that is, as anthropogenic cultural products. Scientific positivism drove the ‘quantitative revolution', emphasizing numerical data and statistical methods. This stream survives in approaches to regional science through behavioralism, quantitative modeling, and econometric analysis of abstract ‘space'. Reactions against quantitative methods came from phenomenologists and humanists stressing ‘place', and seeking a grasp of the lifeworld through experience and consciousness. This raised questions of epistemologies of place rooted in culture, gender, and locality. Alternatively, structuralism and political economy illuminated underlying power relations, especially the roles of land and territory in regime legitimation, capital ...

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