• 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

The Complexity of Explanation

We will begin this chapter by returning to one of the two geographers who featured in Chapter 1. According to Linda McDowell, the raison d'être of geography ‘is the explanation of difference and diversity’ (1995: 280). Not many would wish to argue with either part of this statement. Geography is concerned with difference and diversity, its own distinctiveness as a discipline resting on its enduring interest in the uneven development of both the social and the natural worlds. As an academic pursuit, it also seems indisputable that geography should be concerned with explaining these differences, as well as with charting and describing them. To this end it seems entirely reasonable that human geographers are involved in producing explanations for the geography ...

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