Someone recently bought our

students are currently browsing our notes.


Methods And Concepts Notes

Geography Notes > Geography Notes

This is an extract of our Methods And Concepts document, which we sell as part of our Geography Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Exeter students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Geography Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

Methods and Concepts Space: Geography in the Social World
? Space as a concept
- as container
- as exemplar
- as produced
- as active

* Space now seen as central element of social science
? Space as a container

* In extreme led to environmental determinism

* Very racial ideas, perhaps from Darwinism

* Used to justify racism

* Space you lived in determined who you were/capabilities and social standing e.g. lottery of location

* Problematic way of thinking obviously; racism, social hierarchy etc Critiqued
- Still desire to compartmentalise and describe/draw boundaries
- Pre 1960s regional geography
- Space to be investigated, mapped and classified - very quantitative approach
? Space as Exemplar

* From regional geography to spatial

* Area description replaced with causes and laws

* Positivist quantitative techniques

* Understand how the world works

* Identify spatial order to explain and predict human patterns of behaviour

* Social differences understood in terms of spatial separation
? Space as Produced

* Marxist perspective key (David Harvey)

* Produced by different sets of underlying power relations

* Idea of core/ mainstream and peripheral/ marginal spaces

* World Systems Theory ? poor people aren't poor because of where they live, it's other mechanisms/power relations at a much wider scale
? Space as Active

* Not objective structure containing social relations

* It is not a backdrop that merely frames everyday life

* It is active in the constitution and reproduction of identities

* Space and society are mutually constituted
? Spatially

* The social production of space

* Space is not a reflection of society, it is society

* By studying space we can learn a great deal about society

? Spatial-Social Dialect

* People modify space

* Space modifies people

* The implication is that space is not merely a reflection of society it is an active part of society

* Social-spatial dialectic Example of how similar type of space might underpin very different sets of social relations:
? Consumption of leisure: Pub and Night Club = both for same thing but have very different expectations...
? Space as a thing

* Recognition of 'space as active' has legitimised geographical research at a range of spatial scales

* Moving well beyond regional and local studies...
? Spatial Scales Body, Home, Institutions, Street, City, Rural, Nation etc

* The Body
- Feminist research
- Ideas portrayed in media
- Spaces of consumption
- Spaces of acceptability of our bodies
- Spaces which are comfortable

* Community
- Neighbourhoods/minority/reactionary communities... people drawing their own boundaries
- Insider/outsider divisions in community: who is involved and who excluded

* Institutional Spaces
- School/work/prison/police/law/religion
- Learning environments
- How workplaces regulate
- Detention of asylum seekers
- Social exclusion

* The Street
- Day time V night time street
- Use of street at times of day
- Inclusion and exclusion
- Public space - how public is it? E.g. M. Davis City of Quartz

* Rural Spaces
- Real rural idyll
- Ingrid Pollard- radicalised body in Lake District
- Social inclusion and exclusion
? Space as an influence on our lives

* Affects our lives



Relationship between social exclusion and spatial exclusion Space can marginalise those already at the bottom of society whilst re-affirming the power of those at the top of society

? Red Lining

* When estate agents, insurers, etc. discriminate against certain areas

* This serves to further marginalise these areas and the people living within them

* We get a negative spiral of social and spatial exclusion

* Areas become labelled and stereotypes form
? Geography, Space and Jurassic Park

* 95 mile coastal UNESCO World Heritage Site, chartered in 2001

* Documents 180 million years of geological history spanning the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods

* Harvey
- Scales co-exist simultaneously
- Heritage and landscape = constantly 'becoming'
- Idea of conserving is oxymoronic ? its eroding
? As an active space
- Creative/lived/conflicted
- The coast and society co-produce one another
- Boundaries signal shift in space
- Its evolving

* Creative
- Inspiration drawn from the environment
- Art displayed and performed on the coast
- Mutually transformed

* Lived in
- Living in the cliff above
- Holiday makers
- Use of and interaction with space

* Conflicted
- What happens when the open space becomes bounded
- Art, science, policy underline opposition between public and private Summary





Discuss how the concept of 'space' has evolved over time Critically evaluate different approaches to 'space' Discuss the impact of space on our lives Use the notion of 'space as active' to think of life as a series of interrelated spatial processes.

Space: Mapping the Physical World Key Questions about Space

* The prominence of space as a geographical concept

* The downgrading of space

* Spatial concepts within sub-disciplines of physical geography


The revival of space - remote sensing techniques and other improvements in mapping

? Defining Space

* The space in-between two points

* Importance within Geography
- The core of Geography
- A controversial issue - a key question for the discipline
- Space 'neglected'
? The Historical Importance of Space

* The need to understand and define distance

* Early map-knowledge of space = power

* Accurate navigation

* Exploration
? Space since the 1960s

* Unification followed by division

* Human Geography developed 'space' much further

* Space has a very low profile in Physical Geography (Massey, 1999)

* Few Physical Geographers has entered this arena (Rhodes and Thorne, 1996)
? The 'downgrading' of space

1.) Human-environment relationships

* Interaction and impact

* Growth of environmental science and the buzz-word 'environment'

2.) Patterns and Process

* Disinterest in 'pattern' - devaluing of the spatial dimension of geographical study

* Process - Explanatory in nature

* Process based research has increased with the neglect of pattern

3.) The importance of time

* Emphasis on environmental change

* The expansion of dating methods

* Processes responsible
? Space - different sub-disciplines

* How is space characterised?

* Different approach to mapping

* Concerned with different scales - each has defined spatial units of its own

* Spatial units = nested within each other across a range of scales

* Examples from geomorphology, biogeography, pedology, hydrology and meteorology
? Space in geomorphology

* Features in the landscape

* Pitts 1983
- Space and time - interpretation of landforms and histories


Landslide mapping shows spatial distributions and complexity of the slope forms and processes

? Landscape Ecology

* Mapping species composition

* Individual species distributions

* The evolution of landscape ecology -mapping spatial pattern of species
? Vegetation succession- Linking space and time

* Different areas of space are used to represent different stages in time

* Discrete spatial units highlight different stages of vegetation succession
? The drainage basin - a spatial unit: Defining space in hydrology

* The drainage basin, catchment or watershed

* This approach has been used to analyse hydrological processes - the catchment concept

* An element of comparability

* The ability to understand a spatial unit - land -use management strategy Example: Monmouth catchment and spatial recognising of flood plain = defence systems etc
? Space in meteorology

* Working with a dynamic space

* Spatial dimensions of air masses and frontal systems

* Atmospheric processes are very complex - wide range of spatial and temporal scales

* The characterisation of space remains difficult
? The 'rebirth' of space: Climate modelling

* Increased computing power

* An ability to process very large amounts of data

* Increased spatial resolution

* Increased number of variables - understanding the relationships between space and time

* Technological innovation - remote sensing and GIS
- Improvements in remote sensing - resolution, sensor type

* Geographical Information Systems
- Select detail by area of theme
- Analyse spatial characteristics of data
- Search for features or characteristics in an area
- Map outputs Summary






Over the past three decades, spatial concepts have been neglected by physical geographers Spatial concepts have remained poorly defined in some areas Focus on time and process at the expense of space Some spatial units are fundamental to physical geography Due to technological innovation, space is undergoing a rebirth in physical geography

Place: Attachment and Belonging in a Bounded and Interconnected World

* The place of place in geography

* Three approaches to the study of place

* Place, cyberspace and the 'new' flat earth
? The place of place in geography

* Region, locality, place "...geographers may be trying to put boundaries that do not exist around areas that do not matter"
- Kimble

* Qualitative social science and humanities
- What about the things we can't quantify e.g. love for place

* Marxist geography - places are interconnected and interdependent
? Why is place important?
Nick Entrikin: 3 reasons why LOCAL is important 1 "Empirical significance of place"
- Everywhere is not the same
- Economic, social, cultural differences
- Life changes still affected by lottery of location 2 "Normative significance of place"
- Valued variations
- People cherish and highlight uniqueness's
- Local places have significance 3 "Epistemological significance of place"
- Local understandings
- Geographers produce local knowledge's
? Three approaches to the study of place (John Agnew)

1.) Place as location: where activities are placed

2.) Place as locale: where activities take place

3.) A sense of place: feelings people have about places, including the role of places in their individual and group identity
? Place as a location

* Mosaic - patchwork of local people and places, boundaries

* Nodes/System - place's difference due to location within systems of wider world

* Network - connections between places

* How can places be unique?
? Place as a Locale

* Relationships between places

* Power

* Globalisation

* Stuart Hall
- English cup of tea example

* Jurassic Coast example


Relationships between places: Links through limestone e.g. St Pauls Power: Livelihoods, sense of place, home Globalisation: 'World' heritage, UNESCO, local practices - global processes
? Sense of place
- Comfort
- Memories
- Places which shape our identity
- Different senses of the same place

* Subjective interpretation of place

* Place and identity - identity place-based but not place-bound
- Tyrrell, M. (2006) From placelessness to place: an ethnographer's experience of growing to know places at sea
- How the space of the sea became a place of memory and association
- For the Inuit's, the sense of place was formed through experience

* One place - multiple attachments and multiple identities
- Skaptadottir (2008) Labour migrants negotiating places and engagements
- Poles in Iceland 'not like home'
- Negative sense of place in their opinion

* Doreen Massey 'We need to look not for roots of identity but routes'
? Place, globalisation and the new 'flat' earth

* Cyberspace

* Has IT 'annihilated space'?

* De Blij The Power of Place
- Flatness is becoming an assumption
- People are seeing an increasingly homogenised and borderless world
- The baggage of place can only be transported partially Place: Understanding Physical Environments

* An appreciation of the historical importance of place within physical geography

* An understanding of the different ways in which physical geographers characterise place

* An ability to discuss the benefits of an integrated approach to the study of place, relative to characterisation of individual units

* An ability to discuss the relationship between place and recent developments within geography

* Stoddart- Human and Physical can't be separated as 'place' combines them both
? Definition

* Aspect of space - A particular position, point, or area in space; a location

* Possesses physical environmental characteristics
- Perceptions
- E.g. Egypt = pyramids
- We see place in cultural aspects before physical

* Perception of place and its physical characteristics is constructed by images from many areas of life

Buy the full version of these notes or essay plans and more in our Geography Notes.