Talk:Social geography

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Redirect to human geography[edit]

This was a poorly written stub. Social geography is hardly definable as a sub-set of human geography anyway (What is human geography if not social geography??). I've redirected to human geography, and will remove it from the template - unless anyone can come up with a compelling argumant to keep it as a sub-discipline and write a comelling article for it... --Cooper-42 (talk) 17:13, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you on most of the aspects you raised, but the redirect to the article on human geography is a non-satisfying solution to me. It cannot be argued that the term "social geography" doesn't exist, or has never been used, at least in labeling a certain perspective on human geography. Deriving from France, it has a long tradition in continental Europe. It's no coincidence that the name of the Dutch Tijdschrift voor Economische Geographie was expanend by the additional en Sociale Geografie in 1948. The post-war German geography also was pretty much dominated by social geography, although lacking a sophisticated theoretical framework. The Anglo-American geography of that time was much more aware of the need for such a framework, yet generally didn't emphasize the underlying social processes very much. That's why the so-called "social geography" of the 1960s rather was a sub-branch of urban geography, concentrating on settlement patterns. It wasn't until the 1970s that "social geography" and "human geography" became more or less synonymous (a perspective Austrian geographer Hans Bobek had postulated decades before). Yet still, there was little influence from sociology, with human geographers concentrating either on economic and political classes and their power, or on individual perceptions. "Cultural geography", which especially since the 1980s has been regarded as synonymous to social geography, has in fact traditionally focused rather on cultural artifacts than social processes. Thus, a human geography that covered the whole picture of society, including feminist, queer and (post-)colonial geographies, and questioned the man/nature dichotomy, was established even later.
So, while it may seem odd nowadays to emphasize the importance of the social, there has been a long tradition of a quite a-social human geography. As I adumbrated above, that does not necessarily mean that there has ever been a sub-discipline called "social geography", yet I'm sure that a compelling article both about the history of the term, and human geography's relation to the social in general, can be written. For instance, the arguably most prominent living human geographer from the German speaking world, Benno Werlen, has written extensively on this subject, and his textbook "Sozialgeographie" already is in its third edition. From my (continental European) point of view, an encyclopedia of more than 3.2 million articles lacking an article about social geography is quite an embarrassment. --Axolotl Nr.733 (talk) 15:08, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

I agree, certainly. The stub that was here had no details on the history of the disipline though, and read like a poorly summarised definition of contemporary HG, hence the redirect. And I'm in no real position to lay out the history of the term, so I'm pleased there's someone who can. By all means, I'd welcome this written up as a stub. I'd also suggest you may want to look at linking this into History of geography which is largely lacking in details of the 20th century --Cooper-42 (talk) 15:31, 23 March 2010 (UTC)