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Early Approaches: Humanistic Geography What is humanistic geography ? What is humanistic geography ? Lines of development Lines of development »Rediscovery.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Approaches: Humanistic Geography What is humanistic geography ? What is humanistic geography ? Lines of development Lines of development »Rediscovery."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Approaches: Humanistic Geography What is humanistic geography ? What is humanistic geography ? Lines of development Lines of development »Rediscovery of humanistic geographers »The humanities »Humanistic philosophy The next steps...

2 What is humanistic geography? In 1970s geographers such as Tuan (1974, 1976)began to use phrases such as 'humanist geography ' and 'humanistic geography' In 1970s geographers such as Tuan (1974, 1976) began to use phrases such as 'humanist geography ' and 'humanistic geography' Terms connect to notions of: Terms connect to notions of: humanness' or 'humanity' - what constitutes being humanhumanness' or 'humanity' - what constitutes being human the 'humanities' - fields of inquiry into the conditions of humansthe 'humanities' - fields of inquiry into the conditions of humans and being 'humane' - caring for humansand being 'humane' - caring for humans Link to notions of humanism which emerged in the European Renaissance of the C14th-C16th Link to notions of humanism which emerged in the European Renaissance of the C14th-C16th People began to challenge existing modes of thoughtPeople began to challenge existing modes of thought Focus was on human reason and human freedomsFocus was on human reason and human freedoms Human thought and actions were seen to be able to make a differenceHuman thought and actions were seen to be able to make a difference Humanism valued peopleHumanism valued people

3 What is humanistic geography? An approach which: Aims to put "man... back together again with all the pieces in place, including a heart and even a soul, with feelings as well as thoughts, with some sense of secular and perhaps transcendental meaning" (Ley and Samuels, 1978) Distinguished by "the central and active role that it gives to human awareness and human agency, human consciousness and human creativity" (Gregory, 1994) Has as its "bottom line", "the objective of bringing human beings in all their complexity to centre-stage of human geography" (Cloke et al,1991)

4 What is humanistic geography? People placed at the centre in 2 ways: Ontologically Peopling human geography Questioned the 'curiously 'peopleless character of... 'human' geography' (Cloke et al., 1991, p. 58) 'landscapes are either deserted of people - think of all those geometric representations of settlements … that render them eerily still, silent and devoid of life - or are occupied by little armies of faceless, classless, sexless beings dutifully laying out Christaller's central place networks, doing exactly the right number of hours farmwork in each of Von Thunen's concentric rings, and basically obeying the great economic laws of minimising effort and cost in negotiating physical space' (Philo, 1992, p. 200)

5 What is humanistic geography? People placed at the centre in 2 ways: Ontologically Peopling human geography Questioned the 'curiously 'peopleless character of... 'human' geography' (Cloke et al., 1991, p. 58) Sought a more"credible model of humanity" (Ley, 1983)Sought a more"credible model of humanity" (Ley, 1983) -Humans had been 'objectified: ''whizzing about in space - travelling from place X to place Y; shopping at centre X rather than centre Y; selling produce at market X rather than in market Y - in a fashion little different from the 'behaviour' of stones on a slope, particles in a river or atoms in a gas' (Cloke et al., 1991, p. 69).

6 What is humanistic geography? People placed at the centre in 2 ways: Ontologically Peopling human geography Questioned the 'curiously 'peopleless character of... 'human' geography' (Cloke et al., 1991, p. 58) Sought a more"credible model of humanity" (Ley, 1983)Sought a more"credible model of humanity" (Ley, 1983) -Humans had been 'objectified: Are people different from stones/particles/atoms? l People have feelings, perceptions and values l People act with less regularity than 'objects' in the physical environment

7 What is humanistic geography? People placed at the centre in 2 ways: Epistemologically 'recognising the humanity of the geographer' (Cloke et al, 1991, p. 58) Often described as recognising 'subjectivity' "all of the complex a priori assumptions,values, hopes and fears researchers themselves cannot avoid stirring into the study of human situations" (Cloke et al, 1991, p. 58).

8 Three principal lines of development: Rediscovery of early and neglected humanistic geographers Rediscovery of early and neglected humanistic geographers (e.g. Vidal de la Blache) Movement towards the practices of non-scientific disciplines Movement towards the practices of non-scientific disciplines (e.g. history and art) Reading the writings of philosophers Reading the writings of philosophers (e.g. idealism, phenomenology, existentialism) What is humanistic geography ?

9 Rediscovery of early and neglected humanistic geographers "the beginning of a humanist perspective may be found in the rich tradition of French human geography following the example of Paul Vidal de la Blache" (Ley and Samuels, 1978, p. 10) La geographie humaine - human geography - call "to develop a a truly personal type of knowledge, one that allows for emotion as well as thinking, passion as well as reason, and one that leads to an understanding of the self as well as to an understanding of the world (Buttimer, 1978, p. 74)

10 Rediscovery of early and neglected humanistic geographers Wright (1925, 1947) study of geographical knowledge or lores - study of geographical knowledge or lores "the informal geography contained in non- scientific works - in books of travel, in magazines and newspapers, in many a page of fiction and poetry, and on many a canvas … [and] in the minds of countless ordinary folk" (Wright, 1947, p. 10)

11 Geography as a non-scientific discipline Wright (1947) 'the prevalent attitude towards aesthetic imagining in geography is one of distrust … [which] too often causes us to repress them' (p. 7) "legitimate and desirable uses of the imagination in geography' (p. 11) "All science should be scholarly, but not all scholarship can be rigorously scientific. Scholarship … embraces not only the natural sciences but also the humanities … professors should be scholars in the humanistic sense - men [sic] widely read in the classics of geography and also in general literature and in literary criticism and history" (p. 15)

12 Geography as a non-scientific discipline Read literature to learn how to write Read literature to learn how to write e.g. Meinig (1983) cf. Billinge (1983) Use literature and art as a source of information on sense of place Use literature and art as a source of information on sense of place (e.g. Pocock, 1978) n Adopt interpretative/'hermeneutic' perspective rather than an explanatory one

13 Humanistic philosophies Idealism: Idealism: 'an attempt to discover the thought that lies behind actions' (see Guelke, 1974, 1983) Phenomenology: Phenomenology: 'an attempt to discover how people feel, both consciously and unconsciously, about objects in the world' (see Cloke et al, 1991, p. 72) Existentialism: Existentialism: 'an attempt to discover the experiences people gain in the world' (see Cloke et al, 1991, p. 76)

14 Idealism Argued that understanding human actions required 'uncovering the thought that lies behind them' Argued that understanding human actions required 'uncovering the thought that lies behind them' Turned to the idealist historian R.G. Collingwood (1947) who argued that 'all history is the history of human thought' Turned to the idealist historian R.G. Collingwood (1947) who argued that 'all history is the history of human thought' (cf. Marx & Engels - 'history of all hitherto existing socities is the history of class struggle') Focus was on the 'recovery' of rationality and intentionality of human behaviour Focus was on the 'recovery' of rationality and intentionality of human behaviour Close parallels with behavioural geography Close parallels with behavioural geography Leading exponent in geography = Guelke Leading exponent in geography = Guelke

15 Phenomenology Humanistic geographers used term as outlined by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl Humanistic geographers used term as outlined by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl u Argued against the use of scientific methods to study of culture and society u Argued for the 'bracketing out' of preconceptions u Saw all objects as having an 'essence' formed by how people relate to these object u Recovery of 'essences' achieved by 'bracketing out' pre-conceptions

16 Phenomenology Geographers such as Tuan, Relph and Pickles suggested that scientific approaches obscure the 'true meanings' of geography Geographers such as Tuan, Relph and Pickles suggested that scientific approaches obscure the 'true meanings' of geography 'sense of wonder about the earth and its places' (Relph, 1985, p. 16). Academic geographers should reconnect their studies to their original sense of geography Academic geographers should reconnect their studies to their original sense of geography One route to do this is for geographers to explore peoples' sense of place

17 Phenomenology E.g. Yi-Fu Tuan on 'Topophilia' and 'Topophobia' Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': 'Humanistic geography has as one of its tasks, the study of geographical knowledge... Broadly conceived, knowledge of geography is necessary to biological survival. All animals must have it... Knowledge of geography in this sense is a animal instinct... In contrast, the geographical lore promoted within the culture of academic departments is highly conscious and specialised. Between these extremes lies a broad range of ideas regarding space, location, place and resource.... Although we may know much about the specialised geographical knowledge of academic geographers we fail to place it in the total spectrum of geographical awareness. This spectrum extends from the 'mental maps' of migrating birds to our own 'mental maps' as we drive in a state of trance, from implicit knowing to explicit knowledge..., from simple ideas on the structure of space to the intricately spatial hierarchies (Tuan, 1976, p. 268)

18 Phenomenology E.g. Yi-Fu Tuan on 'Topophilia' and 'Topophobia' Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': 'Humanistic geography has as one of its tasks, the study of geographical knowledge... Broadly conceived, knowledge of geography is necessary to biological survival. All animals must have it... Knowledge of geography in this sense is a animal instinct... In contrast, the geographical lore promoted within the culture of academic departments is highly conscious and specialised. Between these extremes lies a broad range of ideas regarding space, location, place and resource.... Although we may know much about the specialised geographical knowledge of academic geographers we fail to place it in the total spectrum of geographical awareness. This spectrum extends from the 'mental maps' of migrating birds to our own 'mental maps' as we drive in a state of trance, from implicit knowing to explicit knowledge..., from simple ideas on the structure of space to the intricately spatial hierarchies (Tuan, 1976, p. 268)

19 Phenomenology E.g. Yi-Fu Tuan on 'Topophilia' and 'Topophobia' Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': 'Humanistic geography has as one of its tasks, the study of geographical knowledge... Broadly conceived, knowledge of geography is necessary to biological survival. All animals must have it... Knowledge of geography in this sense is a animal instinct... In contrast, the geographical lore promoted within the culture of academic departments is highly conscious and specialised. Between these extremes lies a broad range of ideas regarding space, location, place and resource.... Although we may know much about the specialised geographical knowledge of academic geographers we fail to place it in the total spectrum of geographical awareness. This spectrum extends from the 'mental maps' of migrating birds to our own 'mental maps' as we drive in a state of trance, from implicit knowing to explicit knowledge..., from simple ideas on the structure of space to the intricately spatial hierarchies (Tuan, 1976, p. 268)

20 Phenomenology E.g. Yi-Fu Tuan on 'Topophilia' and 'Topophobia' Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': 'Humanistic geography has as one of its tasks, the study of geographical knowledge... Broadly conceived, knowledge of geography is necessary to biological survival. All animals must have it... Knowledge of geography in this sense is a animal instinct... In contrast, the geographical lore promoted within the culture of academic departments is highly conscious and specialised. Between these extremes lies a broad range of ideas regarding space, location, place and resource.... Although we may know much about the specialised geographical knowledge of academic geographers we fail to place it in the total spectrum of geographical awareness. This spectrum extends from the 'mental maps' of migrating birds to our own 'mental maps' as we drive in a state of trance, from implicit knowing to explicit knowledge..., from simple ideas on the structure of space to the intricately spatial hierarchies (Tuan, 1976, p. 268)

21 Phenomenology E.g. Yi-Fu Tuan on 'Topophilia' and 'Topophobia' Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': 'Humanistic geography has as one of its tasks, the study of geographical knowledge... Broadly conceived, knowledge of geography is necessary to biological survival. All animals must have it... Knowledge of geography in this sense is a animal instinct... In contrast, the geographical lore promoted within the culture of academic departments is highly conscious and specialised. Between these extremes lies a broad range of ideas regarding space, location, place and resource.... Although we may know much about the specialised geographical knowledge of academic geographers we fail to place it in the total spectrum of geographical awareness. This spectrum extends from the 'mental maps' of migrating birds to our own 'mental maps' as we drive in a state of trance, from implicit knowing to explicit knowledge..., from simple ideas on the structure of space to the intricately spatial hierarchies (Tuan, 1976, p. 268)

22 Phenomenology E.g. Yi-Fu Tuan on 'Topophilia' and 'Topophobia' Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': Rational summarised in his article entitled 'Humanistic geography': 'Humanistic geography has as one of its tasks, the study of geographical knowledge... Broadly conceived, knowledge of geography is necessary to biological survival. All animals must have it... Knowledge of geography in this sense is a animal instinct... In contrast, the geographical lore promoted within the culture of academic departments is highly conscious and specialised. Between these extremes lies a broad range of ideas regarding space, location, place and resource.... Although we may know much about the specialised geographical knowledge of academic geographers we fail to place it in the total spectrum of geographical awareness. This spectrum extends from the 'mental maps' of migrating birds to our own 'mental maps' as we drive in a state of trance, from implicit knowing to explicit knowledge..., from simple ideas on the structure of space to the intricately spatial hierarchies (Tuan, 1976, p. 268)

23 Phenomenology Series of studies of relations to place Series of studies of relations to place Tuan – topophobia and topophiliaTuan – topophobia and topophilia Relph – senses of dwellingRelph – senses of dwelling Other geographical objects Other geographical objects Space (Seamon, 1979, 1980, Tuan 1974)Space (Seamon, 1979, 1980, Tuan 1974) Nature (Tuan, 1971)Nature (Tuan, 1971) Often seen to focus on the individual, but … Often seen to focus on the individual, but … "tease out the 'transcendental' (universal, timeless, placeless) essences supposedly embodied in how all people experience space, place and environment". (Cloke et al, 1991, p. 81)

24 Existentialism Defined broadly as concerned with "the experiences people gain in the world' Defined broadly as concerned with "the experiences people gain in the world' Less romantic view of people's relationship with place Less romantic view of people's relationship with place Phenomenological view: feelings of 'dwelling', 'belonging' and 'insiderness' are 'authentic' human sense of place (Relph, 1976) Existential view: "the sine qua non of human existence is objectivity (i.e., detachment or estrangement), which is nothing other than the act of making things (the world) distant from one-self... [A]ll men are conditioned by distance and are - by definition - alienated... All men, insofar as they are human... are ontologically alienated. The differences among men (culturally and historically), in this regard, are a function of their success in overcoming, reinforcing or revolting against their alienation" (Samuels 1978, pp )

25 Existentialism Defined broadly as concerned with "the experiences people gain in the world' Defined broadly as concerned with "the experiences people gain in the world' Less romantic view of people's relationship with place Less romantic view of people's relationship with place Sceptical about possibility and desirability of 'bracketing out presuppositions Sceptical about possibility and desirability of 'bracketing out presuppositions Moved away from notion that there were universal geographical objects of as 'place' and space' Moved away from notion that there were universal geographical objects of as 'place' and space' "concern for the more 'everyday geographies' of the places in which we live and labour: for the houses, streets, factories, offices, schools, fields, parks, cinemas and so on where we spend most of our day, and about which we unavoidable develop a sense of place – a rudimentary understanding of how this place 'works' and a nagging feeling towards this place of liking, disliking, loving, hating, aceepting or rejecting" (Cloke et al, 1991, p. 81)

26 Next steps Lectures have provided you with starting points Lectures have provided you with starting points You will explore the approaches further in seminars and in coursework essays You will explore the approaches further in seminars and in coursework essays Group Power Point Presentations Group Power Point Presentations Introduction to PowerPoint – Bennett LG5


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