Understanding Cultural Geography : Places and traces book cover
2nd Edition

Understanding Cultural Geography
Places and traces

ISBN 9780415734509
Published March 24, 2015 by Routledge
334 Pages 253 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces offers a comprehensive introduction to perhaps the most exciting and challenging area of human geography. By focusing on the notion of ‘place’ as a key means through which culture and identity is grounded, the book showcases the broad range of theories, methods and practices used within the discipline. This book not only introduces the reader to the rich and complex history of cultural geography, but also the key terms on which the discipline is built. From these insights, the book approaches place as an ‘ongoing composition of traces’, highlighting the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the world around us.

The second edition has been fully revised and updated to incorporate recent literature and up-to-date case studies. It also adopts a new seven section structure, and benefits from the addition of two new chapters: Place and Mobility, and Place and Language. Through its broad coverage of issues such as age, race, scale, nature, capitalism, and the body, the book provides valuable perspectives into the cultural relationships between people and place. Anderson gives critical insights into these important issues, helping us to understand and engage with the various places that make up our lives.

Understanding Cultural Geography is an ideal text for students being introduced to the discipline through either undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses. The book outlines how the theoretical ideas, empirical foci and methodological techniques of cultural geography illuminate and make sense of the places we inhabit and contribute to. This is a timely update on a highly successful text that incorporates a vast foundation of knowledge; an invaluable book for lecturers and students.

Table of Contents

Section One: Introducing Cultural Geography 1. Introduction. Section Two. Cultural Geography then and now: the History of the Discipline 2.The History of Cultural Geography. 3. Branching out: Twenty-first century Developments in the Family Tree of Cultural Geography Section Three: Place & Power 4. Knowing (your) Place. 5. Taking and Making Place: the Stuff of Power. 6. Senses of Place: Scales and Beliefs. Section Four: Money, Movement and the More-than-Human. 7. Place and Capitalism: Global, Corporate, and Anti- Capitalisms. 8. Place and Mobility 9. Place and Nature Section Five:  Culture and Identity 10. The Place of Race and Ethnicity 11. Place and Youth 12. Place and Language.13. Place and the Body Section Six:  Doing Cultural Geography 14. Doing Cultural Geography in Practice Section Seven: Conclusions. 15. A Cultural Geography Approach to Place.


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Jon Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography in the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff University, UK. His research interests focus on the relations between identity, culture, and place, in particular the actions, practices and politics that such relations produce.


"Jon Anderson has produced one of the best guides to navigating the thrilling, wayward and sometimes contradictory world of cultural geography. The second edition is thoroughly updated and adds new material on emerging debates within the discipline. Written in a highly accessible style this volume is the essential companion for students of cultural geography."

Dr Phil Jones, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Geography, University of Birmingham, UK

Cultural geography is one of the most lively and ever-changing of academic fields, adapting itself to a dynamic world. By centering the notion of ‘place’ in his account of this field Anderson is able to provide a coherent but flexible core to this exciting approach to what it is to be human in the twenty-first century world. This book is up-to-date, engaging and authoritative, studded with jewel-like illustrations of the complexities and contradictions of what it is like to inhabit this sometimes wonderful but often conflict-ridden planet. Students and teachers alike will love it!

Professor Tim Cresswell, Northeastern University, USA

Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces both introduces students to the sub-discipline in general and argues for its distinctive focus on place. This second edition is enhanced by a much clearer thematic structure, as well as two new chapters on mobility and language. The vibrancy of contemporary Cultural Geography fizzes through its pages. Read, learn, enjoy.

Professor Philip Crang, Royal Holloway University of London, UK