It can be argued that the differences in content and approach between physical and human geography, and also within its sub-disciplines, are often overemphasised. The result is that geography is often seen as a diverse and dynamic subject, but also as a disorganised and fragmenting one, without a focus.
Unifying Geography focuses on the plural and competing versions of unity that characterise the discipline, which give it cohesion and differentiate it from related fields of knowledge. Each of the chapters is co-authored by both a leading physical and a human geographer. Themes identified include those of the traditional core as well as new and developing topics that are based on subject matter, concepts, methodology, theory, techniques and applications.
Through its identification of unifying themes, the book will provide students with a meaningful framework through which to understand the nature of the geographical discipline. Unifying Geography will give the discipline renewed strength and direction, thus improving its status both within and outside geography.
Table of Contents
Part 1: General Introduction 1. Geography: Roots and continuities Part 2: Geographical Methodologies Introduction 2. Exploration, Discovery and the Cartographic Tradition 3. Fieldwork and Unity in Geography 4. The Potential of Remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems Part 3: A Focus on Environment Introduction 5. Environmentalism and Geography: The great debate? 6. Beyond Environmentalism: Towards sustainability 7. Human Vulnerability, Past Climatic Variability and Societal Change Part 4: The Significance of Place Introduction 8. Regions, Area Studies and the Meaning of Place 9. Globalisation: A spatial perspective Part 5: Landscape: The face of Geography Introduction 10. Landscape as Form, Process and Meaning 11. Landscape and Culture Part 6: Applied Geography: Contributing to real-world problem solving Introduction 12. Natural Hazards on an Unquiet Earth 13. Urbanisation, Development and the Environment in an Unequal World 14. Conservation, Preservation and Heritage Part 7: Broader Frameworks in Theory and Practice Introduction 15. Space, Time and Science: Towards a geographical philosophy 16. Geography and Public Policy: A political turn Part 8: General Conclusion 17. Unity in Geography: Prospects for the Discipline
John A. Matthews is Professor of Physical Geography and David T. Herbert is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Wales, Swansea.