Concepts in geography: Geography and the social sciences and humanities

In most UK Schools, Geography is formally classed as a
Humanities’ Subject
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At University, it is more commonly perceived and classed as both a
Science and a Social Science subject
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Why is it worthwhile reflecting on how Geography is classed and understood?
Impacts on what is taught and researched Impacts on student choices and motivations Impacts on funding of the subject Impacts on wider public perceptions and understandings
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Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) “Social science is,
in its broadest sense, the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around them”
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Background of Geography and the Social Sciences
Post WW2 in the UK – The rise of Social Science through the 1950s, and 60s How can academic research and expert insight improve society? ‘There’s no such thing as society’ (M. Thatcher, 1987) ‘The good that Government can do’ (T. May, 2016)
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Two general tensions and points of debate to note in Social Sciences:
Structure and Agency: Is the society we live in governed chiefly by structural forces (poverty, racism etc), or is society better understood in terms of multiple individual beliefs and actions (agency) Should social scientists work for those in power
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Two main strands of Social Science work in Human Geography:
. Work seeking to design and deliver solutions to social and economic issues (spatial/scientific/planning)B. Work seeking to critique current social and economic systems and institutions, and highlight inequalities, injustices etc.
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Mapping
Danny Dorling
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Humanities:
are those academic disciplines that ...explore and reveal what it means to be human’ The study of human creativity, knowledge, beliefs, ideas, imagination and experience (Blunt, 2009: 66)
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in the past 30-odd years, at University-level, Geographers have focused much more upon art
literature, media, music – cultural geogaphy.
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TEXTS of all sorts are never
‘neutral
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HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY (archives),
but now much broader and more influential, through the ‘cultural turn’
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Leyshon’s
our lives are just so saturated with ‘creative representation’, that we would ignore a huge avenue through which we apprehend the world if we ignored the analysis of all these sorts of artistic practice.
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Hawkins (2012) notes
however, some more recent work within this area are going a step further, and actually using artistic practices as a means of trying to make critical interjections and interventions in the world…. This is ‘art’ being used to further critical geograph
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At University, it is more commonly perceived and classed as both a

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Science and a Social Science subject

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Why is it worthwhile reflecting on how Geography is classed and understood?

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Card 4

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Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) “Social science is,

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Background of Geography and the Social Sciences

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