Geographical InsightsHuman Geography

Definition of Human Geography

Human geography is a branch of geography primarily concerned with the interrelationship of human societies and their environment and with patterns of human activity that result from them, spatially and temporally.

Britannica can describe Human Geography as dealing with “the world as it is and with the world as it might be made to be” (Encyclopedia Britannica). It would be a grandiose way of putting the two-edged nature of the focus of the discipline, that which is descriptive and that which is prescriptive.

Core Topics in Human Geography

  • Cultural Geography: The study has to do with examining the cultural artifacts and norms of the people—in particular, their languages, religions, and arts—and their expressions and variations in space. It moderates the analysis of how culture influences and is influenced by the geographical environment.
  • Economic Geography: The study of the distribution of economic activities across countries, the production, distribution, and consumption within regions. It resorts to the analysis of industries, trade, and economic globalization.
  • Political Geography: This is the study of political processes regarding spatial dimensions of those systems, including the organization of governments, electoral geography, and geopolitical conflict. The geographic analysis of how political power is distributed and exercised through space.
  • Social Geography: In the sights of this nature of analysis, it becomes concerned with spatial elements within social phenomena related to population distribution, urbanization, and social inequalities. In analyzing it, it takes into account the way social relations and social structures are extended with a particular spatial configuration.
  • Urban Geography: deals with cities and zones of dense human settlement, the process of urbanization, and the spatial structure of city regions and their social-economic functions.

Human geography is said to be the discipline that integrates the linkage between physical and social science principles to grasp the complexities that underlie humans’ interaction with their environment. The discipline has developed from its conventional descriptive orientation to consider critical and quantitative orientations in reflection of the changing realities of human societies and environments.

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