Chapter 1. Human Geography Nature and Scope

Nature of Human Geography
• Human Geography is study of interrelationships between physical and sociocultural environments that humans generate via mutual interaction.
• Humans used resources offered by physical environment to develop elements such as villages, towns, road-rail networks, and all other elements of material culture. ‘Human geography is a study of evolving relationships between unresting man and unstable planet,’ says Ellen Semple.

Naturalisation of Humans and Humanisation of Nature
• With help of technology, humans interact with their physical surroundings. This shows how far forward a culture has progressed.
• Environmental determinism, called human naturalisation, is interaction of primitive societies with physical environment.
• Humans began to alter nature and build cultural landscapes with advancement of technology. Possibilism or humanization of nature, is term used to describe this process.
• Griffith Taylor proposed a medium road of neo determinism, implying that neither extreme necessity [environmental determinism] nor absolute freedom exists [possibilism].

History of Human Geography
• Human geography began through interactions, adaptations, adjustments, and modifications between humans and their surroundings.
• There was limited interaction between diverse communities prior to age of discovery, but information about undiscovered societies became available in late 15th century. Travellers’ explorations broadened scope of human geography and allowed them to contact people from many other cultures.
• New methods, such as welfare or humanistic school of thought, radical school of thought, and behavioural school of thought, emerged as a result of this.

Field and Sub-fields of Human Geography
• Human geography is an inter-disciplinary field that creates extensive connections with other social science areas.
• Human geography is divided into fields and subfields that explain every aspect of human life on planet’s surface.

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