ERIC Number: ED244886
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
Negative Geography: Locating Things Elsewhere.
Stoddard, Robert H.
The phenomenon of negative geography--the assertion that any location is better than the one selected--is discussed and ways in which this approach differs from traditional geography methodology are analyzed. Case studies of two citizens' groups which protested the relocation of a city mission and halfway house in their neighborhoods illustrate the negative approach to geographic controversies. This thinking is analyzed and then compared to the usual geographic approach to solving locational issues: with negative geography, citizens who feel threatened by a proposed site for an undesirable facility tend to view more favorable locations in concentric circles further and further removed from their own location, whereas a trained geographer seeks the best or optimum site for a facility based on evaluation of pertinent variables such as proximity to transportation, amount of land available, or population density. Three implications of this negative geographical perspective for geography education are suggested: principles of human behavior cannot always be stated in terms of distance from primary nodes; negative geography provides opportunities to discuss how past inertia and poor decision making complicate geographic decision making in the present; and geography educators have a responsibility to increase understanding of societal issues and to decrease misinformation. Diagrams illustrate key concepts covered in the paper. (LP)
Descriptors: Community Attitudes, Community Problems, Community Relations, Geographic Concepts, Geographic Location, Geography Instruction, Group Homes, Higher Education, Human Geography, Local Issues, Negative Attitudes, Public Facilities, Rehabilitation Centers, Site Selection, Social Problems, Social Sciences
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Environmental Control
Note: Paper presented at the National Council for Geographic Education (Ocho Rios, Jamaica, October 26, 1983).