ERIC Number: ED235082
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: N/A
Order and Skepticism: Human Geography and the Dialectic of Science. Resource Publications in Geography.
Szymanski, Richard; Agnew, John A.
It is argued that when a discipline, such as human geography, overemphasizes order and neglects skepticism and criticism, the products of research are likely to be erroneous, misleading, and self-fulfilling in nature. The first three chapters present the core of the argument. Chapter 1 establishes the case for an order-skepticism dialectic. Chapter 2 discusses why much recent research in human geography has emphasized order. Chapter 3 suggests some social and institutional barriers to skepticism and criticism. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 comprise three case studies of research in human geography that illustrate the ways in which order is emphasized, with unfortunate results. The case studies show how geographers have uncritically accepted the concepts of hexagonal market areas, S-shaped diffusion curves, and rank-size relationships among urban places. The concluding chapter provides some conclusions and preliminary suggestions for improving the place of skepticism within human geography. A bibliography is provided. (RM)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Geographic Concepts, Geography Instruction, Higher Education, Human Geography, Instructional Materials, Research Needs, Resource Materials, Social Influences, Social Science Research
Association of American Geographers, 1710 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20009 ($5.00; 10-99 copies, 10% discount).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Learner; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Students; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: Association of American Geographers, Washington, DC.