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Trusted for its timeliness and readability, this book introduces geography by emphasizing the relevance of geographic concepts to human problems. Two years after Rubenstein's Update Edition was created to encompass the events of September 11, 2001, this revision also begins the careful process of putting those events into perspective. Provides new "Global Forces and Local Impacts" boxes in each chapter that explore in depth an issue related to chapter material, focusing on particular regions of the world. Includes new material on medical geography, terrorism, mineral resources, sustainable development, conservation, and biodiversity. Presents new information on gender differences in development . Expands material on Ethnicity, relating ethnicity problems to political conflict; also incorporates material previously found elsewhere in the book, such as U.S. urban patterns and South Africa's history of apartheid. For anyone interested in learning more about world geography.
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This best-selling text follows a thematic approach that emphasizes where people and human activities are located, why they are located in particular locations, and what significance these observed arrangements represent. The text emphasizes a strong social science perspective while applying concepts from the physical sciences where needed. By combining descriptive and systematic approaches, the text provides students with a larger, more process-oriented view of such geo-social issues as political conflict, urbanization, migration patterns, and economic development. The underlying theme of the text has been subtley modernized, and many topics are now placed in "globalization vs. local diversity" format.From the Inside Flap:
What is geography? Geography is the study of where things are located on Earth's surface and the reasons for the location. The word geography, invented by the ancient Greek scholar Eratosthenes, is based on two Greek words. Geo means "Earth," and graphy means "to write." Geographers ask two simple questions: where and why. Where are people and activities located across Earth's surface? Why are they located in particular places? Geography as a Social Science
Recent world events lend a sense of urgency to geographic inquiry. Geography's spatial perspectives help to relate economic change in Africa, the Middle East, and other regions to the distributions of cultural features such as languages and religions, demographic patterns such as population growth and migration, and natural resources such as energy and food supply.
Does the world face an overpopulation crisis? Geographers study population problems by comparing the arrangements of human organizations and natural resources across Earth. Given these spatial distributions, geographers conclude that some locations may have more people than can be provided for, whereas other places may be underpopulated.
Similarly, geographers examine the prospects for an energy crisis by relating the distribution of energy sources and consumption. Geographers find that the users of energy are located in places with different social, economic, and political institutions than the producers of energy. Geographers seek first to describe the distribution of features such as the production and consumption of energy, and then to explain the relationships between these distributions and other human and physical phenomena.
The main purpose of this book is to introduce students to the study of geography as a social science by emphasizing the relevance of geographic concepts to human problems. It is intended for use in college-level introductory human or cultural geography courses. The book is written for students who have not previously taken a college-level geography course and have had little, if any, geography in high school. Divisions within Geography
Because geography is a broad subject, some specialization is inevitable. At the same time, one of geography's strengths is its diversity of approach. Rather than being forced to adhere rigorously to established disciplinary laws, geographers can combine a variety of methods and approaches. This tradition stimulates innovative thinking, although students who are looking for a series of ironclad laws to memorize may be disappointed.
Human vs. Physical Geography. Geography is both a physical and a social science. When geography concentrates on the distribution of physical features, such as climate, soil, and vegetation, it is a natural science. When it studies cultural features, such as language, industry, and cities, geography is a social science. This division is reflected in some colleges, where physical geography courses may carry natural science credit and human and cultural geography courses social science credit.
While this book is concerned with geography from a social science perspective, one of the distinctive features of geography is its use of natural science concepts to help understand human behavior. The distinction between physical and human geography reflects differences in emphasis, not an absolute separation.
Topical vs. Regional Approach. Geographers face a choice between a topical and a regional approach. The topical approach, which is used in this book, starts by identifying a set of important cultural issues to be studied, such as population growth, political disputes, and economic restructuring. Geographers using the topical approach examine the location of different aspects of the topic, the reasons for the observed pattern, and the significance of the distribution.
The alternative approach is regional. Regional geographers start by selecting a portion of Earth and studying the environment, people, and activities within the area. The regional geography approach is used in courses on Europe, Africa, Asia, and other areas of the world. Although this book is organized by topics, geography students should be aware of the location of places in the world. A separate index section lists the book's maps by location. One indispensable aid in the study of regions is an atlas, which can also be used to find unfamiliar places that may pop up in the news. Partly for this reason, the publisher has chosen to offer an atlas to accompany this textbook at no additional cost to the student.
Descriptive vs. Systematic Method. Whether using a topical or a regional approach, geographers can select either a descriptive or a systematic method. Again, the distinction is one of emphasis, not an absolute separation. The descriptive method emphasizes the collection of a variety of details about a particular location. This method has been used primarily by regional geographers to illustrate the uniqueness of a particular location on Earth's surface. The systematic method emphasizes the identification of several basic theories or techniques developed by geographers to explain the distribution of activities.
This book uses both the descriptive and systematic methods because total dependence on either approach is unsatisfactory. An entirely descriptive book would contain a large collection of individual examples not organized into a unified structure. A completely systematic approach suffers because some of the theories and techniques are so abstract that they lack meaning for the student. Geographers who depend only on the systematic approach may have difficulty explaining important contemporary issues. Features
This book is sensitive to the study needs of students. Each chapter is clearly structured to help students understand the material and effectively review from the book. Outline
The book discusses the following main topics:
What basic concepts do geographers use? Chapter 1 provides an introduction to ways that geographers think about the world. Geographers employ several concepts to describe the distribution of people and activities across Earth, to explain reasons underlying the observed distribution, and to understand the significance of the arrangements.
Where are people located in the world? Chapters 2 and 3 examine the distribution and growth of the world's population, as well as the movement of people from one place to another. Why do some places on Earth contain large numbers of people or attract newcomers while other places are sparsely inhabited?
How are different cultural groups distributed? Chapters 4 through 8 analyze the distribution of different cultural traits and beliefs and the problems that result from those spatial patterns. Important cultural traits discussed in Chapter 4 include food, clothing, shelter, and leisure activities. Chapters 5 through 7 examine three main elements of cultural identity: language, religion, and ethnicity. Chapter 8 looks at political problems that arise from cultural diversity. Geographers look for similarities and differences in the cultural features at different places, the reasons for their distribution, and the importance of these differences for world peace.
How do people earn a living in different parts of the world? Human survival depends on acquiring an adequate food supply. One of the most significant distinctions in the world is whether people produce their food directly from the land or buy it with money earned by performing other types of work. Chapters 9 through 12 look at the three main ways of earning a living: agriculture, manufacturing, and services. Chapter 13 discusses cities, the centers for economic as well as cultural activities.
What issues result from using Earth's resources? The final chapter is devoted to a study of three issues related to the use of Earth's natural resources: energy, pollution, and food supply. Geographers recognize that cultural problems result from the depletion, destruction, and inefficient use of the world's natural resources. Chapter Organization
To help the student use the material in this book, each chapter is organized with these study aids:
Case Study. Each chapter opens with a case study that illustrates some of the key concepts presented in the text. The case studies are generally drawn from news events or from daily experiences familiar to residents of North America.
Key Issues. Each chapter contains a set of three, four, or five key issues around which the chapter material is organized. These questions reappear as major headings within the chapter. Other than in Chapter 1, all questions include one of the two key geographic concerns: where or why.
Key Terms. The key terms in each chapter are indicated in bold type when they are introduced. These terms are also listed at the end of the chapter and defined at the end of the book.
Contemporary Geographic Tools. Each chapter has a one- or two-page box that explores in depth an issue related to the subject of the chapter. The boxes show how geographic tools, such as
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Book Description Prufrock Press Inc, 2005. Hardcover. Condition: New. Mint!!. Seller Inventory # mon0000051328
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