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Human Geography

Human Geography focuses on the spatial dimensions of human activities. Its emphasis is on the relations among people, space, place, and scale. Human geography studies how people interact over space; what kinds of landscapes people create on the land they occupy; the different and contested meanings people attach to places; and the economic, cultural, political, and ecological implications of social processes that play out at local, regional, national, and global scales.

This is an exciting time to study human geography. The ways in which human societies create and transform their social and physical environments is a pressing concern. There is globalization, global terrorism, and heightened geopolitical competition between countries, along with rapid internal political, economic and social restructuring within countries. Within cities, wealth and poverty reside cheek-by-jowl. Racial and ethnic minorities along with women, children and the elderly are increasingly exploited or disempowered. Many of our neighborhoods are no longer safe and the household is an increasingly marginalized economic unit. What we know as "nature" is rapidly disappearing with urban and ex-urban encroachment. Places we like to visit are becoming commodified into Disney-like simulations. Yet, as different people become materially and symbolically connected to places in their cities and communities, they often organize and actively struggle to redefine them, re-claim them, and transform them.

Human geographers are concerned with all these and many other related issues. Human geography involves such studies as urban geography, cultural geography, regional analysis, social theory, demography, social networks, political geography, human use of plants, and just about any other aspect of human activity that is spatially distributed across the world. It relies heavily on both quantitative and qualitative methods. Many human geographers are area specialists as well, which means that they focus their attention on a specific region, such as Latin America, Europe, or Asia.


Human Geography Research

The statements found on this page/site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up to date and accurate, official information can be found in the university publications.