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Research Methods in Geography: A Critical Introduction

Basil Gomez (Editor), John Paul Jones, III (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-0710-5
480 pages
May 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Research Methods in Geography: A Critical Introduction (1405107103) cover image


This comprehensive textbook offers a conceptual and practical introduction to research methodology, data collection, and techniques used in both human and physical geography.
  • Explores a full range of contemporary geographic techniques, including statistics, mathematical analysis, GIS, and remote sensing
  • Unique in both content and organization, it brings together a team of internationally recognized specialists to create a balanced approach between physical geography, human geography, and research techniques
  • Includes a series of foundational chapters offering multiple perspectives on the central questions in research methods
  • Examines the conceptual frameworks and practical issues behind data acquisition and analysis, and how to interpret results
  • Includes explanations of key terminology and exercises throughout
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Table of Contents

List of Figures.

List of Tables.

List of Boxes.

List of Exercises.

Notes on Contributors.


1 Introduction (John Paul Jones III and Basil Gomez).

Part I Theory and Methodology.

2 Theorizing Our World (Ian Graham Ronald Shaw, Deborah P. Dixon, and John Paul Jones III).

3 Observing Our World (Bruce L. Rhoads and David Wilson).

4 Measurement and Interpretation (Sent Visser and John Paul Jones III).

5 Operational Decisions (Andrew Herod and Kathleen C. Parker).

6 Sampling Our World (Ryan R. Jensen and J. Matthew Shumway).

Part II Collecting Data.

7 Physical Landscapes (Michael J. Crozier, Ulrike Hardenbicker, and Basil Gomez).

8 Climates (Julie A. Winkler).

9 Vegetation (Thomas W. Gillespie and Glen M. MacDonald).

10 Remote Sensing (Douglas A. Stow).

11 Secondary Data (Kevin St Martin and Marianna Pavlovskaya).

12 Social Surveys, Interviews, and Focus Groups (Anna J. Secor).

13 Ethnography and Participant Observation (Debbie Allsop, Hannah Allen, Helen Clare, Ian Cook, Hayley Raxter, Christina Upton, and Alice Williams).

14 Cultural Landscapes (Richard H. Schein).

15 Human-Environment Field Study (Paul F. Robbins).

Part III Representing and Analyzing.

16 Maps and Diagrams (Stephen P. Hanna).

17 Descriptive Statistics (Sent Visser and John Paul Jones III).

18 Explanatory Statistics (Sent Visser and John Paul Jones III).

19 Mathematical Analysis (Sandra Lach Arlinghaus).

20 Regional Analysis (Gordon F. Mulligan).

21 Modeling (Yvonne Martin and Stefania Bertazzon).

22 Geographic Information Systems (Michael F. Goodchild).

23 Analyzing Meaning (Deborah P. Dixon).

Part IV Obligations.

24 The Politics and Ethics of Research (David M. Smith).

25 Writing It Up (Dydia DeLyser).



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Author Information

Basil Gomez is an Editor-in-Chief of the online journal Geography Compass. He has published widely across a number of journals.

John Paul Jones III is Professor of Geography and Director of the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona in Tucson. He was the co-founder and co-director of the Committee on Social Theory at the University of Kentucky, where he taught from 1986 to 2003. He is co-editor of the journal Dialogues in Human Geography.

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"Encompassing both the new-and-trendy and the tried-and-true, this comprehensive 'travel guide' across the discipline's vast and diverse intellectual terrain is remarkable for its breadth, depth, and scope."
Jonathan D. Phillips, University of Kentucky

"This vibrant and engaging collection takes students through the research process from conceptual foundations to writing, making this book an ideal guide for those undertaking their first research project."
Joanne P. Sharp, University of Glasgow

"This excellent text, giving both a synoptic and detailed treatment of the subject, and written by some of the most respected geographers in the field, will be extremely useful for all flavors of methods courses in geography. It will also be a valuable reference for students and faculty alike, whether in the human geography, physical geography, or geographic information science realm."
Dawn Wright, Oregon State University

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