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Human Geography: A Concise Introduction



Human Geography: A Concise Introduction

Mark Boyle

ISBN: 978-1-118-45149-6 September 2014 Wiley-Blackwell 344 Pages

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Using the story of the “West and the world” as its backdrop, this book provides for beginning students a clear and concise introduction to Human Geography, including its key concepts, seminal thinkers and their theories, contemporary debates, and celebrated case studies.
  • Introduces and applies the basic concepts of human geography in clear, concise, and engaging prose
  • Explores the significance of the rise, reign, and faltering of the West from around the fifteenth century in the shaping of the key demographic, environmental, social, economic, political, and cultural processes active in the world today
  • Addresses important thinkers, debates, and theories in an accessible manner with a focus on discerning the inherent Western bias in human geographical ideas
  • Incorporates case studies that explore human geographies which are being made in both Western and non Western regions, including Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • Is written so as to be accessible to students and contains chapter learning objectives, checklists of key ideas, chapter essay questions, zoom in boxes, guidance for further reading and a book glossary.
  • Accompanied by a website at featuring, for students, tutorial exercises, bonus zoom in boxes, links to further learning resources and biographies of key thinkers, and for instructors, further essay questions, multiple choice exam questions, and ppt lecture slides for each chapter.

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List of Figures xiii

List of Plates xv

List of Maps xvi

List of Tables xvii

Acknowledgements xviii

Preface xxi

1 A Concise Introduction to Human Geography 1

Chapter Learning Objectives 1

Introduction 2

Becoming Conscious of Your Geographical Imagination 2

What is Human Geography? 4

The Rise, Reign, and Faltering of Western Civilization from the Fifteenth Century in the Making of the Modern World 6

How to Read This Book 12

Conclusion 15

Checklist of Key Ideas 16

Chapter Essay Questions 16

References 16

Guidance for Further Reading 17

2 Human Geography: A Brief History 19

Chapter Learning Objectives 19

Introduction 20

A Framework for Studying the History of Geography 20

Human Geography in the Premodern Era 22

Human Geography in the Modern Era 24

Early modern period 25

Modern period 26

Late modern period 29

Human Geography in the Postmodern Era 33

Postmodern Human Geography 33

Human Geography and Big Data 35

Conclusion 37

Checklist of Key Ideas 37

Chapter Essay Questions 38

References 39

Guidance for Further Reading 39

3 Watersheds in Human History: Humanity’s Triumph over Nature? 41

Chapter Learning Objectives 41

Introduction 42

First Watershed: The Origins of the Human Species 43

Second Watershed: First Migrations and the Peopling of the Planet 46

Third Watershed: The Development of Human Culture and Invention of Settled Agriculture 49

Fourth Watershed: The Rise and Fall of Civilizations 55

Great civilizations in world history 55

Why do civilizations rise and fall? 57

Environmental History and the Rise of the West from the Tenth Century bce 61

Conclusion 64

Checklist of Key Ideas 65

Chapter Essay Questions 66

References 66

Guidance for Further Reading 67

4 An Unequal but Changing World: Geographies of the World Capitalist Economy 68

Chapter Learning Objectives 69

Introduction 69

An Unequal but Changing World 70

The Old International Division of Labor (OIDL): Wallerstein’s World-Systems Analysis 72

Crises in the Core: The 1970s as a Turning Point in World History? 78

Two Responses to Crises in the Core 81

The New International Division of Labor (NIDL) 81

The post-Fordist economy 82

Three Emerging Economic Spaces: Consolidating the Core or Rebalancing in Favor of the Semi-periphery and Periphery? 84

World cities 84

High-technology clusters 87

The Tiger economies of Southeast Asia 88

The Future of the Ultra-periphery: The UNDP Millennium Development Goals 91

Conclusion 94

Checklist of Key Ideas 95

Chapter Essay Questions 95

References 96

Guidance for Further Reading 96

5 The Rise and Fall of Great Powers: Nation States, Empires, and Geopolitics 98

Chapter Learning Objectives 98

Introduction 99

The Political Geography of Rule 99

The ideas of the sovereign state, nations, and nation states 99

The demise of the nation state and rise of a new era of multilevel governance 103

Geopolitics and International Relations 107

The rise and fall of European empires 107

The European colonial (mis)adventure in Africa 113

The Cold War 118

The clash of civilizations? 124

Conclusion 129

Checklist of Key Ideas 129

Chapter Essay Questions 130

References 131

Guidance for Further Reading 131

6 The West in the Cultural Landscape: On Civilized Spaces and Unruly Places 133

Chapter Learning Objectives 133

Introduction 134

Culture in the Rise of the West 134

A brief introduction to Western culture 134

Ferguson’s “cultural” explanation for the rise of the West 136

Cultural Geography and the Study of Western Culture 139

New Cultural Geography and the myth that West is best 139

The West in the cultural landscape 142

Civilizing Missions and Culture Wars: Civilized Spaces and Unruly Places 142

Spaces of utopia and dystopia in the Western imagination 142

One-dimensional space: the West’s identikit worlds 148

The Western frontier and places beyond the pale 149

Conclusion 155

Checklist of Key Ideas 155

Chapter Essay Questions 156

References 156

Guidance for Further Reading 157

7 The Modern Rise in World Population from 1750 158

Chapter Learning Objectives 158

Introduction 159

Origins of the Demographic Transition Model 160

Stages in the Demographic Transition Model 162

Geography of Demographic Transitions 164

Demographic transitions in history 164

Demographic transitions yet to unfold 165

The Demographic Transition Model and Mortality Decline 168

Explaining mortality decline 168

Policies for improved global health 174

The Demographic Transition Model and Fertility Decline 175

Explaining fertility decline 175

Policies for lowering and increasing fertility levels 176

Demographic Transition: The Case of China from 1949 179

Conclusion 184

Checklist of Key Ideas 185

Chapter Essay Questions 185

References 186

Guidance for Further Reading 186

8 A Planet in Distress? Humanity’s War on the Earth 188

Chapter Learning Objectives 188

Introduction 189

Population Pessimists: The Earth’s Carrying Capacity, Overshoot, and Collapse 189

Population Optimists: Population, the Ultimate Resource 197

Population Neutralists: Political Ecology, Society, and Nature 198

Climate Change: The Battleground for the Twenty-First Century? 205

Conclusion 211

Checklist of Key Ideas 211

Chapter Essay Questions 212

References 212

Guidance for Further Reading 213

9 Homo Urbanus: Urbanization and Urban Form from 1800 215

Chapter Learning Objectives 216

Introduction 216

Capitalism and the Urbanization of the Surface of the Earth 217

Urbanization and Urban Form: The Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Industrial City 218

This rise of homo urbanus in Europe from 1800 218

Capitalism and the emergence of the industrial city 219

Modeling the form of the industrial city 220

Voices of Decline: the death of the industrial city? 222

Toward a New Era of Planetary Urbanization 225

Urbanization trends 1950–2050 226

Los Angeles: our postmetropolis future? 228

Megalopolis: the rise of urban galaxies? 230

Planet of slums: megacities in the Global South 232

The Chinese Experience of Urbanization 233

Conclusion 236

Checklist of Key Ideas 237

Chapter Essay Questions 237

References 238

Guidance for Further Reading 238

10 Global Migration: Moving, Settling, Staying Connected 240

Chapter Learning Objectives 240

Introduction 241

Great Diasporas in Human History 241

International Migration Today 244

Global South to Global South 247

Global South to Global North 247

Global North to Global North 250

Global North to Global South 250

Assimilating and Integrating into Host Societies 251

The Impacts of Migration on Sending States and Host Countries 258

Conclusion 262

Checklist of Key Ideas 263

Chapter Essay Questions 263

References 264

Guidance for Further Reading 264

11 At Risk: Society and Natural Hazards 266

Chapter Learning Objectives 266

Introduction 267

Gilbert White: Pioneering Human Geographical Interest in Natural Hazards 268

There is Nothing Natural about Natural Disasters: Risk = Exposure × Vulnerability (R = E × V) 270

Mapping the World at Risk 273

Toward a Safer Future: Resilience, Transition, and Transformation 276

Hazards and their impacts 1900–2011 276

The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005–2015 283

Conclusion 289

Checklist of Key Ideas 289

Chapter Essay Questions 290

References 290

Guidance for Further Reading 291

12 Toward a Postcolonial Human Geography 292

Chapter Learning Objectives 292

Introduction 293

Explanation in Human Geography: Four Stories of the West and the World 294

Toward a Postcolonial Human Geography 297

Conclusion 299

Checklist of Key Ideas 300

Chapter Essay Questions 300

References 300

Guidance for Further Reading 301

Glossary 302

List of Abbreviations 312

Index 314

“Overall, Boyle provides a concise and strongly organized book for the introductory university student. His many years of teaching and learning the subject are demonstrated in this book being accessible, engaging, and insightful. While it emphasizes the Western perspective (Boyle argues his rationale on p. xxiii), any teacher needing just such a concise foundational text would do well to consider this one.”  (The Canadian Geographer, Le Géographe canadien, 1 October 2015)