A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought
Theories, Philosophies, Methodologies
- Pauline Couper - York St John University, UK
This ism-busting text is an enormously accessible account of the key philosophical and theoretical ideas that have informed geographical research. It makes abstract ideas explicit and clearly connects it with real practices of geographical research and knowledge.
Written with flair and passion, A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought:
- Explains the key ideas: scientific realism, anti-realism and idealism / positivism / critical rationalism / Marxism and critical realism/ social constructionism and feminism / phenomenology and post-phenomenology / postmodernism and post-structuralism / complexity / moral philosophy.
- Uses examples that address both physical geography and human geography.
- Use a familiar and real-world example - ‘the beach’ - as an entry point to basic questions of philosophy, returning to this to illustrate and to explain the links between philosophy, theory, and methodology.
All chapters end with summaries and sources of further reading, a glossary explaining key terms, exercises with commentaries, and web resources of key articles from the journals Progress in Human Geography and Progress in Physical Geography. A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought is a completely accessible student A-Z of theory and practice for both human and physical geography.
Translating the philosophies of geography to an undergraduate audience is a task beyond many of us, but Pauline Couper succeeds superbly in A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought. Engaging and relevant, she never patronizes her audience nor trivializes the theories she discusses. A rare, genuinely student friendly text that preserves the complexity of its subject matter whilst allowing the student to engage with it on their own terms.
An accessible account of theories and philosophy in and of geography. I hope that every undergraduate studying geography reads this book. Those who do will be enriched.
I am impressed by this book. It does a good job in trying to make very difficult theories/philosophies accessible to undergraduate students and I really think that this is a very good addition to the textbooks that cover the topic of the History/Philosophy of Geography. There are some aspects that would be good to see covered in more detail in a Second Edition - i.e. the new regional geographies/locality studies work and the influence of structuration theory/geographers such as Doreen Massey in the 1980s. Copies have been ordered for the Maynooth University Library and this will be on the shortlist of four strongly recommended books for GY305
This book would provide a good overview to the student , however maybe pitched at a Level 7 rather than level 4.
A solid book with key information.
As the class was already ongoing when I recieved the copy, I highly recommended the book to the students. Personally, I think the book is a very great reading exercise for any student in human geography. I will from now on recommend the book in any of my related classes on bachelor and master level. I showed the boo to colleagues and got good feedbacks, too. Really interesting to read, great work!
I like very much the exercises suggested throughout the book, and the further readings.
A useful overview written in an open accessible way for undergraduate students.
Unsuitable for third year undergraduate business students seeking an understanding of the location, location concept while studying basic business research skills.
Sample Materials & Chapters
A Student's Introduction to Geographical Thought: Introduction
Chapter 6: Social Constructionism and Feminism