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I.B Human geography

Human geography is study of people and places. The field of human geography focuses on  places, organization of space and society by human, interaction with each other in places and across space, and to make sense of others and ourselves in our localities, regions, and the world. Human geography is the study of the spatial and material characteristics of the human made places and people found on Earth’s surface.

Advances in communication and transportation technologies are making places and people more inter connected. Economic globalization and the rapid diffusion of elements of popular culture, such as fashion and architecture, are making many people and places look more alike. The world consists of nearly 200 countries, a diversity of religions, thousands of languages, and a wide variety of settlement types, ranging from small villages to enormous global cities. All of these attributes come together in differ ent ways around the globe to create a world of endlessly diverse places and people. Understanding and explaining this diversity is the mission of human geography.

Places all over the world are fundamentally affected by the “globalization” of many phenomena. Globalization is a set of processes that are increasing interactions, deepening relationships, and accel erating interdependence across national borders. It is also a set of outcomes that are felt from these global processes, outcomes that are unevenly distributed and differently manifested across the world.

Globalization focus on the pull between the global, seen as a blanket covering the world, and the local, seen as a continuation of the traditional despite the blanket of globalization. Geographers employ the concept of “scale” to understand individual, local,
regional, national, and global interrelationships. The happenings at global scale affects the local, it also affects the individual, regional, and national, and similarly the processes at these scales influence the global.

Globalizing processes occur at the world scale; these processes bypass country borders and include global financial markets and global environmental change.
The processes of globalization do not magically appear at the global scale: factors at other scales (individual, local, regional, national) helps create the processes of globlization and shape the global and local cultures.

Geographers Ron Johnston, Peter Taylor, and Michael Watts explain, “Whatever your opinion may be, any intellectual engagement with social change in the twenty first century has to address this concept seriously, and assess its capacity to explain the world

No place on Earth is untouched by people. As people explore, travel, migrate, interact, play, live, and work, they make places. People organize themselves into communities, nations, and broader societal networks, establishing political, economic, religious, linguistic, and cultural systems that enable them to function in space. People adapt to, alter, manipulate, and cope with their physical geographic environment. No environment stands apart from human action. Each place we see is affected by and created by people, and each place reflects the culture of the people in that place over time.

Geographers study human phenomena such as language, religion, and identity, as well as physical phenomena such as landforms, climate, and environmental change. Geographers also examine the interactions between humans and environment. Human geography is the study of the spatial and material characteristics of the human made places and people found on Earth’s surface; physical geography asks similar questions about the natural environment. Human and physical geographers adopt a similar perspective but focus on different phenomena. Both human and physical geographers bring to their studies: a spatial perspective.

Human geography has contained five main divisions. The first four—economic, social, cultural, and political—reflect both the main areas of contemporary life and the social science disciplines with which geographers interact i.e, economics, sociology,  anthropology, and political science and international relations, respectively; the fifth is historical geography.

Economic geography includes spatial analysis of the geography of agriculture, industrial geography, and the geography of services. It deliberates on transport costs, labour and other costs, the changing global pattern of activity, the profitability and locational decision-making processes, the regulatory regimes of individual states (including policies designed to attract and retain investment), and their impact on the pattern of economic activity.

Political geography concerns with the state and its territory—with states’ external relations and the relationships between governments and citizens. The geography of conflict incorporates both local conflicts, over such matters as land use and environmental issues, and international conflicts, including the growth of nationalism and the creation of new states. Electoral geography is a small subfield, concerned with voting patterns and the translation of votes into legislative seats through the deployment of territorially defined electoral districts.

Social geography concentrates on divisions within society, initially class, ethnicity, and, to a lesser extent, religion; however, more recently others have been added, such as gender, sexual orientation, and age, detailed studies of the role of place and space in social behaviour. Population geography is largely concerned with the three main demographic characteristics of fertility, mortality, and migration. Medical geography focuses on patterns of disease and death—of how diseases spread, for example, and how variations in morbidity and mortality rates reflect local environments—and on geographies of health care provision.

Cultural geography discusses interrelationships among people and societies as well as between people and their environments, the study of cultural change and its spatial analysis. Cultures are sets of beliefs transmitted in various ways. Urban geography is locational analysis of urban spaces and its culture. Cities are major globalization nodes, economic power being centralized in a small number of world cities. Rural geography is spatial studies of  poverty, homelessness, social exclusion, and access to public facilities, the society-nature relationships.

Historical geography employs locational analysis based on available data for geographical perspective on history.

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