GY1009 Human geography
Human Geography is designed to develop student understanding of important theories and debates within contemporary geography. It begins with a consideration of the major paradigm shifts that have occurred since the subject became a serious university discipline. Focus will be on the main ideas or movements that have formed and the principal methods that have been deployed. The evolving geographical view of the world will form a specific theme. It continues with an attempt to review the basic social, cultural, economic and political postulates that underpin contemporary geographical inquiry and to understand these from a global to a local perspective.
The first theme is a treatment of Geographical Views of World Economies where the economics of global production and trade, including an understanding of the forces influencing the location of economic activities, are considered alongside different structures of world polity. The second theme examines fundamental debates around Resources, Population and Sustainability; important issues here are those of population growth and migration, resource depletion, environmental despoliation and the meaning of sustainability. The third focus is an urban one of the Geography of Cities. Here models of urban growth and decline are considered together with issues of cultural difference and social justice in both developed and developing world urban contexts. The last component is specifically about theorising processes of development and globalisation in North-South Interactions. Additionally global commodity chains, global consumerism, cultural imperialism, as well as travel and tourism, form important topics.
Section 1: Human Geography as a Discipline
The History of Geographical Ideas: Travel writing and exploration, discussion of the development of key sub-disciplines in geography from regional geography, behavioural and humanist approaches, radical geography, locality and 'place', new economic geography, postmodernism and new cultural geography.
The History of Geographical Methods: Quantitative methods, qualitative methods, synthetic approaches, data sources.
Different Views of the World: How 'maps' are used in the presentation of geographical knowledge; examples from, Mackinder's Pivot of History, Apollo space photographs, the London Underground.
Section 2: Geographical Views of World Economies
Different Structures of the World Economy: Global capital - financial circulation, offshore banking, debt. Global labour - international division of labour, export processing zones, feminisation of labour. Global trade - Free Trade Areas, World Trade Organization.
Different Structures of World Polity: Nation state - definition, rise and decline.
The Cold War - development, authoritarianism, democracy. Post-Cold War - New World Order, rogue states, humanitarianism.
Location of Economic Activity: Legacy of classical location theory. Global shifts in economic activity. Economic policies for market intervention.
Section 3: Resources, Population and Sustainability
Resources and Sustainability: Nature of resources. Resource depletion debates. Pollution and economic development.
Population and Sustainability: Population profiles; ageing and youth societies. Population trap and resource depletion. Sustainable growth, Rio Summit, Brown versus Green agendas.
Population Movements: Theories of rural-urban and international migration.
Examples of population mobility and Diaspora. Introduction to issues of assimilation and integration.
Section 4: The Geography of Cities
Models of urban growth, organisation and change: Anti-urbanism and Chicago School, morphology and urban systems, planning and management, new towns, suburbs and edge cities. Inner city decline and gentrification.
An Urbanizing World: Mega-cities in the South, urban poverty, squatter settlements, contemporary images
Global Cities: Definitions of Global and World cities, 'new' or just New York? Inequality, segregation and enclaves.
Section 5: North-South Interactions
Development: Cold War and Bretton Woods, modernisation and achievements, democracy, non-aligned movement post-development.
Commodity Chain: How commodities move from production in the South to consumption in the North (use examples of coffee, bananas, 'exotics').
Global Consumerism and Cultural Imperialism; Relationship between consumerism and development, dangers of cultural imperialism, hybridity, critique of the cultural dupe.
Travel and Tourism: Explain how tourists see the South differently as enclaves, colonial heritage, sex tourism, opportunities for tourism development.