Human Geography Nature and Scope

Geography is the science that deals with the study of the earth and its lands, features, inhabitants and phenomena. Eratosthenes of Cyrene was the first person to use the word “Geography” in 276–194 BC. Geography can broadly be classified into two branches, which are physical geography and human geography.

Physical geography is the study of the physical environment which includes the landforms, soils, climate, water and diverse flora and fauna. Human geography on the other hand, is the study of the relationship between the natural and the human world, and the spatial distributions of the human phenomena, created by the human beings through mutual interactions.

In the history of geographical thoughts, there have been various approaches of study man-nature interaction. The first approach adopted by the geographers was Determinism. Environmental Determinism stresses on the dominance of environment over man. Environmental determinism is also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism. Possibilism in geography developed as a reaction to extreme generalisations of environmental determinism. Possibilism is based on the fact that man can modify the environment. The theory of neo-determinism was developed by Griffith Taylor, which is a mid way between the two theories of determinism and possibilism. It means that human beings can conquer nature by obeying it. Human geography encompasses human, political, cultural, social and economic aspects of social sciences. It is diverse and uses both, qualitative methods and quantitative methods, which includes case studies, survey research, statistical analysis and model building.

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