Geography, History and Social Sciences

Geography, History and Social Sciences

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Georges Benko "Societies are much messier than our theories of them" Michael Mann The Sources of Social Power 1 Towards a unified social theory Why are there communication problems between the different disciplines of the social sciences? And why should there be so much misunderstanding? Most probably because the encounter of several disciplines is in fact the encounter of several different histories, and therefore of several different cultures, each interpreting the other according to the code dictated by its own culture. Inevitably geographers view other disciplines through their own cultural filter, and even a benevolent view remains 'ethnocentric'. It was in order to avoid such ethnocentricity that Femand Braudel called for more unity among the social sciences in 1958 : "l wish the social sciences . . . would stop discussing their respective differences so much . . . and instead look for common ground . . . on which to reach their first agreement. Personally I would call these ways : quantification, spatial awareness and 'longue duree'". In its place at the center of the social sciences, geography reduces all social reality to its spatial dimensions. Unfortunately, as a discipline, it considers itself all too often to be in a world of its own. There is a need in France for a figure like Vidal de la Blanche who could refocus attention away from issues of time and space, towards space and social reality. Geographic research will only take a step forward once it learns to address the problems facing all the sciences.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 589.68g
  • Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • English
  • 1995 ed.
  • VI, 270 p.
  • 0792325435
  • 9780792325437

Table of contents

Part I: Introduction. 1. Geography, history and social sciences: an introduction; G.B. Benko. Part II: Spatial Thinking in History. 2. Lefebvre, Lacan and the production of space; D. Gregory. 3. World time and world space, or just hegemonic time and space? M. Santos. 4. The language of space; M. Foucault. 5. Geography before geography: Pre-Hellenistic meteors and climates; J.-F. Staszak. 6. Geographical systems and the order of reality; M. Hampl. Part III: Cities and Landscapes in Time. 7. Landscapes as overlapping neighbourhoods; T. Hagerstrand. 8. The urban and the rural: an historical-geographic overview; C.M. Weaver. 9. Space and creativity. `Belle Epoque' Paris: genesis of a world-class artistic centre; P. Claval. 10. From Weimar to Nuremberg: social legitimacy as a spatial process in Germany, 1923-1938; U. Strohmayer. Part IV: Economics. 11. Contemporary acceleration: world-time and world-space; M. Santos. 12. Structural change, theories of regulation and regional development; M.F. Dunford, D. Perrons. 13. Theory of regulation and territory: an historical view; G.B. Benko. Part V: Politics. 14. Territoriality and the state; R.J. Johnston. 15. The spatial and the political: Close encounters; J. Levy. 16. Space and communication: a brief analytical look at the concept of space in the social theory; J. Lazar. Part IV: Conclusion. 17. Conclusion: the spatialization of thesocial sciences; U. Strohmayer. List of figures. Contributors. Index.
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