Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (7s): 11-20.doi: 10.11821/xb20047s003

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New Trends of Progress in Contemporary Human Geography

GU Chaolin, CHEN Lu   

  1. Department of Urban and Resources Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2004-03-09 Revised:2004-05-17 Online:2004-12-25 Published:2004-12-25


China's reforms as well as entering the WTO need human geographers to move forward to cope with challenges from globalization and develop new theories and approaches of human geography that accord with national condition of China as well as the international research mainstream. This paper discusses the subject nature of human geography from the analysis of its development and points out that human geography is a branch subject of geography that has always rooted in the physical geography and various thoughts from other sciences have brought new growth points to human geography. The basic theories of contemporary human geography refer to space, globalization, urbanization, population, migration, culture, landscape, development, geopolitics etc. Its main contents include the relation between globalization and regional differences, the relation between human and environment, the political and economic evolution of different-scale space and the social-cultural features of factors relating to nationality, race, gender, age, class and their effects on spatial development. This paper summarizes the main research contents of several human geography's branch subjects, including economic geography, urban geography, tourist geography, political geography, population geography, social geography, cultural geography, behavioral geography, regional geography and applied geography. Besides, some research approaches such as positivistic approach, empirical approach, behaviorist approach, pragmatist approach, postmodernist approach, poststructuralist approach, feminist approach etc, are also analyzed. Thus, from the aspects of research contents and approaches, new trends of progress in contemporary human geography are discussed.

Key words: human geography, geography, research contents and approaches