Acta Geographica Sinica

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Chinese Human Geography in Transition

GU Chaolin   

  1. School of Architecture, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2009-03-18 Revised:2009-09-04 Online:2009-10-16 Published:2009-10-29


Chinese human geography, as a branch of geography, has played an important role in the service of development for the country since the reform and opening up, at the same time, the process of national development has flourished the disciplines of human geography. However, much discussion has taken place on the status of human geography, in particular the debates have been long focused on human geography research methodology. In the context of globalization, the world needs to understand China, and China needs to enter the world system, thus in this process human geography will become even more important than ever. This paper explores the development process of human geography, and highlights the role that human geography has played as a major part of geography. On the one hand, economic, social and political changes in China have promoted the development of human geography, and on the other hand, Chinese human geography can make its due contributions to the development of the country with the enhancement of China's international economic status. Besides, human geography has its own law of development and research methods. We should emancipate the mind, and pay more attention to the law of value in economics, the value of social justice in social science, natural landscape and historical analysis methods, and analysis of quantity. There is a need to deepen and innovate the Chinese human geography research as well as to upgrade its results obtained in previous studies.

Key words: Chinese human geography, the arts-science dichotomy, research methods, innovation