Nature and Society in Geography

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


With a pedigree traced to antiquity, nature society or human environment inquiry vied for the identity of the modern discipline of geography as it emerged in nineteenth-century Germany. This identity involved the study of the human impact on and adjustment to the physical environment. For a brief period in the early twentieth century, a particular definition of the relationship, environmental determinism, dominated geographic education in the United States. The excesses and limitations of determinism relegated the nature society identity in geography relative to a spatial chorological one. This other and equally old identity remained largely unchallenged from the 1930s through the 1940s and onward. By the late 1970s, however, nature society studies returned to geography in a significant way, building from interests that gave rise to cultural ecology and risk-hazard studies as well as several other subfields of study. Entering the twenty-first century, nature society research in geography has grown in ways reflecting a range of perspectives found in the human sciences and humanities. Its future role in the discipline will be determined in part by the rise of new, interdisciplinary human environment research communities, such as sustainability science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Behavioral geography
  • Chorology
  • Climate
  • Cultural ecology
  • Cultural geography
  • Environmental change
  • Environmental determinism
  • Environmental hazards
  • Human Environment
  • Land use
  • Nature Society
  • Political ecology
  • Spatial differentiation
  • Sustainability
  • Water resources

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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