Specialization in the Structure and Organization of Geography

Michael Goodchild, Donald G. Janelle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Specialty groups are a relatively recent innovation within the Association of American Geographers (AAG), but have grown rapidly to play a major part in the functioning of the organization. This paper examines the role of specialization within and between disciplines, with special reference to geography, as a response to the complexity of knowledge and of scientific activity, and as a phenomenon of social organization. The scale and basis of organization of the specialty groups are seen as responses to needs for communication and survival. Natural and empirical views of the organization of disciplines and other academic divisions within the field of knowledge, and of the processes operating on individual career paths, are discussed. The empirical (or pragmatic) view provides the basis for analyzing the membership of AAG specialty groups to determine the structure of the current discipline and the trends to which it is subject. A multidimensional scaling and an elementary linkage analysis of the cross memberships of specialty groups for 1984 show patterns of affinity and divergence of topical interest and of general research paradigms. The revealed cores of the discipline confirm the earth-science, man-land and spatial traditions identified by Pattison (1964). In contrast, the area-studies tradition does not display any unified core, but links to the general body of geography through systematic concerns. Applied geography, historical geography and cartography are most central to the structuring of specialty group memberships and appear to be prominent sources of unity for those groups that represent the different traditions. A diversity-of-interest measure, based on an information statistic, reveals that sociodemographic (age and sex), institutional (Ph.D.-granting departments), and technological factors also play significant roles in structuring the pattern of specialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

specialization
geography
organization
historical cartography
historical geography
Group
social organization
Earth science
innovation
scientific activity
divergence
communication
multidimensional scaling
cartography
role play
group membership
pragmatics
statistics
career
paradigm

Keywords

  • elementary linkage analysis
  • geography
  • information statistic
  • multidimensional scaling
  • sociology of knowledge
  • specialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

Cite this

Specialization in the Structure and Organization of Geography. / Goodchild, Michael; Janelle, Donald G.

In: Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 78, No. 1, 01.03.1988, p. 1-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{56f4bff64d5e43af891f29965aa6b65a,
title = "Specialization in the Structure and Organization of Geography",
abstract = "Specialty groups are a relatively recent innovation within the Association of American Geographers (AAG), but have grown rapidly to play a major part in the functioning of the organization. This paper examines the role of specialization within and between disciplines, with special reference to geography, as a response to the complexity of knowledge and of scientific activity, and as a phenomenon of social organization. The scale and basis of organization of the specialty groups are seen as responses to needs for communication and survival. Natural and empirical views of the organization of disciplines and other academic divisions within the field of knowledge, and of the processes operating on individual career paths, are discussed. The empirical (or pragmatic) view provides the basis for analyzing the membership of AAG specialty groups to determine the structure of the current discipline and the trends to which it is subject. A multidimensional scaling and an elementary linkage analysis of the cross memberships of specialty groups for 1984 show patterns of affinity and divergence of topical interest and of general research paradigms. The revealed cores of the discipline confirm the earth-science, man-land and spatial traditions identified by Pattison (1964). In contrast, the area-studies tradition does not display any unified core, but links to the general body of geography through systematic concerns. Applied geography, historical geography and cartography are most central to the structuring of specialty group memberships and appear to be prominent sources of unity for those groups that represent the different traditions. A diversity-of-interest measure, based on an information statistic, reveals that sociodemographic (age and sex), institutional (Ph.D.-granting departments), and technological factors also play significant roles in structuring the pattern of specialization.",
keywords = "elementary linkage analysis, geography, information statistic, multidimensional scaling, sociology of knowledge, specialization",
author = "Michael Goodchild and Janelle, {Donald G.}",
year = "1988",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/j.1467-8306.1988.tb00189.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "78",
pages = "1--28",
journal = "Annals of the American Association of Geographers",
issn = "2469-4452",
publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Specialization in the Structure and Organization of Geography

AU - Goodchild, Michael

AU - Janelle, Donald G.

PY - 1988/3/1

Y1 - 1988/3/1

N2 - Specialty groups are a relatively recent innovation within the Association of American Geographers (AAG), but have grown rapidly to play a major part in the functioning of the organization. This paper examines the role of specialization within and between disciplines, with special reference to geography, as a response to the complexity of knowledge and of scientific activity, and as a phenomenon of social organization. The scale and basis of organization of the specialty groups are seen as responses to needs for communication and survival. Natural and empirical views of the organization of disciplines and other academic divisions within the field of knowledge, and of the processes operating on individual career paths, are discussed. The empirical (or pragmatic) view provides the basis for analyzing the membership of AAG specialty groups to determine the structure of the current discipline and the trends to which it is subject. A multidimensional scaling and an elementary linkage analysis of the cross memberships of specialty groups for 1984 show patterns of affinity and divergence of topical interest and of general research paradigms. The revealed cores of the discipline confirm the earth-science, man-land and spatial traditions identified by Pattison (1964). In contrast, the area-studies tradition does not display any unified core, but links to the general body of geography through systematic concerns. Applied geography, historical geography and cartography are most central to the structuring of specialty group memberships and appear to be prominent sources of unity for those groups that represent the different traditions. A diversity-of-interest measure, based on an information statistic, reveals that sociodemographic (age and sex), institutional (Ph.D.-granting departments), and technological factors also play significant roles in structuring the pattern of specialization.

AB - Specialty groups are a relatively recent innovation within the Association of American Geographers (AAG), but have grown rapidly to play a major part in the functioning of the organization. This paper examines the role of specialization within and between disciplines, with special reference to geography, as a response to the complexity of knowledge and of scientific activity, and as a phenomenon of social organization. The scale and basis of organization of the specialty groups are seen as responses to needs for communication and survival. Natural and empirical views of the organization of disciplines and other academic divisions within the field of knowledge, and of the processes operating on individual career paths, are discussed. The empirical (or pragmatic) view provides the basis for analyzing the membership of AAG specialty groups to determine the structure of the current discipline and the trends to which it is subject. A multidimensional scaling and an elementary linkage analysis of the cross memberships of specialty groups for 1984 show patterns of affinity and divergence of topical interest and of general research paradigms. The revealed cores of the discipline confirm the earth-science, man-land and spatial traditions identified by Pattison (1964). In contrast, the area-studies tradition does not display any unified core, but links to the general body of geography through systematic concerns. Applied geography, historical geography and cartography are most central to the structuring of specialty group memberships and appear to be prominent sources of unity for those groups that represent the different traditions. A diversity-of-interest measure, based on an information statistic, reveals that sociodemographic (age and sex), institutional (Ph.D.-granting departments), and technological factors also play significant roles in structuring the pattern of specialization.

KW - elementary linkage analysis

KW - geography

KW - information statistic

KW - multidimensional scaling

KW - sociology of knowledge

KW - specialization

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0024160159&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0024160159&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1467-8306.1988.tb00189.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1467-8306.1988.tb00189.x

M3 - Article

VL - 78

SP - 1

EP - 28

JO - Annals of the American Association of Geographers

JF - Annals of the American Association of Geographers

SN - 2469-4452

IS - 1

ER -