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A Century of British Geography$
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Ron Johnston and Michael Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262863

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Geographers, ethics and social concern

Geographers, ethics and social concern

(p.624) (p.625) 20 Geographers, ethics and social concern
A Century of British Geography

David M. Smith

British Academy

Social concern, or relevance, was one of the main themes in human geography during the last three decades of the twentieth century. Preoccupation with the areal differentiation of life on earth, which had dominated the discipline until the 1960s, gave way to an emerging sense of responsibility for improving the human condition. An apparent lack of social concern on the part of the new numerical human geography helped to provoke the ‘radical’ reaction of the 1970s. Inequality and social justice became central issues, as the role of values in geography was explicitly recognised. The 1990s saw a broader ‘moral turn’, involving explorations of the interface between geography and ethics. British geography and geographers played a prominent part in the discipline's orientation towards ethics and social concern. The proliferation of issues of social concern prompted a rethinking of social geography.

Keywords:   British geography, ethics, geographers, social concern, human geography, social geography, inequality, social justice

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