Geography Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Why do human geographers often study one smaller topic?

Expert Answers info

Patrick Elliott-Walker eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2019

write198 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Business

Human geographers often choose to limit their studies to a smaller area for two reasons. The first has to do with practicality. Because human geography, like natural geography, requires the collection of extensive statistical data pertaining to a phenomenon, making one’s subject area too broad results in one needing to acquire an overwhelming volume of statistics. For instance, the question “How has religion influenced public relations in urban areas?” would require examination of far too many differing geographical, social, political contexts to yield meaningful results. The question "How did Catholicism influence social relations in London during the early medieval period?” is a question which is not only more manageable but also likely more informative in the results it will yield.

The second reason pertains to the nature of human geography as a broad field containing multiple sub-fields, which occasionally overlap with each other and are occasionally completely separate. Human geographers are often careful to specify their research processes carefully so as to avoid straying into related fields like economics, history, or sociology—fields in which different rules apply and different methods are required.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial