Human Geography – Nature and Scope

The nature and scope of human geography encompass a broad range of topics, theories, and methodologies that focus on the study of human activities, cultures, societies, and economies in relation to their spatial distribution and interaction with the environment. Human geography is a dynamic and interdisciplinary field that bridges the social sciences with the natural sciences, providing insights into the complex relationship between humans and their surroundings.


Definitions of Human Geography By Different Scholars

According to Friedrich Ratzel human Geography is the synthetic study of relationship between human Societies and earth surface.

Ellen C Sample says human Geography is the study of the changing relationship between the unarresting man and unstable earth.

Vidal- la -Blache defines human Geography offers a new conception of the interrelationship between earth and man.

A more synthetic knowledge physical governing of the relationship between the living beings


Naturalisation Of Humans and Humanisation of Nature

The naturalization of humans involves recognizing and embracing our intrinsic connection to the environment. Human beings interact with their physical environment with the help of technology. The development of technology often arises from a systematic observation and experimentation with natural phenomena.

For example

Concept of friction and heat helped to discover fire.

A proper understanding of the secrets DNA and genetics enabled to get many ideas in diseases

Understanding of laws of aerodynamics helped in developing faster planes

Conversely, the humanization of nature involves attributing intrinsic value, rights, and dignity to the natural world. This perspective challenges the traditional anthropocentric view that places humans at the center of the universe and regards nature as a resource to be exploited for human benefit. Instead, it acknowledges the inherent worth of non-human entities and advocates for their protection and conservation.

One of the key drivers behind the naturalization of humans and the humanization of nature is the growing awareness of environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and habitat destruction. These challenges have underscored the interconnectedness of all life forms and the urgent need for collective action to safeguard the planet's ecological balance.

Additionally, advancements in fields such as ecology, conservation biology, and environmental ethics have contributed to the mainstream acceptance of these concepts. Philosophers, scientists, and activists alike have argued for a more holistic approach to environmental management that considers both human well-being and the integrity of ecosystems.


Environmental Determinism

Environmental determinism is a theory in human geography and environmental science that posits that human behavior, culture, and societal development are primarily shaped by the physical environment. According to environmental determinism, the geographical features, climate, and natural resources of a particular region exert a significant influence on the characteristics and development trajectory of the human societies inhabiting that area.

At the stage of very low technological development one can imagine the presence of a naturalized human, who listened to Nature, was afraid of its fury and worshipped it.


Humans were becoming active elements in a human-environmental partnership and partnering.
The people begin to understand their environment and the forces of nature with the passage of time.
They created possibilities with the resources obtained from the environment
Man started to develop the technology and modified the nature. For example, health resorts on highlands, urban sprawl pastures in plain areas and sea port in the coastal areas.

Possibilism is a middle ground between environmental determinism and social constructivism. The concept is that the natural environment places constraints on human activity, but humans can adapt to some environmental limits while modifying others using technology.

Neo determinism or stop and go determinism

Neo-determinism, also known as stop and go determinism, is a concept that was introduced by Australian Geographer Griffith Taylor in 1920.
Neo-determinism is a middle path between environmental determinism and possibilism. It shows that there is no absolute necessity or absolute freedom. Human can change the environment through various innovations and activities but there is a limit to change by human. The environment compels to stop them. Humans can control nature by obeying the nature.

Humans have to respond to the red signal and then proceed in their pursuits of development when nature permits the modification. It means the possibilities can be created within the limits which do not damage the environment.