Human Geographies: Society & Culture
Introduction to the key concepts of human geography, and in particular social and cultural geography. Topics include: the significance of culture and cultural difference; cities as forms of cultural settlements; the rise of urban societies; the meanings of cultural landscapes; geographical perspectives on global politics; and the relationship between the environment and health.
Two lectures, one lab (two hours); one term
Time/Term Offered: Spring Term One 2013
Instructor: Dr. W.G. Peace
Room: General Science Building Rm. GSB 201
Tel:(905) 525.9140 x23517
Office hours: By appointment
Geography is concerned with the study of patterns and processes on the earth’s surface. One branch of the discipline, human geography, focuses on the spatial organization of people, their cultures, economies, settlements, political and social structures, and behavior. In other words, human geography is the study of the spatial organization of human activities and the meanings attached to the places where activities take place. Human geographic inquiry extends from the scale of the individual to that of the entire world.
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the theories, methods, and patterns of human geography, and in particular social and cultural geography. This course offers a geographic perspective on social and cultural phenomena. Topics include: the significance of culture and cultural difference (including language, ethnicity, race, gender, and religion); cities as forms of cultural settlements, and the rise of urban societies; the meanings of cultural landscapes; the importance of geographical perspectives in global politics; and the relationship between the environment and health. The course is an overview of the field and acts as a foundation for: (i) subsequent human geography courses offered by the School of Geography and Earth Sciences; and (ii) for general global understanding and awareness.
By the end of the course students should be able to: (1) identify and define the main geographical concepts related to the study of human activity; (2) select appropriate concepts and apply them to specific geographic problems; and (3) communicate ideas clearly and concisely in both verbal and written form.
Tuesday & Thursday 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM Location: BSB119
Required Text Books/Course materials:
Norton, W., 2013. Human Geography. (Eighth edition) Oxford University Press, Toronto
20% (Written in class on 21 May 2013)
Reflections on Discussions
10% (2 x 5%) (Due dates TBA)
10% (Due in class on 23 May 2013)
20% (Due in class on 13 June 2013)
40% (Written in final class on 20 June 2013)
Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception
or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences,
e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation
on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s
own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes
academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic
dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.