An innovative contribution to the literature of cultural geography, this book explores the evolution of landscapeboth material and symbolicfrom the standpoint of the populations, cultures, and human decision-making processes that shape and give it meaning. Focusing on evolution, behavior, symbolism, and ecology, Norton offers a critique of the literature of cultural and social geography and articulates a framework of central issues that connect a wide range of theoretical approaches.
In the first four chapters, Norton gives detailed consideration to both traditional and contemporary literature and methodologies and to the links between cultural geography and other social science concepts and analytical methods. The remaining chapters are concerned with the causes and consequences of cultural landscape evolution and the variables affecting it, including language, religion, politics, society, economy, and the physical environment. In addressing these areas of cultural geography, Norton promotes an approach that integrates the contributions of geography with those of anthropology, sociology, psychology, and history. His analysis provides a useful synthesis of the conceptual and empirical content of cultural geography and suggests promising new directions for research in the field. Norton's work will prove a valuable classroom and library resource for students and scholars in cultural and social geography and related areas of sociology and anthropology.