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Thursday, 24 May 2018

General Geography Versus Regional Geography

In 17th century, the concept of General Geography versus Regional Geography was developed by the geographer, Bernhard Varen who is also known as Varenius. According to him, there are two divisions of geography which are General geography or Universal geography and Regional geography or Special geography. General Geography deals with the world as a whole and is concerned with general laws and principles. 
Regional Geography deals with individual countries and other regions of the world but individually. The concept of General geography versus Regional geography, basically falls in the classical period of geography's history.

The subject geography, is a multidimensional concept. It does not emphasis on  a particular concept rather its study arouses various branches and dichotomies one of which, is the General geography versus Regional geography


General Geography Versus Regional Geography

Different geographers had different views regarding the concept of General geography versus Regional geography.

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(i) Alexander Von Humboldt, forwarded his view regarding General geography versus Regional Geography, stating the subject matter of general geography to be uranography and regional geography to be concerned with astronomy and different phenomena on earth's surface. In his book 'Kosmos', Humboldt emphasized on induction of science. He had found out the differences in different locations of earth and developed the dualism between General and Regional Geography.

(ii) Carl Ritter, emphasized geography to be the study of natural phenomena of the earth's surface as a whole and also in parts. Areal phenomena gives rise to the uniqueness of regions. He studied the regions as a whole.

(iii) Ferdenand Von Humboldt, emphasized geography to be the study of diverse phenomena. According to him the elements of physical setting of a region should be discussed first, and than there should be the examination of man's adjustment in it. Further his perception regarding the General geography versus Regional geography was that General Geography should deal with spatial distribution and Regional Geography should be descriptive.

(iv) General Geography, was led by Alexander Von Humboldt and Regional Geography by Carl Ritter. But after them, Friedrich Ratzel dominated geography. He made a comparison of the life styles of people of different regions. According to him, human beings should struggle enormously to survive in a definite or particular environment.

(v) Alfred Hettner, layed emphasis on the study of distinctive geography as the knowledge of earth areas that differ from one another. He gave importance on Regional geography (idiographic) rather than General geography (nomothetic).

(vi) Vidal de la Blache, made so much efforts that it led to the development of regional geography. It introduced ways to understand the concept of  General geography versus Regional geography. He emphasized on the study of small areas.

(vii) Reclus, a French geographer, regarded that man is an important product of environment and not it's component. He made this assumption, when he gave a overall and precise picture of different societies of the world. Human beings may confront and overcome the nature, according to his needs, by modifying it.

Thus, we came to know that different geographers supported different aspects of geography. Some supported General geography, while the others supported Regional geography. The concept or dichotomy of General geography versus Regional geography is not so logical and does not falls on place. This is because General geography versus Regional geography are linked to each other in various aspects.

Although both general geography and regional geography have different meanings but they are connected to each other.  General Geography, emphasis es on universal laws  while, Regional Geography emphasis's on individual laws of the regions. For instance, if rainfall,
vegetation, animals, plants, population etc, are examined on world basis, it is regarded as General Geography.

On the other hand, if these same features are examined individually of a particular region, it is regarded as Regional Geography. Thus, these two respective concepts of geography support each other, in the analysis of geography. Although their objectives are different but they are absolutely not in opposition.

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