Geographers, ethics and social concern

David M. Smith

in A Century of British Geography

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262863
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734076 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Geographers, ethics and social concern

Show Summary Details


Social concern, or relevance, was one of the main themes in human geography during the last three decades of the twentieth century. Preoccupation with the areal differentiation of life on earth, which had dominated the discipline until the 1960s, gave way to an emerging sense of responsibility for improving the human condition. An apparent lack of social concern on the part of the new numerical human geography helped to provoke the ‘radical’ reaction of the 1970s. Inequality and social justice became central issues, as the role of values in geography was explicitly recognised. The 1990s saw a broader ‘moral turn’, involving explorations of the interface between geography and ethics. British geography and geographers played a prominent part in the discipline's orientation towards ethics and social concern. The proliferation of issues of social concern prompted a rethinking of social geography.

Keywords: British geography; ethics; geographers; social concern; human geography; social geography; inequality; social justice

Chapter.  7299 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at British Academy »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.