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Man-Environment Relationships in Anthropology and Geography

Larry Grossman
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 67, No. 1 (Mar., 1977), pp. 126-144
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562245
Page Count: 19
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Man-Environment Relationships in Anthropology and Geography
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Abstract

Historically, the viewpoints of geographers and anthropologists concerning man-environment relationships exhibit many similarities as well as certain differences. In response to environmental determinism, practitioners in the two disciplines developed inductive, relativistic programs in which culture was viewed as the dominant element in the culture-environment relationship. Developments in cultural ecology have been mainly divergent; geographers have stressed the theme of man's adaptation of nature, whereas anthropologists have investigated man's adaptation to nature. Concomitant with the rise in popularity of General Systems Theory and the ecosystem approach, ecological thinking in the two disciplines again began to converge, with emphasis on ecological and systemic frameworks. The tradition of convergent developments has continued in hazards research, as anthropologists and geographers both emphasize the continuous nature of processes. A synthesis of the disparate research of geographers and anthropologists in manenvironment relationships cannot but be productive.

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