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Although positivist methodology has been used so extensively in social geography, it is now widely recognized that it is inadequate for describing and understanding social processes as a whole because it eschews cultural values. The behavioural reaction recognized this but still used positivist methodology. Methods may reflect scale, a macro-approach demanding a positivist approach, a micro analysis being more qualitative. Applying both to problems of assimilation in an American ethnic group revealed different processes, both necessary for a full understanding. Aggregate methods and generalized models of man go part of the way only. The quantitative/macro approach must be supplemented by the qualitative/micro. A further departure has been a recognition that social geographers must look at society's needs. Involvement in social processes and policy making is accepted by most. Whether the answer is interpreted by a liberal/consensus approach, or by a radical/revolutionary, is for the individual to decide. Finally, as geographers, social geographers cannot ignore the significance of place and region, whose specificity is sometimes critical in our perception of problems and answers.
GeoJournal © 1984 Springer