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Geographical Values, the Values of Geography

Denise Pumain
Cet article est une traduction de :
Valeurs géographiques, valeurs de la géographie

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1The debates of the twenty-first century render extremely topical the questions that the discipline of geography was asking at the time of its emergence as a scientific curiosity—but by reversing them:  from the theory of the effects of climate on the psychology of peoples at the time of Montesquieu, we have moved to the anthropogenic construction of the greenhouse effect and of global warming, from development according to the proximity of  differences in region, landscape and culture, we slide towards their destruction through the multiple networks of globalization, the promethean development of the milieus for the protection of nature and the environment, even for the management of resources, and, perhaps, from the expansion/colonization of territories to a recognition of the right to inhabit them.  We may also mention, running counter to the attraction for urban hypermodernity, the fascination of the tourist imagination for privation and contemplation afforded by empty spaces.  The values that individuals and societies attach to their environment are thus reversed, in their relationship to causality, as in the value they attach to rarity.

2Could there be a similar reverse movement in the value accorded to geography among the sciences?  The sociologist Pierre Bourdieu vilified geographers, contributing to perpetuating the class scorn against them that he identified in homo academicus.  But in the marketplace of student capacities, geography sells well.  Artists had seized the concept of space; today it is the individual psyches, the interactionist or managerial situations that can be seen in so many different ‘geographies’.  The 3D visualizations and cartographic guiding systems for the wider public, the industrial and commercial applications, just as the practices of many natural and social sciences have selected by a large majority the systems of geographic information for their capacity to integrate multi-sourced data, and to reveal the effects of context on different levels. With an average of a thousand hits per day, and 3,000 pages posted, Cybergeo, thanks to its generalist columns open to all types of geography, by respecting all the requirements of an international journal in rank A, participates with its authors, with it assessors and its readers, in this upgrading.

3The whole team of the journal wishes you a Happy 2008 rich in geography!

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Denise Pumain, « Geographical Values, the Values of Geography », Cybergeo : European Journal of Geography [En ligne], Éditoriaux, mis en ligne le 02 janvier 2008, consulté le 20 novembre 2017. URL : http://cybergeo.revues.org/15703

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Auteur

Denise Pumain

ProfessorUniversité Paris 1pumain@parisgeo.cnrs.fr02/01/2008

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