By Sheppard E.

A better half to monetary Geography offers scholars of human geography with a vital choice of unique essays delivering a key to knowing this crucial subdiscipline. The contributions are written through admired foreign students delivering a wide-ranging review of the sphere.

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Extra resources for A Companion to Economic Geography (Blackwell Companions to Geography)

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This period was important for the emergence of economic geography for two reasons. The first is that this was an era when a number of academic disciplines, especially in the social sciences, were institutionalized within Western European and North American universities. Economic geography was one of those new disciplines (for other examples see Ross, 1991). '' Discourse is a difficult word to define, but I use it to mean a network of concepts, statements, and practices that produce a distinct body of knowledge.

In an early advertisement for the department, Donald Hudson (1955) boasted about the departmental use of an IBM 604 digital computer, also a national first. The programming technique of so-called ``plug wiring'' involving plugging wires into a circuit board was crude and inefficient, but it helped define and consolidate the new vision of the discipline as based on science and the latest technology. Even at this point we begin to see the shape of a different kind of economic geography emerging. It was radically different from Hartshorne's field-based, typological, descriptive one centered on the region, and sometimes only on the farm.

The discipline was concerned with empirical detail, global geographical categorization based upon commodity specialization, and the spatial patterns and conditions of commercial trade. Economic geography did not have to turn out in the way it did, for example, it could have taken on an abstract theoretical bent (which was the trajectory of economics). That it did not do so goes to the importance of historical and geographical context. That context was not mere background atmospherics, but entered in the very body of the discipline's knowledge.

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