• Jeremy R. Porter
  • Frank M. Howell
Part of the GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 105)


Increased attention has been given to the relationship between geographic context and the ecological settings in which social process related to groups and individuals occur. This emphasis has been inherently geographic in focus. However, while the spatially-centered methodological tools for such analyses are relatively new in their development, spatial thinking has long been at the core of much of the traditional sociological theory that mark the foundations of the discipline. Together, these theoretical foundations coupled with the more recent methodological ability to put “people into place,” comprise an emerging movement towards a geographically focused sociology. In this book, we move beyond Edward Hayes’ (Am J Sociol 14(3):371–407, 1908) initial introduction of the term “geographic sociology” by linking over 100 years of theoretical and methodological developments toward the formation of a working foundation of a modern sociology of location. Ultimately, the unification of theory and methods sets geo-sociology apart from the many existing, but fragmented, approaches to the examination of human behaviors and population processes in their given environmental context. In many ways, the recent developments in spatial analytic methods have allowed sociologists to re-visit the historic core tenants of the discipline. Their integration may aid in the understanding of the causal effects of varying ecological conditions on human behavior. In fact, not explicitly controlling for one’s spatial propinquity to a given ecological situation decreases our understanding of the confounding effects associated with geographic/ecological context, thus limiting our understanding of contributors to variations in social behaviors.


Human Behavior Sociological Research Geographic Context Future Trajectory Sociological Imagination 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy R. Porter
    • 1
  • Frank M. Howell
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Brooklyn College & Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Emory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Mississippi State UniversityStarkvilleUSA

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