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retrospective approach

  The study of the past for the light it throws on the present (cf. retrogressive approach). The approach would make historical geography a prerequisite — or, as Darby once claimed, an essential foundation — for contemporary geography. Its most explicit advocate was Roger Dion, who believed that a consideration of the present landscape poses problems that can only be solved by a search for their origins; but the approach can evidently be extended beyond the analysis of the landscape and has much in common with \'genetic\' or \'historical\' explanations (cf. functionalism). (DG)

Suggested Reading Gulley, J.L.M. 1961: The retrospective approach in historical geography. Erdkunde 15: 306-9.



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Other Terms : frontier thesis | social construction | townscape
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