French Geographers of the late 18th century and the field: research into a paradoxical absence
By taking a fresh look at geographical texts published between the 1750s and the 1820s, this article analyses sedentary geographers wariness of field experience. It also studies the consequences on the production of geographical knowledge of the discontinuity between time of observation and time of description. Whereas, during the period under review, naturalists went beyond collection and opened their minds to a new understanding of space, geographers contented themselves with establishing nomenclatures of places and considered geography as an amateur domain.
keywords: DESCRIPTION, FIELD, HISTORY OF GEOGRAPHY, JOURNEY, SPACE
Sophie BONIN. Representaion of landscape in tourist guide. The Loire river in the Guides-Joanne, Guides Bleus collection from 1856 to the present (3 fig.)
Until now, researchers interest in tourist guides has concentrated on their relationship to a social group or practice, rather than to a territory, its physical transformations and other representations of it (such as those of inhabitants or planners). This paper puts forward the hypothesis that the representations in tourist guides form part of the system of representations that a society has of its territory. This hypothesis was validated by an analysis of the content of tourist guides about a precise, linear spatial object over time, whose physical transformations over the period are well known. The term «code of representations» reflects this hypothesis well: the content of guides is considered as an objective proclamation and not as a subjective opinion.
keywords: EVALUATION, LANDSCAPE, LOIRE RIVER, REPRESENTATION, TOURIST GUIDE
Sophie LEFLOCH, Jacqueline CANDAU. The Marais Breton of Loire-Atlantique (Western France): a forgotten marsh recognised as a landscape (1 tabl., 1 fig., 4 photos)
Not only areas of outstanding value are officially recognised as landscapes. Ordinary rural areas may also be listed as landscapes, as part of a process that leads to public action. A phenomenological approach based on interviews with institutional stakeholders in the Marais Breton (Breton marsh) of Loire-Atlantique in western France shows that this area of little importance for these stakeholders until now is beginning to be recognised as a landscape. The authors look for signs of a consequence that usually occurs when a landscape becomes an object of public policy: the area is turned into a «museum».
keywords: FRANCE, INSTITUTIONAL STAKEHOLDERS, LANDSCAPE, MARAIS BRETON, PAYS DE LA LOIRE, PHENOMENOLOGY, RURAL AREA
Fabrice FOLIO, Annick LAMY, Sylvain GUYOT. Successes, challenges and contradictions of the development of Richards Bay, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa (2 tabl., 4 fig.)
The port city of Richards Bay lies on the eastern seaboard of southern Africa. Officially opened on 1 April 1976, the harbour handles in excess of 80 million tonnes of cargo a year, making Richards Bay Africas largest bulk port. The port development has resulted in a veritable maritime industrial area. This article seeks to explain the successes, challenges and contradictions of the development of Richards Bay, a large industrial port and new town of apartheid (1970s). The consequences of this development are ethno-spatial segregation, problems of distance and proximity and the degradation of a natural coastline. The attitude of the citys managers appears contradictory. Tourist development is absurd in the light of the real issues. Opposition remains marginal and real power is firmly in the hands of industry.
keywords: APARTHEID, CITY, DEVELOPMENT, ENVIRONMENT, SEA PORT, SOUTH AFRICA, SUBTROPICAL LAGOON
Frédéric GIRAULT, Michel BUSSI. The spatial organisation of urban segregation: the example of electoral behaviour (9 fig.)
The «segrograph» is a chart that compares the dispersion of a variable (measured by Duncans index of segregation, for example) with its spatial cohesion (measured by Gearys index of spatial autocorrelation, for example). It assists the typology of socio-spatial differentiation, which is applied to urban areas in this paper. The statistical approach by collective aggregates (ecological approach) is often too simplistic to understand logics of segregation, largely conditioned by individual trajectories. By using the segrograph to chart behavioural data, such as election results, we can make the reverse hypothesis that individual behaviour is also conditioned by a collective environment and that this bandwagon effect can be measured with spatial analysis tools (autocorrelation, dispersion, structure effects).
keywords: AUTOCORRELATION, ELECTORAL GEOGRAPHY, INTRA-URBAN ANALYSIS, SEGREGATION
Theoretical approach to cities in geography and microeconomics, elements for a comparison.
In all societies, the enormous densities of people and activities in cities imbue such concentrations with urban characteristics. The development of urban studies in almost all the social sciences therefore comes as no surprise. This paper focuses on the way geographers and economists approach this phenomenon. Strikingly, microeconomists view the city as a space rather than as something within a space. An explanation can be sought in the way theoretical space is built. Whereas an economist seeks equilibrium, a geographer, as a spatial analyst, is more concerned with the way places interact. An economic analysis of places describes a set of activities without taking account of places. A geographical analysis highlights the qualities of a place that produce something new. One could say that the economists job is done when the activities have been distributed on the surface of the space, which is where the geographers begins: characterising the space to determine its functions in the organisation of the city and its relationships with other places. Spatial analysis thus seems to contain both holistic and individualistic conceptions of society.
keywords: EPISTEMOLOGY, MICROECONOMICS, THEORETICAL APPROACH, URBAN STUDIES
In this issue of l’Espace géographique, you will find critical reviews of the following books
BERINGUIER Philippe, DERIOZ Pierre, LAQUES Anne-Elisabeth (2000). Les Paysages français. Paris: A. Colin, coll. «Synthèses», 95 p.
BERQUE A. (2000). Écoumène. Introduction à L’étude des milieux humains. Paris: Belin, coll. «Mappemonde», 272 p.
BOYER J.-Cl. (1999). Amsterdam, la plus petite des grandes métropoles. Paris: L’Harmattan, 216 p.
CARRIERE J.-P., FARTHING S. (2000). Les Cités atlantiques: villes périphériques ou métropoles de demain ? Paris: Publisud, 356 p.
CHIVALLON Christine (1998). Espace et identité à la Martinique: paysannerie des Mornes et reconquête collective. Paris: CNRS, 298 p.
DELER Jean-Paul, LEBRIS Émile, SCHNEIER Graciela, dir. (1998). Les Métropoles du Sud au risque de la culture planétaire. Paris: Karthala, coll. «Hommes et sociétés», 422 p.
DEWAILLY J.-M., FLAMENT É. (2000). Le Tourisme. Paris: SEDES, 192 p.
HOUSSAY-HOLZSCHUCH Myriam (1999). Le Cap, ville sud-africaine. Ville blanche, vies noires. Paris: L’Harmattan, coll. «Géographie et cultures», 276 p.
MONDADA Laurence (2000). Décrire la ville. Paris: Anthropos.
PEZEU-MASSABUAU Jacques (1999). Demeure Mémoire. Habitat: code, sagesse, libération. Marseille: Parenthèses, coll. «Eupalinos», 180 p., 80 F
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Last modified: May 30, 2001