The past, present and future of population geography: Reflections on Glenn Trewartha's address fifty years on

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    Abstract

    On re-reading Trewartha's address 50 years after it was written, I am prompted to reflect on both the historical and geographical situatedness of his conception of a disciplinary space for population geography, as well as on my own concerns about population geography in the early twenty-first century. Trewartha's case for population geography, I suggest, reveals its cultural embeddedness within American geography of that time. However, it remains of more than historical interest since a similar case has yet to be articulated by the present generation of Anglo-American population geographers. I argue that, despite evident successes, population geography is currently facing two problems relating to its identity. The first arises from its marginalised position within human geography; and the second is associated with what might be called an 'imbalance' in the subject matter of research, where migration studies have become increasingly dominant. Both problems raise questions about the geographical credentials of population geography, and I ask what the future research agenda should be. New research frontiers appear to be re-mapping the spaces of knowledge in ways that could produce new configurations of the academy. In this context, the future of population geography seems uncertain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)289-294
    JournalPopulation, Space and Place
    Volume10
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004

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