Applied Geography 19 (1999) 1–12
Applied geography: in pursuit of usefulknowledge
Department of Geography, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XH, UK
Received 20 January 1998; accepted 13 July 1998
Applied geography is concerned with the application of geographical knowledge and skillsto the resolution of real-world social, economic and environmental problems, yet the approachhas been the subject of criticism from Marxist and, more recently, postmodern theorists. Thispaper examines the substance of this critique and employs the concept of useful knowledgeto illustrate the principles, practice and potential of an applied geographical approach to thechallenge of enhancing the quality of present and future living conditions and environmentson the planet Earth.
1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Applied research; Marxism; Postmodernism; Useful knowledge
Applied geography is concerned with the application of geographical knowledgeand skills to the resolution of real-world social, economic and environmental prob-lems. The underlying philosophy of relevance or usefulness and the problem-orien-tated goals of applied geography have generated critical opposition from other ‘non-applied’ members of the geographical community. Particular criticism of the appliedgeography approach has emanated from Marxist and, more recently, postmoderntheorists who reject the potential of applied geography to address the major problemsconfronting people and places in the contemporary world.
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1999 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.PII: S0143-6228(98)00031-9