The Baltic Region

2015 Issue №2(24)

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The Development of Russian Social Geography: Challenges, Trends, Priorities



Promoting the development of social geography (one of the most important components of present-day social sciences) is especially important for contemporary Russia. In the last 25 years Russian social geography has seen dramatic disciplinary changes. On the one hand, it has widened its scope. On the other hand, it has suffered from a growing contradiction between the popularization of the social geographic knowledge, the need to have a clear understanding of the factors and results of a multi-scale territorial social and economic dynamics, and the limits of the field (with its organizational structure, possibilities and practitioners desperately falling behind the times). The aim of this article is to analyze the post-soviet period of the development of social geography to identify the strengths and weaknesses that the discipline has demonstrated, the challenges it still has to overcome and the priorities it has yet to formulate. It is shown how the traditional dimensions of social geography (with their focus on humanities, culture, economics, geography or environment, respectively) not only keep their value but acquire new meanings. The author concludes about the importance and the strategies of further integration within the community of social geography researchers, and points out the directions of future research: fundamental issues of Russian spatial planning, Russian positioning in both global and local (Eurasian) contexts.


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