Penn State

Stephen Matthews - Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Demography (Courtesy Geography); Director, Graduate Program in Demography, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Spatial Behavior: A Geographic Perspective

Author: Reginald G. Golledge and Robert J. Stimson

Book Description:

My first exposure to the work of Reg Golledge and his pioneering work in analytical behavioral geography and spatial cognition was as an undergraduate at the University of Bristol in the 1980s. In my own areas of research I have repeatedly found Golledge’s perspectives on how people understand and relate to place to be highly relevant. Spatial Behavior, co-written with Robert Stimson (both authors were Australian-born geographers), has been an inspiration, even a catalyst, for my own work on human spatial behavior, activity space research and health behaviors. The book offers a detailed synthesis for anyone interested in understanding the relationships between people and places and as such researchers in many disciplines might profit from reading it (especially urban planners, policy makers, sociologists, demographers and researchers in public health and epidemiology). The topical coverage in Spatial Behavior is comprehensive; examining how we acquire spatial knowledge, experience spaces and places, and how we make decisions that influence different forms of spatial behavior across a wide set of spatial and temporal scales (e.g., daily activities, commuting, shopping behavior, residential mobility, and migration decision making), and mobility among different sub-populations (including the elderly and disabled). Mirroring my own multidisciplinary affiliations at Penn State, one of my goals in recent years has been to disseminate to other disciplines some of the conceptual ideas and analytical approaches that originated in behavioral geography. Researchers across the social and health sciences could do worse than start with this classic text.

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