Archive for October 17th, 2012

Geography, Economics and Digital Piracy.   no comments

Posted at 4:37 pm in Economics

For this interdisciplinary review module I will be attempting to apply the key theories of geography and economics to the web issue of digital piracy.

In order to being this project I started with geography and a book called “Key Methods in Geography”, 2nd edition, edited by Clifford, French and Valentine.  On first reading the introductory chapter was very reassuring and outlined research methods that I was already familiar with from applied social science.  Research can be quantitative or qualitative and seems to be split between physical and virtual geographies.  Virtual geographies would seem to be a mix of psychology and anthropology and may or may not relate to the physical world.

Quantitative research would appear to relate to positivism and suggests a very traditional scientific methodology, whereas as qualitative research recognises that human behaviour is messy and humans do not always follow the rules.  Other critiques of positivism in geography include Marxist geographers who suggest that capitalism is reproduced in positivism; post-structuralist and feminists geographers would critique both positivist and Marxist geographers for failing to acknowledge multiple realities.  A Humanistic approach to geography would take into account representations in popular culture.

However, these approaches are not polar opposites and can be combined.

Geographical research can also be regarded in terms of extensive or intensive.  Extensive deals with large data sets and looks for patterns and regularity, whereas intensive studies small or single case studies.  Time and cost often have implications on which type of research is undertaken and extensive research often uses secondary data sets.

This reading has been mainly detailing different methodologies for use in geographical research and I need to undertake some research into theories and principles in geography.

Written by Abby Whitmarsh on October 17th, 2012