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Growing up in the Changing Social Geographical Milieu

Social geography “is often used simply as the equivalent of human geography, or in the U.S.A. as ‘cultural geography’, but usually it implies studies of population, urban and rural settlements, and social activities as distinct from political and economic ones”.  Further, according to a dictionary of geography, human geography is as the “part of geography dealing with man and human activities”. “…it stresses both the humanistic nature of the geographical world… and the classificatory nature of… human geographical work…”. The term “social geography” was introduced by Vallaux in 1908.  It explores ‘the study of the areal (spatial) patterns and functional relations of social groups in the context of their social environment; the internal structure and external relations of the nodes of social activity, and the articulation of various channels of social communication  and  the analysis of the social patterns and processes arising from the distribution of, and access to, scarce resources and… an examination of the societal causes of, and suggested solutions to, social and environmental problems.’  It analyses the process involved in making and changing pattern of structure relations in a society.

In this coronavirus affected society, social organization and values, pattern of social movement and interaction, and social dynamics have been changed.  The entire social content influences the changes in social and economic aspects of human behavior, and livelihood.  The whole framework of human interaction with environment harms the dynamic of the society.  It leads to the articulation of social space by diverse human groups in different ways.  The political and economic order of the world has started ‘casting their shadows on the global society.’

Precisely, social characteristics of mankind have started to vary through space. It affects (or reflects) ‘man’s adaptation to and adaptation of his total geographical milieu.’  It has suddenly been created the problems in human adjustments to climate, physical bases, transports, economic activities, houses, dwellings and cultivation of the environment.

Dynamic of human relations, and its structure and process within family, kin, relatives, neighbours as well as the community or society at large turns to an abnormal where everybody is suspicious of the corona virus. When the collateral relationships among teachers-students in schools, colleges, and universities, etc., among a club or association members, office colleagues and so forth would be normal as usual, none can predict it. Now everybody is distancing from these relationships which are the most important for healthy livening all terms in a society.

Problems of the relationships of the rural and urban society always differ. It has been observed that e-commerce has taken dominating place in trade and commerce. It is surely an easy process of meeting individual needs of urban society. But what would be the situation in rural society? Marketing or shopping in urban society importantly fulfills the dual purposes of urban society – physical and psychological needs. It is a centre for entertainment and passing of leisure with joy.  Cinema, theatre and other entertainment industries provide mental relaxation. But these are suddenly limited within the fingering in smartphones. Consequently, it isolates a human being and loneliness has become an acute crisis.  A huge scope of employment and revenue generation from these sectors are being paralysed.  Social gathering has been collapsed. Book fair, food festivals, local fairs, social and cultural functions and religious festivals significantly boosted human energy, relation and economy are in severe crisis.

Further, transportation and movement of people are now restricted. Therefore, economy, social and cultural exchanges which make the world a global society are witnessing the adverse situation everywhere in the globe.

Will the society stand in the virtual relation? What would be the shape or dynamic of the changing social geography of the global society in times of pandemic and aftermath? How this changing pattern of the social geographical milieu would be tackled by human beings? A new road map of the society would develop in the future with a gap between human to human.

The views and opinions expressed by the writer are personal and do not necessarily reflect the official position of VOM.
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Written by Harasankar

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