Introducing Section 5

Practicing health geographies

Authored by: Gavin J. Andrews , Valorie A. Crooks , Jamie Pearce

Routledge Handbook of Health Geography

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138098046
eBook ISBN: 9781315104584
Adobe ISBN:


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An important part of what health geographers do, indeed of what any researchers do, is the particular ways in which they practice. In the context of academic disciplines, practice involves the research methods employed, the analytical approaches and techniques adopted, and the ways in which the knowledge produced through studies is disseminated and translated to audiences of various types. Practice, then, is often quite practical and applied, arising as sets of skills to be learned and deployed. Having said this, practice has consequences that go way beyond the processual aspects of research related to its very form and reputation. Indeed, on one level, being highly connected to theoretical orientations and lenses such as those discussed in Section 2 – making it possible to see through these lenses – practice informs and refines research questions. On another level, in terms of standards, good practice is absolutely critical in the answering of research questions; it enhances the quality (integrity and rigor), insightfulness, relevance and impact of the findings produced. Ultimately, then, practice not only can help determine the focus, strengths and successes of research, but also has implications for academic identity and the particular type of scholar one becomes and is known to be.

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