IAS Mains Geography Optional Paper 1 Section B YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Q. 5 a) “Geography is a contested and multiparadigmic discipline with a strong eurocentricity that has only recently been challenged.” Comment.

  • Geography is multidimensional with sociology, anthropology, philosophy and more.

  • Initially – Europe as the centre for knowledge expansion (Davis, Penck), theories of origin of earth, geosyncline and mountain building, isostasy (mainly geomorphology – face of earth), Ritter, Kant (geography classifies things according to place; history classifies things according to time – touched every facet of knowledge), Humboldt

  • Humanistic geography

  • Radical geography - Peet

  • Marxist geography

  • Remote Sensing, GIS

Q. 5 b) Discuss the degree of important of transportation costs as a factor of industrial location with respect to “footloose industries”.

  • Least important

  • Alonso’s definition - "Industries that have no strong locational preferences, and particularly industries that are not transport oriented are often called foot-loose, and there is a good reason to believe that technical developments are making more industries foot-loose".

  • 3 mechanism

  • Decline in relative price of transport inputs

  • Decline in weight of raw material per unit output due to technological change

  • Complex processing of product making transport input very small in proportion to final product

  • These have high ratio of value added to assembly and distribution costs

  • Refers to a hypothetical person with a perfectly flexible foot. A shoe of any size fits such a person. Naturally, the person enjoys much greater degree of freedom to choose his shoe than a person whose foot is size specific

  • Q. 5 c) Explain the concepts of “megalopolis” and “exopolis” with regard to the growth of cities indicating whether the two can and do overlap.

  • Concept of exurbanity

  • Megalopolis – Gottman

  • Mega urban systems

  • Cities are expanding in some regions to an extent that they were coagulating in single agglomeration and physically and functionally integrated

  • Boswash – Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Washington

  • Exopolis – outside city or city turned inside out – expansion of city beyond nation

  • Exopolis: We might say that the cities of the past were marked by the dominance of

  • An urban core was considered both functionally and symbolically over the rest of the conurbation. Today it is sprawling urban hinterlands and their various edges and suburbs, which organize metropolitan regions including former downtown cores. For Soja, the center of Los Angeles is as much in Orange County, the corridor from Malibu to Long Beach, the San Fernando Valley, or San Bernandino and Riverside counties as it is in the traditional downtown.

Six Discourses on Postmetropolis - 6 visions on city of Los Angeles

  • Flexicity – deindustrialization alongside reindustrialization

  • Cosmopolis – globalization of culture, labor and capital

  • Exopolis – City that no longer conveys a sense of citiness (Soja)

  • Metropolarities – increasing social inequalities

  • Carcereal Archipelago – fortified cities

  • Simcity – simulation of real world

Q. 5 d) Write a note on “forward and backward linkages” in Perroux’s thesis of economic growth and regional development.

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  • Backward Linkages: If a growth in production in one industry stimulates production in the industries supplying it then that industry - like steel industry has backward linkages to the iron ore mining industry, the coke and coal industries

  • Forward Linkages - when the availability of the output of an industry make possible the production of industries using that output. For example, the plastic producing industry makes it feasible for businesses requiring plastic to begin operation.

Q. 5 e) Outline briefly the “age of mass consumption” as described by Rostow in his ‘multi-stage theory of growth’.

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  • Subsistence concern is not important

  • Focus on comfort

  • Concentrate on durable goods

  • Higher output

  • Higher consumption expenditure

  • Shift to tertiary sector

  • Expansion of middle class customers

  • Mass production

  • Consumerism

Q. 6 a) “Areal differentiation has provided the theoretical justification for studying ‘regions’ and ‘regional geography’.” Comment.

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  • Uniqueness of areas

  • Relation among phenomena

Q. 6 b) Citing examples from Asia and Europe, comment upon the contexts with which pronatalist population policies are advanced. What could be the implications of these policies on women’s workforce participation?

  • Countries with negative population growth rate or ageing population – work for pronatalist population policies

  • Decreased taxpayers

  • Decreased workforce

  • Japan

  • Germany

  • Italy

  • Sweden - In Sweden, parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted.

  • Hungary - The longest a mother can go to maternity leave in Hungary is 3 years out of which for 168 days she is paid with 70% of her original salary which is paid by the state

  • Czechoslovakia

  • Persuade people to have more children.

  • Incentives used includes

  • Social security benefits

  • Child support

  • Subsidized daycare

  • Paid parental leave

  • Incentives for women to work

  • Tax reductions

  • Equality bonus

  • Reentry training programs

  • Financial aid and support

  • Cheap transport and incentives for families to have larger family e.g. baby-bonus schemes.

  • Singapore (1965 – baby boom; fertility decline even after reaching replacement rate in 1975 - since last 15 years pronatalist policies)

Q. 6 c) Comment upon the contributions of D.M. Smith in outlining ‘welfare’ as a key focus in the geographies of social well-being.

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  • Smith - welfare is some function of the distribution of goods and bads among groups of the population defined by area of residence.

  • He abandoned homogeneity assumption which became popular during quantitative revolution

  • He was concerned with poverty in Bangladesh versus wealth in Britain

  • Apartheid in South Africa and social segregation in Europe and USA

  • Highly influenced by Marxist Ideas

  • Looked for fairer distribution of wealth

  • Explains who gets what, where and how

Q. 7 a) “Famine is a social phenomenon rooted in institutional and political economic arrangements, which determine access to food by different classes and strata.” Comment.

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  • Difference between famine and drought

  • Shortage of water versus shortage of food and nutritional security

  • Hoarding of food

  • Economic conflicts

  • Political unrest

  • Movement of food due to natural hazards

  • Reduced purchasing power

  • Lack of aid

  • Reduced workforce

  • Irish Potato famine – potato disease

  • Russian famine – agricultural production during WW-I

  • China Famine due to Great Leap Forward movement

  • Ethiopia famine due to poor governance

  • Dutch winter famine of 1944 caused severe shortage of food

Q. 7 b) Provide a brief outline of ideas related to “sense of place” as propounded by Yi-Fu Tuan and Relph in the humanistic geography that emerged in the 1970’s.

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  • Humanistic – Buttimer, Relph and Tuan

  • Phenomenology – Relph and Tuan

  • There is no objective world independent of man’s existence

  • All knowledge comes from experience

  • Topophilia – emotional connections to place

  • Nature of knowledge

  • Role of territory

  • Influence of religion

  • Tuan

  • To know world is to know oneself

  • Geography is mirror of man

  • Relph

  • Places and placelessness

  • Q. 7 c) Elaborate upon the influence of Marxist philosophy on geographical research, outlining key themes addressed by Marxist geographers since the 1970’s.

  • Marxist Geography

  • Reproduction of social formations

  • Against capitalism

  • Spatial organization of socio-environmental relations

  • Superstructure – understand economic processes by theory of religion

Q. 8 a) “Welfare geography emphasizes spatial inequality and territorial justice.” Comment with reference to the main ideas and scope of the subfield

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  • Came with rise in radical geography

  • Welfare approach emerged as the response to quantitative revolution, spatial science, positivism, and model-building

  • Identify and explain the existence of crime, hunger, poverty, environmental degradation, malnutrition, deprivation, and other forms of discrimination and disadvantage

  • Understanding how the whole social, economic and political system functions, and teasing out universal tendencies

  • Details of particular social, economic and political systems; for example, how housing policy under capitalism advantages some people in some places and disadvantages other people in other places

Q. 8 b) Discuss critically the manner in which quantitative revolution provided the methodological foundation for models and modelling in geography

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  • Ackerman

  • Weaver

  • Christaller

  • Harvey

  • Ullman – urban structure

  • Allowed projections

  • Identify trends

  • Come up with estimate of error

  • Formulate structured ideas

  • Reduced observations to factors

Q. 8 c) Discuss in brief the main thesis in “Limits to growth” (1972) and also provided a critique of the same.

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  • Relation between earth and human systems

  • Written by Meadows

  • Commissioned by Club of Rome

  • World population

  • Industrialization

  • Pollution

  • Food production

  • Resource depletion

  • Predictions were weak

  • Failed to recognize to flexibility and adoptability

  • Assumed that new source would not be found (incorrect)

  • Insufficient evidence of variables

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