Funkcjonalizm w geograficznych badaniach wsi
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The main feature of the development of geography within the scientistic paradigm is the dominance of functionalist conceptual models and the evolutionism of research programs based on them, e.g. of the settlement network, urbanisation, internal structure of urban areas, land use, typologies of agriculture, economic regionalisation. Theoretical and methodological reflections on the essence of functional studies in Polish geography are insignificant and confined mostly to the realm of methodology. The critical and constructive program for the methodological development of functional studies appeared in the 1980s within the geography of settlement, especially geographical study of the city. Studies on the functions and functional structure of rural areas are characterised by subject duality. Functional rural studies have been carried out by settlement and agricultural (rural) geographers. The specificity of approaches of these geographical sub-disciplines to the research subject (functions of rural areas) is a result of different methodological principles and, consequently, various methods of research. Five basic categories of understanding functions have been distinguished in rural geographical studies. The first four categories are related to geographical and settlement research, while the last one was distinguished for methodological interpretation of functional studies in agricultural geography. The major categories in understanding functions in rural geographical studies include the following: – function is the role of an element (settlement) in the physical structure of a network (a set of settlements), – function is a type of activity of the residents and the equipment of a settlement, – function is a concentration of jobs or places of residence, – function is a relation in the system, – function is a specific feature or set of features associated with objects (areas).
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