“Areal differentiation forms the core theme in Geography.” Explain. (10 marks)

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  • The question demanding how Areal differentiation a central theme in geography. So don’t just explain what is areal differentiation.
  • Explain the following things- geography focused on chorology, idiographic approach. Geography as descriptive theory.
  • Geography as regional synthesis.
  • Use the name of thinkers and statements to conclude the answer.


The study of areal variation of the human and physical phenomenon as they relate to other spatially proximate and causally linked phenomenon is known as Areal differentiation (AD). The term was coined by Hartshorne in his classical work The Nature of Geography. The Areal differentiation is also known as chorology as it is solely concerned with the unique character of different areas of earth s surface.

Areal differentiation forms the core theme in Geography as the subject matter of geography is the study of the man in relation to its physical environment.

Its historical roots lies in the works of Hecateus Miletus in 6th BC and Strabo works. Strabo declared that “geographer is the person who attempts to describe the parts of the earth”. 

In settlement geography, we study the nature of settlement in a place and it is intricately linked with the physical environment, A mountainous region has a dispersed kind of settlement whereas a plain area has concentrated settlements.

The areal differentiation helps to identify the unique solution to the challenges of a particular region and the policymakers design developmental plans accordingly.

In welfare geography, we identify the developmental gaps in health, education and living standard to address the concern of the population.

Later in 1980s in opposition to the Quantitative revolution areal differentiation emerged as the new perspective in geography with the help of Marxist approach, Humanistic approach and Contextual theory.

The essence variation in regions with respect to human and environment is what we study in Areal differentiation. Thus Areal Differentiation forms the core theme in geography.