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The scientific study of the geographic distribution of races, peoples, or cultural groups and their adaptation and relation to the environments in which they live.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the scientific discipline at the juncture of ethnography and geography.

Ethnography studies the geographic location of ethnic communities, as well as the characteristics of their pattern of settlement and their territorial relations, in close connection with socioeconomic, political, natural, and other factors. Consideration is given to such matters as the nature of settlement (whether, for example, it is sedentary or nomadic), the degree to which a territory has been developed, and population density.

The most important tasks of ethnogeography are to define the national composition of the countries of the world and to establish what changes are taking place in the sizes of particular peoples and ethnic groups (as well as racial, linguistic, religious, and other groups) both within and outside the principal countries in which the peoples or groups live. Ethnogeography, which includes ethnic cartography and ethnic demography, works closely with the branches of anthropology that study the distribution of the races of man and with linguistic geography, which studies the distribution of the languages of the world.

A considerable number of general ethnographic maps have been published in the USSR since the 1950’s, as well as many survey works in which principles have been developed for the identification and classification of ethnic communities and the identification of ethnic territories.


Bruk, S. I., V. I. Kozlov, and M. G. Levin. “O predmete i zadachakh etnogeografii.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1963, no. 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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