Contemporary Human Geography, 5th Edition © 2023

This program, published by Pearson, is a modular springboard into essential human and cultural geography concepts.

  • Designed for the modern student
  • Explores key issues of contemporary human geography in a bold, visual style.
  • Concise topic spreads include cutting-edge cartography, media, and assessment.
  • Accompanied by Pearson’s Mastering® platform with eText.

Contemporary Human Geography Program

Integrating innovative visuals, media, and active learning activities, Contemporary Human Geography is a modular, highly graphical springboard into human geography.


Updated with important 21st century geography issues

5th edition includes coverage of COVID-19, the growing inequality within and between countries, the importance of relating climate science with human actions, and other key trends–all threaded through the text, and supported in the eText and Mastering.


Modern maps and visuals bolster 21st century student understanding of human geography

A modern integration of precise maps, informational illustrations, and vivid photographs propels students off the page and into a real-world visual and intellectual understanding human geography today.


Lessons Engage Students in Real-world human-geography

Students gain a real-world understanding of human geography through differentiated analysis and application activities beyond the textbook, including cartography projects, debating geography topics, and applying geography concepts in local ways.

Contemporary Human Geography, 5th Edition

  • Connects Human Geography Activities
  • Enhanced Textbook Organization
  • Cutting-Edge Cartography

Connects Human Geography Activities

  • Research & Analyze
    Research & Analyze activities have students explore data from authoritative and up-to-date online sources, responding to critical thinking questions based on the data.
  • What’s Your Geography
    What’s Your Geography? activities ask students to apply the skills and techniques of geographers to their personal experiences and local environments, helping to connect the relevance of human geography with everyday life.

Enhanced textbook organization

  • Key Issues
    Each Chapter opens with an outline of four Key Issues, the chapter’s main topics and big questions in human geography, as well as key terms and places found in the chapter.
  • Learning Objectives
    Each two-page module begins with a Learning Objective that frames the main concept. Maps and photos appear next to where they are discussed–especially helpful for reading the eText on a tablet or computer.
  • Key Issues
    The final spread of each chapter reviews the main points, organized around the four Key Issues. The end-of-chapter material includes Key Terms, as well as numerous activities, including Thinking Geographically, GeoVideos, Geospatial Analysis, and Explore activities.

Cutting-edge Cartography

    Cartography provides maps optimized for maximum accuracy and clear presentation of current data. New projections reduce distortions. New cartograms and other graphic devices have been added.

Take a deeper look into Contemporary Human Geography, 5th Edition’s features


Program Overview

Get to know Contemporary Human Geography with Mastering® Geography with Pearson eText

Mastering® Geography with Pearson eText

It is the leading online homework, tutorial, and assessment system, designed to improve results by engaging students with powerful digital content and resources.


The Pearson Mastering® platform delivers engaging, dynamic learning opportunities—focused on course objectives and responsive to each student’s progress—proven to help students absorb and understand difficult concepts.

Contemporary Human Geography Map Master 2023.png

MapMaster 2.0, inspired by GIS, enables students to layer and explore thematic map data at global and regional scales. Students can enhance spatial reasoning skills and geographic literacy, using hundreds of map layers with a multitude of data points and current data.

School Stories

In these inspirational stories, you'll learn about what schools and districts from across the country are doing to help students succeed and shape the future of education.

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More about Contemporary Human Geography

  • About the Author
    James M. Rubenstein received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1975. He was Professor of Geography at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, where he taught urban and human geography, and where he helped develop the new Sustainability co-major in the Institute for the Environment & Sustainability. He is also the author of Savvas’s The Cultural Landscape and Introduction to Contemporary Geography. He is often invited to give talks and presentations at colleges, high schools, and professional meetings.

    Rubenstein works as a regional consultant for the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, and he conducts research in the automotive industry. He is often interviewed by the media on automotive and economic issues, and has published three books on the subject: The Changing US Auto Industry: A Geographical Analysis (Routledge); Making and Selling Cars: Innovation and Change in the US Auto Industry (The Johns Hopkins University Press); and Who Really Made Your Car? Restructuring and Geographic Change in the Auto Industry (W.E. Upjohn Institute, with Thomas Klier).

    He is a semi-amateur, semi-professional painter, and displays his work at galleries in Maryland and Ohio.
  • Brief Table of Contents
    1. This is Geography
    2. Population & Health
    3. Migration
    4. Culture & Social Media
    5. Languages
    6. Religions
    7. Ethnicity & Race
    8. Political Geography
    9. Food & Agriculture
    10. Development
    11. Industry
    12. Services & Settlements
    13. Urban Patterns
    14. Resource Issues

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