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Introduction to Geography

Introduction to Geography

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Introduction to Geography

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  1. Introduction to Geography Chapter 6: Cultural Geography

  2. Cultural Geography • Describes everything about the way people live • Artifacts • Clothes • Diet • Articles of use • Customs – patterns of behavior • Interpersonal arrangements, family structure, educational methods • Forces of cultural change • Evolutionism • Diffusionism • Diffusion & acculturation

  3. Theories of Cultural Evolution • Theory of human stages • Marcus Tarentius Varro • Hunter-gatherers • Pastoral nomadism • Settled agriculture • Alexander von Humboldt • Disputed Varro • Described peoples who never practiced pastoral nomadism • Historical materialism • Karl Marx • Technology and human progressive control of the environment • Conflicts with Malthusianism

  4. Cultures and Environments • Environmental determinism • Human events explained by environment • Cultural ecology • Adaptation of societies to their environment • Challenge-response theory • Possibilism • Environment influences, but does not control, human events • Role of cultural, economic, political, social factors

  5. Cultural Diffusion • Clifford Geertz • Isolation very rare today • Ever-increasing and accelerating cultural diffusion • What happens at places depends on what happens among places • Clark Wissler • Geographic culture centers: Where ideas begin • Age-area principle: As ideas spread, oldest ideas are farthest from the center • Diffusion does not explain all distributions

  6. Folk Culture • Cultures that preserve traditions • Characteristics • Conservative • Resistant to change • Distinctive religions • Distribution • Mostly rural • Some urban folk cultures • Immigrant groups • Preservation efforts

  7. Popular Culture • Embrace innovation & conform to changing norms • Rapid diffusion • Mass culture • Mass produced: • Books • Clothing • Processed food • Electronics • Household goods • “Mass taste” = loss of individuality • Geographic variation of market penetration • Marketing of popular culture

  8. http://popvssoda.com:2998/

  9. Identity & Behavioral Geography • Identity • Individual identity (characteristics) • Group identity (groups one belongs to) • Human—cultural—invention • Stereotyping • Attributing certain characteristics to all members of a group • May lead to biases • Spatial identities: attachment to particular places

  10. Cultural Groups • Sharing of cultural characteristics (many or few) • Culture groups in complex societies • Mainstream (dominant) culture • Subculture: Share smaller number of characteristics • Common folk culture or ancestry • Spatial identities • Religious affiliation • Residential patterns • Popular culture

  11. Ethnic Groups • From Greek “ethnos,” people • Common ancestry or descent group with common cultural features • Ethnonationalism: claim to political rights • Spatial ethnicity • Ethnic enclaves in cities and suburbs • Originally may have been enforced • Today, more likely self-imposed • Endures as cultural resource • Ethnocentrism: belief that one’s own culture is best

  12. Race & Gender Identities • Race • Poor predictor of cultural or other traits in individuals • Classification based on appearance • Skin color • Hair • Facial features • Meaning from historical & present experience • Gender and sexuality • Gender: duties and rolls based on being male or female • Behavior in public vs. private spaces

  13. Behavioral Geography • Perceptions & their influence on behavior • Subfield of cultural geography • Mental maps • Pictures in our head • Cognitive behavioralism • Perception of environment • Proxemics • Cross-cultural study of use of space • Territoriality

  14. Culture Realms (Regions) • Relatively continuous region of 1 or more cultural traits • Core: culture trait(s) dominant • Domain: culture trait(s) majority but not all • Often defined by traditional traits • Cautions • Change over time • Not isolated • Larger the culture region, fewer traits apply throughout • Customs • Language of local signs • Clothing • Goods in shops • Built environment • Building material • Architectural style • Monuments and statues

  15. Traditional Building Materials

  16. Settlement Patterns • Clustered housing • Religious or family bonds • Community land ownership • Common security against bandits or invaders • Isolated farmsteads • Peace and security in the countryside • Settlement by families • Agricultural private enterprise • Unit-block farms • Well-watered and well-drained land

  17. Trade & Cultural Diffusion • Trade • Promoter of cultural diffusion • More economic possibilities • Release from reliance on local resources • Intertwined • Trade • Economics • Culture • Development of trade & cultural change • Trade surplus products for luxury goods • New cultural permutations • Production of items for market

  18. World Trade & Cultural Diffusion Today • Virtually all peoples connected to trade & commercial production • Coercion • Marketing • Specialization of production • Acceleration of diffusion • Travel and transportation • Electronic communication & “annihilation of space” • Time-space compression • Virtual reality & cyberspace, digital divide • Clash of civilizations • Shatterbelts

  19. Voyages of Contact • Global diffusion • Modern systems of global interconnectedness • Europe as clearinghouse of information and products • Relocation of goods and services • World exploration and conquest • Early Chinese voyages—aborted • European seaborne empires • Commercial Revolution (1650-1750) • Superior ships • Navigation technology

  20. European Revolutions • Industrial Revolution (1750- 1850) • Mechanical power, complex machinery • Why Europe? • Wealth from exploration & colonization • Expansion of trade, finance, & credit • Joint-stock companies & liquidity • Steam engine • Agricultural Revolution • Created labor supply for industry • Increased food supply

  21. Political Conquest • First wave (1415-1779) • Americas • Mostly independent by 1775-1825 • Second wave (late 19th century) • Europe + United States • Avoid conflicts over land in Europe • Control commercial interests & protect markets • Lasting cultural impacts

  22. Cultural Imperialism • Substitution or subordination of one set of cultural traditions by another • Force • Degrading those who fail to acculturate & rewarding those who do • European attitudes • Nature of Christianity as proselytizing religion • Superior technology as indicator of superior culture • Methods • Training local elites (reference group behavior) • Usurpation of power to define local tradition • Self-Westernization • Japan, China, Turkey

  23. Westernization Today • Dress & lifestyle of elite as status symbols • Education • Role of media • Implanting Western values • TV programs, movies, videos • Tourism • Attraction to exotic places • Changes from tourists’ very presence • Commodification of culture • Professionals & professional education

  24. America’s Role • World view of America • Military power • Role of global peacekeeper • Sole superpower • Economic power • 1/5 of world economy • Popular culture • Most recognized brands • Challenging local traditions • Political influence

  25. End of Chapter 6