Cultural Geography Test 1

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the study of place; physical and human characteristics
-studies space: the location and distribution of features on the Earth’s surface (movement)
-studies human activity, the natural environment, and the relationship between the two
cultural geography
learned patterns of human behavior held in common by a group of people
-studies the relationships between space, place, environment, and culture. It examines how culture is expressed and symbolized in the landscapes we see around us, including homes, commercial buildings, roads, and agricultural patterns
learned, collective human behavior with similarities in speech, behavior, ideology, livelihood, technology, value systems, society
5 themes of cultural geography
region, diffusion, cultural ecology, cultural interaction and cultural landscape
formal region
a region inhabited by people who have one or more cultural traits in common
-scientific devices help enable us to make spatial generalizations
refers to a situation where a region can be divided into two sections, one near the center where defining attributes (language and religion) are strong; and other parts of the region are further away from the core(periphery) where the attributes are weaker
functional region
an area that functions as a unit politically, socially and economically
• Examples: city, precinct, church parish, farm
vernacular region
a region perceived to exist by its inhabitants; based on the spatial perception of the population at large; bearing a generally accepted name or nickname
-generally lack sharp borders
-hybrid marketing coastal regions
EX “space”, “treasure”, “nature” “emerald”
“redneck riviera”
-sports counties: “gator country”
the movement of people, ideas, or things from one location outward toward another location where these items are not initially found
independent invention
a cultural innovation that is developed in two or more locations by individuals or groups working independently
relocation diffusion
the spread of an innovation or other element of culture that occurs with the bodily relocation(migration) of the individual or group responsible for the innovation
EX-language, religion, food crops
expansion diffusion
the spread of innovations within an area in a snowballing process, so that the total number of knowers or users becomes greater and the area of occurrence grows
hierarchal diffusion
a type of expansion diffusion in which innovations spread from one important person to another or from one urban center to another, temporarily bypassing other persons or rural areas
contagious diffusion
a wave-like spread of ideas in the manner of a contagious disease, moving throughout space without regard to hierarchies
stimulus diffusion
a type of expansion diffusion in which a specific trait fails to spread but the underlying idea or concept is accepted
time-distance decay
the decrease in acceptance of a cultural innovation with increasing time and distance from its origin
absorbing barriers
a barrier that completely halts diffusion of innovations and blocks the spread of cultural elements
permeable barriers
a barrier that permits some aspects of an innovation to diffuse through it but weakens and retards continued spread; an innovation can be modified in passing through a permeable barrier
the binding together of all the lands and peoples of the world into an integrated system driven by capitalistic free markets, in which cultural diffusion is rapid, independent states are weakened, and cultural homogenization is encouraged
a term that refers to complex relationships between people and the physical environment including how culture, politics and economics affect people’s ecological situation and resource use
environmental determinism
the belief that cultures are directly or indirectly shaped by the physical environment
a school of thought based on the belief that humans, rather than the physical environment, are the primary active force; that any environment offers a number of different possible ways for a culture to develop; and that the choices among these possibilities are guided by cultural heritage
environmental perception
the belief that culture depends on what people perceive the environment to be than on the actual character of the environment; perception is colored by the teachings of culture
cultural landscape
artificial landscape; the visible human imprint on the land
-the built environment
symbolic landscape
landscapes that express the values, beliefs, and meanings of a particular culture
settlement forms
the spatial arrangement of buildings, roads, towns that people construct while inhabiting an area
land division pattern
a term that refers to the spatial patterns of different land uses
Reading the landscape
-consider settlement forms
-land division patterns
-architectural styles
EX frog fountain
Pierce Lewis
Axioms for reading the landscape
-landscape as a clue to culture
-cultural unity and lanscape equality
-historic:the past persists as relic features that still exist
-historic lumpiness: big changes occur in leaps: post-war, depressions etc
-environmental control: env landscaped related to physical env
-landscape obscurity
-language in the landscape
popular culture
based on mass production; urban; trends change rapidly (modern), individualistic; diffuses
folk culture
rural; traditional; family oriented; variations can be seen in cemeteries ad architecture
folk housing
produced from the collective memory
-based off tradition/ architecture without an architect
-most distintive features reflect human/environment interaction
-house types reflect culture change, origin and diffusion
a sacred pace emerges from the ordinary space surrounding it
a social system involving a set of beliefs and practices through which people seek harmony with the universe and attempt to influence the forces of nature, life and death
proselytic religion
a religion that actively seeks converts and has the goal of converting all humankind
universalizing religion
also called proselytic religions, they expand through active conversion of new members and aim to encompass all of humankind
ethnic religion
a religion identified with a particular ethnic or tribal group; does not seek converters
monotheistic religion
the worship of only one God
polytheistic religion
the worship of multiple gods
syncretic religion
combine elements of two or more belief systems
• Ex. Black Christ of Esquipulas
orthodox religion
ortho-‘right’ dox-‘teaching’
• a strand within most major religions that emphasize purity of faith and is not open
• still tolerant of other religions
• Ex. Eastern Christianity- Coptics(egypt), old groups in Lebanon and Ukraine
a movement to return to the founding principles of religion, which can include literal interpretation of sacred texts, or the attempt to follow the ways of a religious founder as closely as possible
the belief that inanimate objects, such as trees, rocks, and rivers possess souls
culture hearth
a focused geographic area where important innovations are born and from which they spread
contact conversion
the spread of religious belief through personal contact
journey to a place of religious importance
adaptive strategy
the unique way in which each culture uses its particular physical environment; those aspects of culture that serve to provide the necessities of life-food, clothing, shelter, and defense
sacred space
somewhere deemed sacred-a place treated/viewed differently
• an area reorganized by a religious group as worthy of devotion, loyalty, esteem, or fear to the extent that it becomes sought out, avoided, inaccessible to the non believer, and/or removed from economic use
earth eating
• Ex. Kaolin
Ek Chuah
Mayan god of merchants and cacoa
• Seeds were used as currency
• Maya elite drank chocolate beverage
• People go on pilgrimages to this place
material culture
includes object or things made and used by members of a cultural group: buildings, furniture, clothing, artwork, musical instruments, and other physical objects
nonmaterial culture
includes the wide range of beliefs, values, myths, and symbolic meanings that are transmitted across generations of a given society
describes a rural people who live in an old fashioned way-less influenced by modern technology
EX Amish
indigenous culture
native or of native origin
-self-identified tribal peoples whose social, cultura, economic conditions distinguish them from the national society of their host state
-those that were colonized
-a spatial standardization that diminishes regional variety and demeans the human spirit
-one place seems like another, each robbed of its unique character by the pervasive influence of a continental or worldwide popular culture
-the geographical face of pop culture foten seems expressionless
-the greater mobility of people in pop culture weakens attachments to place and compunds the problem of placelessness
EX the spread of McDonalds, shopping malls, Levi’s, CNN
-Michael Weiss: “American society has become increasingly fragmented”
-lifestyle clusters based on zipcodes
-” Gray Power”, “Old Yankee Rows”, “Norma-Rae-Ville”
vernacular culture region
is the product of the spatial perception of the population at large-mental maps
-a geographical unit based on characteristics and functions of culture
3 types: formal, functional, vernacular
EX: Islam
-greatest strength in Arabic-speaking lands in SW Asia and North Africa
-worlds largest Islamic population is found in Indonesia
-fastest growing world religion
-helps understand how spatial patterns in culture emerged and evolved
Types of diffusion:
Relocation-*EX-migration of Christianity with European settlers who came to America
-cultural hearth: Semitic religious hearth and the Indus-Ganges Hearth
-pilgrimages(The Ka’ba)
-studies the relationship between the environment and culture(adaptive system)
4 schools of thought: environmental determinism, possibilism, environmental perception,
EX. Animistic faiths
-the sacred cow:hinduism
-the notion that all aspects of culture are intertwined
-religious belief may influence voting, diet, shopping patterns, type of employment, social standing
EX the rise of Evangelical Protestantism in Latin America-believe the Catholic church is not meeting needs of contemporary urban societies
-all built forms that cultural groups create in inhabiting the earth
-every inhabited area has a cultural landscape, fashioned from the natural landscape, and each uniquely reflects the culture that created it
EX. Religious structures
-buildings erected to house divinities or to shelter worshippers
-Roman Catholics: church building is the House of God and the altar is the focus of key rituals
-focal point of settlement
-tallest buildings, representing the supremacy of religion over all other aspects of life