A.P. Human Geography – Folk & Pop Culture

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-A group of belief systems, norms and values practiced by a people
How is culture recognized?
-1 of 2 ways
-People identify themselves as a culture
-Others can label a certain group of people as a culture
Folk Culture
-Incorporates a homogeneous population
-Typically rural
-Cohesive in cultural traits
-Work to preserve those traits in order to claim uniqueness
Material Culture
What a group of people make (SEE)
-Buildings, art, furniture, clothing, musical instruments
Nonmaterial Culture
Beliefs, practices, myths, aesthetics and values of a group of people
Popular Culture
-Incorporates heterogeneous populations
-Typically urban
-Experiences quick changing cultural traits
-Practiced by people across identities and across the world
-Encompasses material and nonmaterial culture
Pop Culture Characteristics
-Diffused by mass media – film, print, television, radio, internet
-Many superficial relationships
-Less attached to place/environment
-Police, army, and courts rule – not family and church
-Promotes individualism
Hearths of Popular Culture
-Often begins with contagious diffusion
How is popular culture diffused?
-Hierarchial diffusion
-Uses urban hierarchy
-Distance decay
-David Harvey – Time space compression
David Harvey: Time-Space Compression
-Since technology links some places more closely than others, culture diffuses more quickly rather than at a constant rate
Pop Culture – Placelessness
-Edward Relph
-Spatial Standardization
-Diminishes regional variety
-Popular culture does NOT take over the existing popular culture, rather a process called deterritorialization of popular culture occurs
-Produce popular culture themselves in the context of their own culture – make it their own
How are local cultures sustained?
-Assimilation of certain groups destroyed local culture
-Local culture sustained through customs
-The goals of local cultures is to keep other cultures out and keep their culture in
Influence of the Physical Environment
-Customs – climate, soil, and vegetation
-Responsive to environment bc low level of technology and agricultural economy
-2 neccesities of life: Food and shelter
Distinctive Food Preferences
-Derived from the environment
-Adapt food preferences to environmental conditions
Food Attraction and Taboos
-Everything has a signature or distinct characteristic
-People eat and don’t eat certain things based on whether it is acceptable o not socially
-Factor 1: Nutritional Value
Factor 2: Custom/ Tradition/Myth
Factor 3: Indigenous to the area
-Taboo to eat anything that is thought to embody negativity
-May establish food taboos to protect the environment
-Religion and values also play a role in food taboos
Folk Housing
-Distinctive Building Materials influenced by location, resources available and social factors
-Distinctive house form and orientation result from customary beliefs of environmental factors
-Housing and environment homes are constructed based on the environment
U.S. Folk House Forms
-Fred Kniffen – 3 major hearths of folk house forms in the us
-NE Saltbox, two chimney, cape cod, front gable and wing
-Mid atlantic, “I” house
-Lower chespaeake one story w/ steep roof and two chimneys
-rapid communication & transportation
-don’t build the houses they live in
Why are cultural landscapes so similar?
-Architecture forms + planning ideas have diffused
-Individual businesses + products are widespread
-Borrowing of idealized landscape
Pop Culture Landscape
-Strip Malls – Landscape of Consumption
Leisure Landscapes
Entertainment Landscapes – DisneyWorld, Golf Course
Amenity Landscapes
Forests, mountains, lakes
Elitist Landscape
Wealthy districts – French Riviera, the Hamptons
Rapid Diffusion of Clothes
-Characterized by income and job characteristics
-Improved communication
-Exposure to folk dress due to increased travel + television
Snack Foods and Beverages
-Preference based on what is made, grown or imported locally
-Also affected by background
-Dependent on income and advertising
Role of TV in diffusing Popular Culture
-Significant Custom Because:
-Most popular leisure activity
-Most important means by which culture is diffused
Threat to Folk Culture
-Money : Rising income increases demand for items valued in popular culture
-Can lead to domination of folk culture
-Loss of traditional values (clothing)
-Change in traditional role of women
-Can cause problems in LDC’s – prostitution
Threat of Foreign Media Imperialism
-Threatens LDC’s independence
-Seen as a new type of economic + cultural imperialism
-Allow governments of LDC to censor shows and/or only program shows appropriate to tradition values
Environmental Impact of Popular Culture
-Modifies nature
-Uniform landscapes – seen to generate product recognition + greater consumption
Negative Environmental Impacts
-Increased demand for natural resources
-Depletion of resources and/or extinction of species
-Inefficient use of resources
-Popular culture produces a lot of waste
-Folk culture can also negatively impact the environment by ignoring natural processes
The frequent repetition of an act, to the extent that it becomes characteristic of the group of people performing the act
A repetitive act performed by a particular individual
A restriction on behavior imposed by social custom
The contribution of a location’s distinctive physical features to the way food tastes
A center of innovation
Folk Songs
-Folk songs tell a story or convey information about daily activities such as farming, life-cycle events (birth, death, and marriage), or mysterious events such as storms and earthquakes
Popular Music
-Popular music is written by specific individuals for the purpose of being sold to a large number of people
-It displays a high degree of technical skill and is frequently capable of being performed only in a studio with electronic equipment
-Originated around 1900s
Hip-Hop Music
-A more recent form of popular music that also originated in New York
-Hip-hop originated in the late 1970s in the South Bronx, a neighborhood predominantly populated by low income African American and Puerto Rican people
-Hip hop demonstrates the interplay between globalization and local diversity
-Hip hop is a return to a very local form of music expression rather than form that is studio manufactured
-At the same time, hip hop has diffused rapidly around the world through instruments of globalization: the music is broadcast online and sold through Web marketing
Prominent Nodes of Innovation for Popular Culture
-Hollywood, California for the film industry and Madison Avenue in NYC for advertising agencies
-Popular culture diffuses rapidly and extensively through the use of modern communications and transportation
How is Folk Culture Spread?
-Folk culture is transmitted from one location to another more slowly and on a smaller scale, primarily through migration rather than electronic communication
-The spread of folk culture occurs through relocation diffusion the spread of a characteristic through migration
Relocation Diffusion
The spread of a feature or trend through bodily movement of people from one place to another.
Diffusion of Sports
Many sports originated through as isolated folk customs and were diffused like other folk culture, through the migration of individuals
Why are folk cultures responsive to the environment?
Because of their limited technology and the prevailing agricultural economy. People living in folk cultures are likely to be farmers growing their own food, using hand tools and animal power.
Folk Food Habits
-Folk food habits are embedded especially strongly in the environment
U.S. Folk Housing
Older houses in the US display local folk-culture traditions
The Lower Chesapeake
Aka tidewater style of house typically comprised one story, with a steep roof and chimneys at either end
Migrants spread these houses from the chesapeake bay along the southeast coast
Middle Atlantic
middle atlantic region’s principal house type was known , typically two full stories in height, with gables to the sides
middle atlantic migrants carried their house type westward
New England
migrants carried house types northward to upper New England and Westward across the southern Greak lakes region
The distinctive character of a wine derives from a unique combination of soil, climate, and other physical characteristics at the place where the grapes were grown
Mansard, neo-tudor, neb-french, neo-colonial
Categories: Human Geography