Presentation on theme: "The Nature of Cultural Geography"— Presentation transcript:
1The Nature of Cultural Geography Chapter 1The Human Matrix
2Discussion Pair up into dyads Discuss these two questions for 10 minutes, five minutes eachWhat does culture mean to you?Would you identify yourself as belonging to a cultural group? Why or why not?
3Introduction Humans are by nature geographers Possess awareness of and curiosity about the distinctive character of placesCan think territorially or spatiallyEach place on Earth is uniquePlaces possess an emotional quality and significance that contribute to our identity as unique human beingsGeographers, over the centuries, generated a number of concepts and ideas that literally changed the world
4Seven Cultural Geographical Idea That Changed the World MapsHuman adaptation to habitatHuman transformation of the earthSense of placeSpatial organization and interdependenceCentral place theoryMegalopolis
5Geography as an academic discipline Natural human geographical curiosity and need for identityFirst arose among the ancient Greeks, Romans, Mesopotamians, and PhoeniciansArab empire expanded geography during Europe’s Dark Ages
6Geography as an academic discipline Center of learning shifted to Europe during the Renaissance periodModern scientific study of geography arose in GermanyAnalytical geography began in the 1800s asking what, where, and whyAlexander von Humboldt and Carl Ritter
7What is cultural geography? The meaning of cultureFor this course defined as learned collective human behavior, as opposed to instinctive, or inborn behaviorLearned traitsCultural geography: the study of spatial variations among cultural groups and the spatial functioning of society.
8Cultural geographyFocuses on cultural phenomena that may vary or remain constant from place to placeExplains how humans function spatially
12What is cultural geography? Physical geography brings spatial and ecological perspectivesBridges the social and earth sciencesSeeks a integrative view of humankind in its physical environmentAppears less focused than most other disciplines making it difficult to define
13No easy explanations for cultural phenomena Many complex causal forcesWheat cultivations (next slide)Cultural geography seeks explanations of diverse casual factors
15Themes in cultural geography Culture region: a geographical unit based on human traitsMaps are an essential tool for describing and revealing regionsMajor types of culture regionsFormalFunctionalVernacular
17Kerala, IndiaA formal culture region can be defined in this picture by ethnicity, dress and social custom.While people do not generally reveal their bodies in public, at the end of the day they dress up to go to the beach and watch the sunset.
18Kerala, IndiaBoys and girls do not mingle but observe each other from a distance.Unchaperoned dating is rare and marriages are typically arranged.These are learned, collective human behaviors.
19Formal culture regionAn area inhabited by people who have one or more cultural traits in common.More commonly multiple related traitsNo two cultural traits have the same distribution.
21Territorial extents of a culture region depend on what defining traits are used.
22Formal culture regions Many different formal regions can be createdDepends on traitsGeographer’s intuition
23Boundaries Formal culture regions must have boundaries rarely sharp because cultures overlap and mixCulture regions reveal a core where all defining traits are presentFarther from core regional characteristics weaken and disappearFormal regions display core/periphery patternHuman world is chaotic
25Minneapolis, Minnesota This mobile post-office is the node of a functional region.People come to the node at specific times during the week to deposit their mail.This vehicle is one of several linked to a particular post office which is part of of a larger network of post offices.Each post office is a node in its own mail delivery region.
26Functional culture region The scene is in the city’s CBD where individual buildings are nodes of activities linked to other buildings and places.Note the skywalk which facilitates interaction between structures.
27Functional culture regions An area organized to function politically, socially, or economicallyExamples: city, independent state, church diocese, a trade areaHave nodes or central points from which functions are coordinated and directed.Many functional regions have clearly defined borders
28Farm as a formal culture region all land owned and leased, farmstead is node, borders marked by fences, hedges
29Functional culture region States in the United States and Canadian provincesNot all functional areas have clearly defined borders: newspapers, sales areaFans of UT vs TAMUGenerally functional culture regions do not coincide spatially with formal culture regions
31Vernacular culture regions A region perceived to exist by its inhabitants, has widespread acceptance and uses a special regional name.
32Vernacular culture region Generally lack sharp bordersCan be based on many different thingsphysical environmenteconomic, political, historical aspectsoften created by publicity campaignsGrows out of a people’s sense of belonging and regional self -consciousness
34Vernacular culture region Not unique to North AmericaNorthern Territory = “Outback Australia”Transcends state linesJapanese tiesHeavy duty bumper and “roo bars” to deflect wildlife
35DifferencesHow do vernacular culture regions differ from formal and functional regionsOften lack the organization necessary for funtional regionsUnlike formal regions, they frequently do not display cultural homogeneityMany are rooted in the popular or folk culture
36Cultural diffusionSpatial spread of learned ideas, innovations, and attitudes.Each cultural element originates in one or more places and then spreads.Some spread widely, others remain confined to an area of origin.“100 Percent American”Torsten Hägerstrand
38Expansion diffusionIdeas spread throughout a population from area to area.Creates a snowballing effectSubtypes:Hierarchical diffusion: ideas leapfrog from one node to another temporarily bypassing someContagious diffusion: wavelike, like diseaseStimulus diffusion: specific trait rejected, but idea accepted
39Relocation diffusionRelocation diffusion occurs when individuals migrate to a new location carrying new ideas or practices with themReligion is prime example
40Time-distance decay factor Ripples on a pond.Acceptance of an innovation is strongest where it originated.Acceptance weakens as it is diffused farther away.Acceptance also weakens over time.
41Barriers to diffusionAbsorbing barriers completely halt diffusion: Afghanistan.More commonly barriers are permeable, allowing part of the innovation wave to diffuse, but acting to weaken and retard the continued spread.
43Guangzhou (Canton), China PRC recently opened it’s doors to foreign investment and a number of cities have been designated as Special Economic Zones.An absorbing barrier has become permeable.Sincle coastal cities were the first to allow foreign instrusions, these have highest influx of joint-venture projects.
44DiffusionProctor and Gamble has designed soaps and detergents for China’s specific water conditions.Just as P&G diffused from North America to China, other manufacturers will diffuse into other parts of China.
45DiffusionAs more cities are opened China’s urban economies will become increasingly internationalized and each city will function as a key center of diffusion to places lower on the social-economic hierarchy.How does time-distance decay play a role here?
46Stages of innovation acceptance First – acceptance takes place at a slow steady rate.Second – raid growth in acceptance and the trait spreads rapidlyfashion or dance fadneighborhood effectThird – slower growth and acceptance of innovation
49HägerstrandHägerstrand’s explanation of the core/periphery spatial arrangement of diffusion resembles pattern in culture regionsothers say too narrow and mechanicalassumes all innovations are beneficial throughout geographical spacenondiffusion more prevalent than diffusion, but not accounted for
50Susceptibility to an innovation More crucial when world communications are rapid and pervasiveFriction of distance is almost meaninglessMust evaluate and explain on a region-by-region basisInhabitants of two regions will not respond identically to an innovationGeographers seek to understand spatial variation in receptiveness
51Cultural ecologyEcology is two-way relationship between an organism and its physical environmentCultural ecology is the study of the cause-and-effect interplay between cultures and the physical environmentEcosystem entails a functioning ecological system where biological and cultural Homo sapiens live and interact with the physical environment.
52Cultural ecologyCulture is the human method of meeting physical environmental challenges.adaptive systemassumes plant and animal adaptations are relevantfacilitates long-term, successful, nongenetic human adaptation to nature and environmental changeadaptive strategy that provides necessities of life: food, clothing, shelter, defenseNo two cultures employ the same strategy, evenin within the same physical environment
53Cultural ecologyThe physical environment plays a powerful role in the cultural landscape of this remote region of Pakistan’s northern frontier.The Muslim, Pathan have an adaptive strategy of harnessing local resources for their needs.
54Bahrain, PakistanThe settlement hugs the valley walls and the river is harnessed to provide water power for turning grinding stones (primarily corn) in the foreground structure.Since limited wood supply precludes its widespread use, houses are constructed of dry-mortared stones and many have sod roofs
55Cultural ecologyFour schools of thought developed by geographers on cultural ecologyEnvironmental determinismPossibilismEnvironmental perceptionHumans as modifiers of the earth
56Environmental determinism Developed during the first quarter of the 20th century.Physical environment provided a dominant force in shaping culturesHumans were clay to be molded by natureBelieved mountain people, because they lived in rugged terrain were:BackwardConservativeUnimaginativeFreedom loving
57Environmental determinism Believed desert dwellers were:Likely to believe in one godLived under the rule of tyrantsTemperate climates produced:InventivenessIndustriousnessDemocracyCoastlands with fjords produced navigators and fishersOverestimated the role of environment
58Possibilism Took the place of determinism in the 1920s Cultural heritage at least as important as physical environment in affecting human behaviorBelieve people are the primary architects of culture
59Possibilism Chongqing and San Francisco Similar environment Street patternsSF has smaller population but larger areaCulture
60PossibilismPhysical environment offers numerous ways for a culture to develop.People make culture trait choices from the possibilities offered by their environment to satisfy their needs.High technology societies are less influenced by physical environment.Geographer Jim Norwin warns control over environment may be an illusion because of possible future climatic changes.
61Environmental perception Each person’s or cultural group’s mental images of the physical environment are shaped by knowledge, ignorance, experience, values, and emotionsEnvironmental perceptionists declare-choices people make will depend more on how they perceive the land’s character than its actual characterPeople make decisions based on distortion of reality with regard to their surrounding physical environment
62Environmental perception Geomancy—a traditional system of land-use planning dictating that certain environmental settings, perceived by the sages as auspicious, should be chosen as the sites for houses, villages, temples, and graves (feng-shui)an East Asian world view and artaffected the location and morphology of urban places in countries such as China and Koreadiffused (look up feng-shui on internet)
63Natural hazards Human’s perceptions of natural hazards Flooding, hurricanes, volcanic eruption, earthquakes, insect infestations, and droughtsSome cultures consider them as unavoidable acts of the gods sent down as punishments because of the people’s shortcomingsDuring times of natural disasters, some cultures feel the government should take care of themWestern cultures feel technology should be able to solve the problems created by natural hazards
64Natural hazardsIn virtually all cultures, people knowingly inhabit hazard zonesEspecially floodplains, exposed coastal sites, drought-prone regions, and active volcanic areasMore Americans than ever live in hurricane- and earthquake-prone areas of the United States
67Hazard PerceptionLevees failed to prevent the Mississippi and Missouri rivers from flooding.Floods are natural occurrences and contrary to the perception of some, human made devices are directed toward control rather than prevention.When the water recedes and tons of muck and debris are removed, will the farmer move back and start over?
68Natural hazardsMigrants tend to imagine new homelands as being more similar to their old homelands than is actually the caseHuman’s perceptions of natural resourcesHunting and gathering culturesAgricultural groupsIndustrial societies
69Humans as modifiers of the earth Another facet of cultural ecologyIn a sense, the opposite of environmental determinismGeorge Perkins MarshExample of soil erosion around Athens in ancient times
70Humans as modifiers of the earth Human modification varies from one culture to anotherGeographers seek alternative, less destructive modes of environmental modificationHumans of the Judeo-Christian tradition tend to regard environmental modification as divinely approvedOther more cautious groups take care not to offend the forces of nature
72Queensland, AustraliaRainforest north of Cairns, signs demonstrate conflicting perceptions of a particular resource.Thousands of acres of Australian rainforest destroyed yearly.
73Cultural integrationCultures are complex wholes rather than series of unrelated traitsCultures form integrated systems in which parts fit together causallyAll cultural aspects are functionally interdependent on one anotherChanging one element requires accommodating change in othersTo understand one facet of culture, geographers must study the variations in other facets and how they are causally interrelated and integrated
74Cultural integration The influence of religious beliefs Voting behaviorDiet and shopping patternsType of employment and social standingHinduism segregates people into social classes (castes), and specifies what forms of livelihood are appropriate for eachMormon faith forbids consumption of alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and other products, thereby influencing both diet and shopping patterns
75Cultural integrationIf improperly used can lead the geographer to cultural determinism such as:physical environment is inconsequential as an influence on cultureculture offers all the answers for spatial variationsnature is passive while people and culture are the active forces
76Cultural integration Social science Those who view cultural geography as a social science apply the scientific method to the study of peopleDevise theories that cut across cultural lines to govern all of humankindBelieve economic causal forces more powerful in explaining human spatial behavior than any others
79Humanistic geographyCelebrates the uniqueness of each region and placePlace is the key word connoting the humanistic viewTopophilia—word coined by Yi-Fu Tuan, literally meaning “love of place”Has witnessed a resurgence in recent decadesSocial-science approach has declined in popularity
80Humanistic geography Anne Buttimer Seek to explain unique phenomena—place and region-rather than universal spatial lawsMost doubt that laws of spatial behavior even existBelieve in a far more chaotic world than scientists could tolerateReject the use of mathematics—feel human beliefs and values cannot be measured
81Who is right?Debate between scientists and humanists in cultural geographyNecessary and healthyBoth ask different questions about place and spaceGeography is the bridging discipline, joining the sciences and humanitiesPostmodernism
82Cultural landscapeThe visible, material landscape that cultural groups create in inhabiting the EarthCultures shape landscapes out of the raw materials provided by the EarthEach landscape uniquely reflects the culture that created itMuch can be learned about a culture by carefully observing its created landscape
83Cultural landscapeSome geographers regard landscape study as geography’s central interestReflects the most basic strivings of humankindShelterFoodClothingContains evidence about the origin, spread, and development of cultures
84Cultural landscape Accumulation of human artifacts, old and new Can reveal much about a past forgotten by present inhabitantsLandscapes also reveal messages about present-day inhabitants and culturesReflect tastes, values, aspirations, and fears in tangible formSpatial organization of settlements and architectural form of structures can be interpreted as expression of values and beliefs of the peopleCan serve as a means to study nonmaterial aspects of culture
85Cultural landscapeHow architecture reflects past and present values of landscapeExample of centrally located, tall structures built of steel, brick, or stoneExample of medieval European cathedrals and churches that dominated the landscape
87Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaNow capital; prior to 1997 administrative center for British colony of Malaya.During 20s an 30s Art Deco architecture popular.Built in 1928, originally “wet market” for mean, poultry and fish were rendered and sold.
88Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaRenewed, it now contains a shopping bazaar selling local handicraft products, souveniers and food.Heritage revealed through architecture and sign.Only traditional cart suggests truth.
89Cultural landscape Humanistic view of cultural landscape Content to study the cultural landscape for its aesthetic valueObtain subjective messages that help describe the essence of placeGeographer Tarja Keisteri distinguishes the factual, concrete, physical, functioning landscape from the experimental, perceived, symbolic, aesthetic landscapeDistinction between scholarly analysis and subjective artistic interpretation are often blurredProvides people with landmarks and reassures people they are not rootless without identity or place
90Cultural landscapeMost geographical studies have focused on three principal aspects of landscapeSettlement forms—Describe the spatial arrangement of buildings, roads, and other features people construct while inhabiting an areaLand-division patterns—reveal the way people divide the land for economic and social usesExample of land division of small and large farmsExample of urban housing and street patterns
91Cultural landscape Architecture North America’s different building stylesRegional and cultural differences
92Conclusion Five themes of geography are interwoven Culture region Cultural diffusionCultural ecologyCultural integrationCultural landscape
93Folk and popular architecture reflect culture Torontonear Ottawa