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Chapter 3 The Study of Human Geography: Languages, religions, customs and economic and political systems.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3 The Study of Human Geography: Languages, religions, customs and economic and political systems."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3 The Study of Human Geography: Languages, religions, customs and economic and political systems

2 Where People Live Population Density – Some areas, average number of people in a square mile or a kilometer, is very high. Other areas have few or no inhabitants. Natural Obstacles can restrict living locations. – 2/3 of earth covered in water. – Half of land area is uninhabitable. – Almost everyone lives where soil is fertile, water is plentiful and climate is mild enough to grow crops.

3 People and Environment People adapt. – How? Human activity has altered physical landscape. – How?

4 Population Density Calculated by dividing the total population of a region by the region’s land area. Some geographers prefer to figure a country’s population density in terms of its arable land. – Results can be misleading, ex. Egypt. – Pop. Density in 2000 was 177 people per sq. mile. – Arable land density was 8,839 people per sq. mi.

5 Population Growth Dramatic increase in recent centuries. Factors that have contributed: – Modern technology – Improved medical care *** Poses a problem for poorer countries

6 The Effects of Growth Predictions of increases in: BAD – Famine – Disease – Natural resource depletion GOOD – Levels of technology – creativity.

7 Comparing Growth Rates Growth is uneven throughout the world. Different birthrate and death rate cause countries to balance individually. A country’s total population is also affected by differences in immigrants and emigrants. When combined birthrate and immigration rate equals the combined death rate and emigration rate, a country is said to have reached “zero population growth.” ex. China Developing countries – birthrates = high, death rates falling due to increase health.


9 Patterns of Settlement Densest areas: East Asia, South Asia, Europe and eastern North America… Live in metropolitan areas. Most Europeans and North Americans live in cities, and urbanization is going on throughout the world. In many countries, urban populations are growing twice as fast as rural.


11 The Nature of Culture Cultures change slowly over time. It is reflected in: – Objects – Ideas

12 Is this a material or nonmaterial custom?

13 Cultural Hearths Ex. Southwest Asia, people first learned to tame and herd animals and grow crops. Writing and Math also originated in this cultural hearth. Another EX. of a cultural hearth would be China. Olmecs, Mayas and Toltecs formed culture hearths in Mexico and Central America.

14 Language Without language, people would not be able to communicate. All cultures have language. Reflects a culture’s identity. Many societies include large groups of people who speak different languages. Ex. India

15 Religion Religion helps people answer basic questions about the meaning and purpose of life. Religions and practices vary around the world. Worship of one god is called monotheism. Worship of more than one god is called polytheism. Struggles over religious differences are a problem in many countries.

16 Cultural Landscapes Technology is an important part of culture. Human beings produce unique cultural landscapes as they use natural resources or alter the surface of the earth. Ex. Great Plains US vs rural landscapes of China.


18 Social Organization Every culture creates a social structure. Meant to help people of a culture work together to meet their basic needs. Family is the most important unit of social organization. Most cultures have social classes. May be based on money, occupation, education, ancestry, or other highly valued factors.

19 Women and Minorities In many cultures, social mobility is restricted. Limits are often imposed on women, ethnic minorities, and religious minorities. Ex. Some cultures discourage women from assuming leading roles in govt. They believe that a woman’s role should be that of wife and mother.

20 Women and Minorities continued… Some societies encourage women to disfigure their bodies. Centuries ago, Chinese women were expected to have their feet tightly bound with cloth in order to stunt the growth of their feet.

21 Women and Minorities continued… Long history of discrimination and violence against ethnic and religious minorities. At various times and in various places, Jews, Christians, Muslims, and other religious groups have all suffered as minorities. – Denied high paying jobs, or best lands, property seized or forced to live within a restricted area.

22 Cultural Change Cultures change by internal and external influences. New discoveries and ideas can bring change. Technology plays a role. Changes come from inventions or new ways of doing things. – Ex. Use of Fire = significant advance – Ex. Tools and language

23 Cultural Convergence Transportation and communication intensifies the speed and frequency of cultural change. – Ex. – Popularity of Mexican food in US is also a convergence.

24 Cultural Convergence Continued… Diffusion often occurs through the migration of people who take their cultural traits with them to new locations. – Ex. When Europeans came to the Americas and introduced new religions. – Process of adapting some traits from other cultures is called acculturation. – Cultural traits and practices can diffuse when different groups come in contact with one another and exchange goods and ideas. Europeans/Native Americans exchanging potatoes, corn and beans.

25 Cultural Divergence In order to limit cultural contact, repressive governments seek to control transportation and communication. Restrict free movement, limit access to newspapers, internet, radio and Tv. – Ex. Romania and Eastern Europe’s Fall of communism.

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