Unit3 by liwenting


• Culture – The sum total of the knowledge,
  attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns
  shared and transmitted by the members of
  a society
• Language – a systematic way of
  communicating ideas & feelings with the
  use of conventional signs and gestures,
  especially voice
  – The essence of culture
  – W/o language – culture couldn’t be transmitted
    from one generation to another
  – B/w 5,000-6,000 languages (most are
• Animals communicate w/ gestures and
  vocalization – is it language? No.
  – Only humans have developed complex vocal
    communication systems that change over time
    and space.
• Standard language – the variant of a language
  that a country’s political & intellectual elite
  seek to promote as the norm (e.g. King’s
• Dialect – local or regional characteristics of a
  language. (More than an accent
  (pronunciation variation) – distinctive syntax,
  grammar, vocabulary, and cadence)
• Preliterate societies – no written language;
  no foundation for cultural preservation
• Isogloss – a geographic boundary within
  which a particular linguistic feature occurs
  – e.g. “Pop” vs. “Soda”
  – isoglosses tend to move over time
• Language vs. Dialect
  – Chinese – viewed as one language (Chinese
    have maintained a state of several Sino-Tibetan
    tongues), divided by dialects that are mutually
  – Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish – different
    (disintegration of empires); perhaps no more
    similar than Mandarin (874), Wu (75) and Yue
    (Cantonese – 71)
          Major World Languages
Language Family     Major Language   Numbers (in
 Indo-European         English           445
                        Hindi            366
                       Spanish           340
  Sino-Tibetan         Chinese          1,211
                       Burmese           32
Japanese-Korean        Japanese          125
                       Korean            78
  Afro-Asiatic          Arabic           211
Malay-Polynesian      Indonesian         154
Dravidian (India)      Telugu            69
     Altaic            Turkish           61
Indo-European Languages
Non-Indo-European Languages
• World Languages:         Æ Å      Ñ   Ä     Ê
      Ó õ       ã    è     ç    ÿ   ü    å Ώ
      Ж ώ ‫ץ‬          ‫ש‬     ‫א‬    ‫ت‬   ‫خ‬   ‫ي ص‬
      ‫ك‬    ‫ﷲ‬    ‫ﻉ‬     ‫ﻈ ﻻ‬       э   ‫פ‬
• Language families – have a shared, but
  fairly distant origin (e.g. Indo-European);
  Subfamilies – commonality is more definite;
  Groups – sets of individual languages
• Europe – dominated by Indo-European
  – Germanic: English, German, Swedish, …
  – Romance: French, Spanish, Italian, …
  – Slavic: Russian, Polish, Czech, …
  – Celtic: Welsh, Breton, Gaelic, …
Major Indo-
Other Indo-
Other Families
Other - Basque
• India
• 4 language
  families – only
  Indo-Eur. &
  Dravidian have
  a significant
  number of
• Close
  relationship b/w
  languages and
• Africa
• N. Afr. – mostly
• Subsaharan - 4
  main language
  families: largest is
• Language mosaic
  is intensely
• More than 1,000
  languages, most
  are unwritten
Diffusion of Languages
• Sound Shifts – charting of the
  diversification of languages over time; e.g.
  octo (Latin), otto (Ita), ocho (Spa), …
• Deep Reconstruction – find vocabulary of
  an extinct language and go backward;
  Proto-Indo European
  – William Jones (>200 yrs. ago) – Sanskrit similar
    to Greek and Latin
  – Jacob Grimm – related languages have similar,
    but not identical consonants; e.g. vater (Ger) …
    vader (Dut), father (Eng) – softening over time
  – 4 Tasks: Reconstruct the ancient language,
    find the hearth, routes of diffusion, and
    peoples’ ways of life
   Tree –

   branch is
• Divergence – differentiation over time and
  space; languages branch into dialects,
  become isolated, then new languages
• Convergence – linked to human mobility
  (relocation diffusion); complicates rules of
• Replacement – modification of a language
  by stronger cultures (acculturation); e.g.
  Hungarian surrounded by Ind-Eur, Basque?
• Clues: Linguists look for environmental
  vocabulary (landforms, vegetation,…)
• Conquest Theory: Hearth is Ukraine (>5,000 yrs.
  ago); people used horses, wheel, and trade,
  spread language westward
• Agriculture Theory: Hearth is Anatolia (Turkey -
  >10,000 yrs. ago); Ukraine relied on pastoralism,
  not farming
  – Farming people of Anatolia moved N & W
  – Distance decay from source area; some non-
    farming people held out (Basque in Spain)
  – Drawbacks: Anatolia not ideal for farming, some
    evidence states Proto-Indo-European language
    spread eastward first
• Renfrew Model – 3 hearths: Anatolia - Eur, Fertile
  Crescent (West) – N. Afr. & Arabia, Fert. Cres.
  (East) – Iran through India
3 Maps Illustrating
 Possible Routes
    of Language
Diffusion as Stated
by the Agriculture
• Nostratic – Pre-Proto-Indo-European,
  speakers were hunters-gatherers, source of
  many other language families
• Pacific Diffusion – Austronesian starts in
  China to Taiwan (>6,000 yrs. ago) then SE
  to New Zealand
• American Diffusion – Joseph Greenberg’s
  Hypothesis: Amerind – oldest, largest, Na-
  Dene, then Eskimo-Aleut
• Modern Language Mosaics – influenced by
  literacy, technology (printing press), and
  political organization (rise of nation-states)
Spread of Pacific Languages
Greenberg Hypothesis
Modern Language Mosaics
  – “longest place name in the world”
• US is changing – Hispanics will be largest
  minority in < a decade (“Hispanicization”)
• > ½ are functionally illiterate in English
  (many early US immigrants were as well)
• One Global Language?
• Esperanto Experiment
  – occurred in early 1900s
  – based on Latin & other
    Eur. languages
  – failed – not a global
    tongue (Indo-Eur.), lacked
    practical utility
• English – becoming a
  lingua franca of the world
  (commerce and science)
• Lingua Franca
  – Ancient Mediterranean - “Frankish language”
  – Today - “common language”, second language
• Pidgin – a lingua franca that has been
  simplified and modified through contact w/
  other languages
• Creole
  – Caribbean – mixing during slavery & colonizing
  – Today – pidgin later adopted as mother tongue
• Creolization – lingua franca – becomes a
  pidgin – then becomes a creole language
Three African Lingua Francae
• Language & Culture
• Monolingual states –
  Japan, Venezuela,
  Iceland, Portugal, Poland
  Lesotho, …
• Multilingual states – all
  – Belgium – Dutch vs.
    French (Brussels officially
  – Canada – Quebec (French
    by law), English
    everywhere else
Languages in Belgium
Quebec vs. Canada
• Official Language – often selected by the
  educated and politically elite to promote
  national cohesion; commonly language of
  colonial power
  – Angola – Portuguese; Nigeria – English;
    French – Côte d’Ivoire
  – **Allows people w/ different languages to
    communicate & keep their own language
• Toponymy – systematic study of place-
  names (can elicit strong passions)
  – Leningrad – St. Petersburg; Bombay – Mumbai;
    Zaire – Dem. Rep. of the Congo
Religious Origins
and Distributions
Religions of the World
                  Major World Religions
    Religion            Predominant            Followers
                         Region(s)           (in millions)
Christianity           Am, Eur, Aus, Rus         1524
 Roman Catholic         C & S Am, Eur             829
 Protestant            N Am, N Eur, Aus           503
 Orthodox              E Eur, Rus, C Asia         192
Islam                N Afr, SW Asia, Indo.       1157
  Sunni                 N Afr, SW Asia            996
  Shia (Shiite)              Iran                 163
Hinduism                  India                  757
Buddhism          SE Asia, China, Japan          347
Chinese Religions        China                   263
Sikhism                  S Asia                   22
Judaism                 US, Eur                   17
• Religion and language lie at the foundation
  of culture
• Universalizing religions – Christianity,
  Islam, Buddhism; adherents believe their
  religion represents the truth, actively seek
• Ethnic religions (cultural) – Hinduism,
  Judaism, Shintoism, … Particular to one
  distinct group of people; generally do not
  seek converts & are spatially concentrated
  (Judaism is exception)
• Christianity - > 1.5 billion, Bible
• Major denominations –
  – Roman Catholic – papacy (Rome)
  – Protestant – Luther (Germany)
  – Orthodox – Constantinople (Turkey)
• Source, Diffusion & Cultural Landscape –
  – Jesus (Jerusalem); Roman Emperor
    Constantine (312 AD) spreads Christianity
    (relocation diff), spreads throughout Europe &
    Balkans (contagious diff), European colonialism
    - Americas & Africa
  – Catholic (Medieval Europe) – cathedrals, center
    of town; Protestant (post Reformation) – smaller
    churches (often outside CBD); utilize more land
Major Religions of the US
• Islam - > 1 billion, Qu’ran
• Major denominations –
   – Sunni – orthodox (majority)
   – Shiah (Shiite) – Imam: sanctioned by
     Allah, infallible; passionate ceremonies
• Source & Beliefs –
   – Muhammed (571 AD, Mecca, Medina);
     Jesus is a prophet, Allah is pure
   – “Five Pillars” – shahada (profession of
     faith), pray 5 X day, fasting (Ramadan),
     almsgiving, pilgrimage to Mecca
   – Alcohol, smoking & gambling largely
• Diffusion & Cultural Landscape
  – Spread from Medina (Saudi Arabia)
    follows hierarchical diffusion; spread
    largely through Arab traders throughout N
    Africa – convert many animist believers
    (economic, cultural)
  – Crusades (1095 – 1199) – illustrate
    struggle b/w Christianity & Islam
  – Spread to Malaysia & Indonesia (largest
    Muslim country today) – relocation
  – Mosques dominate landscape; usually
    most imposing & well-kept; center of town
Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain
Diffusion of Islam
• Hinduism - >750 million
• Oldest major religion
• Source & Beliefs
  – Indus Valley (Pakistan; 4,000 yrs. ago)
  – Caste system (untouchables – lowest),
    karma (force generated by a person’s
    actions – affects transmigrations into
    future existence), reincarnation, Brahman
    (highest caste)
• Diffusion & Cultural Landscape
  – Spread into SE Asia, Bali (Indonesia)
  – Shrines and temples dominate; should be
    in a “comfortable” area, near water,
• Buddhism - <350 million
• Source and Beliefs
  – Gautama (wealthy founder, 6th c. BC)
  – Buddha sat under Bodhi (awakening) tree
    (India), sought to end suffering, one can
    attain salvation regardless of caste, all life
    is dukkha (nothing permanent), seek to
    achieve nirvana (highest level of
    enlightenment), no true God or deity,
• Diffusion & Cultural Landscape
  – Spread from Nepal to South and East
  – Pagodas and shrines, often bell-shaped
Diffusion of the 4 Major Religions
• Judaism - Abraham, Moses, Torah (Five
  Books of Moses); Zionist movement led
  to homeland (Israel); Western Wall,
  Temple Mount (Jerusalem)
• Chinese Religions – Taoism: Lao-Tsu,
  Fung Shui (organizing life & space);
  Confucianism: Confucian Classics (13
  texts, 5th c. BC), elements of Buddhism
• Sikhism - Punjab (NW India),
  monotheistic, elements of Hinduism &
• Shintoism – Buddhism & Japanese
• Key Terms:
• Monotheistic – one god; Polytheistic –
  more than one (Hindu – thousands);
  Animist – inanimate objects posses
• Syncretic religion – elements from
  different cultural sources combine
• Secularism – ethical and moral
  standards should only apply to life on
  Earth; became more widespread after
  the Reformation
Religious Architecture
First Church of Christ, Connecticut
Basilica of St. Francis, Assisi, Italy
Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
Gothic-style cathedral, Bordeaux, France
Cartageña Cathedral
La Compania Cathedral, Cuzco, Peru
An abandoned Orthodox Church,
       Moscow, Russia
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Israel
Masjid Al Nabawi Mosque, Madina,
           Saudi Arabia
Taj Majal, India
Medina Mosque, Sousse, Tunisia
Mosque, Paris, France
Golden Temple, Amritsar, India
Buddhist Shrine, Angkor Wat, Cambodia
    (now dominated by Hinduism)
Shiva Temple, Rameshvaram
    & Badrinath, India
Rajarani Temple, Bhubaneshwar, India
Lakshmi Narayan Temple, New Delhi, India
That Phanom Shrine, Thailand
Shwedogon Pagoda, Myanmar
Swayabhunath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal
Buddha Statue, Borobudur, Java
Senjokaku Shrine, Miyajima, Japan
Temple Emanu-el, California, USA
Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, Israel
Western Wall & Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Israel
• Culture & Conflict:
• Interfaith boundaries – b/w major faiths
• Nigeria – Muslim (N), Christian/trad. (S)
African Transition Zone; Sudan – Muslim (N,
1/3 non-Arabic), Christian/trad. (S); Sharia
laws (Islamic)
Armenia (Christian: Nagorno-Karabagh
exclave), Azerbaijan (Muslim: Nakhichevan
enclave); break up of USSR
                           Religions in
                           the Former

Yugoslavia – mostly Catholic in N,
Orthodox Christian in S, w/ Muslim mixed
throughout; ethnic cleansing: e.g. Kosovo –
ethnic Albanians (Muslim) were severely
oppressed by Serbian nationalists
Mosque (in distance), Skopje, Macedonia
• Intrafaith boundaries – w/in a country
  – Northern Ireland – Protestant majority vs.
    Catholic minority
  – Sunni vs. Shia (Shiite) in Iran, Iraq, …
• Religious fundamentalism – desire to
  return to the foundations of faith to
  influence state policy; usually brought
  on through economic, political, and
  social frustrations
  – Iran – shah replaced by ayatollah
  – Taliban – jihad against west
  – Palestinians – Intifada
Religious separations in Ireland (intrafaith)
           and India (interfaith)
Cultural Geography:
  Gender Issues
 and Globalization
Gender Issues
• Gender – social differences b/w men
  and women (not just biological)
• Longevity gap – difference in the
  average length of life b/w men and
  women (widened from 5 to 7 yrs. –
  – Women are less likely to adopt unhealthy
    habits – smoking, drinking, risky
  – Males outlive females in few countries –
    AIDS pandemic (W. & S. African states),
    S. Asia
• Maternal mortality rate – 80-600 times
  higher in periphery; women are less
  well nourished, female children are
  worse off, anemia is high
• Female Infanticide – 300,000 more
  girls than boys die each year in India
  (more are aborted through gender-
  – 1994: 133 single men per 100 single
  – Males are head of household, bride’s
    parents provide a dowry, highest in
World maternal mortality rates
 are worst in the LDCs;
 primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa
• Education – disproportionately available
  for boys and girls; gender gap is
  – US - More females attend universities
  – India – 65% lit. rate; 65%-75% females
  – Developing nations’ stats are often
• Economic productivity
  – Women’s work primarily focused inside
    the home worldwide – no dollar value
  – Sub-Saharan Africa (except west) –
    women have heavy responsibilities and
Women’s education is
 comparable to men’s primarily
 in the MDCs, even surpassing
• Politics –
  – Women didn’t receive full
    enfranchisement in U.S. until 1920
    (Switzerland – 1971)
  – Nowhere has women’s participation in
     % of Seats in reached 50% (highest in
    parliamentsNat. Par’s Occupied by WomenN.
       Country         1987    1995     2001
 Morocco (1963)       0        1        1
 Kenya (1963)         2        3        4
 United States        5        11       14
 Mexico (1953)        11       14       16
 Argentina (1952)     5        22       27
Globalization of Culture
1990s – it was said
 more people knew
 who Michael Jordan
 was than anyone
 worldwide – living
 or dead
Extent and scale of
 interaction has not
 been uniform
 across time or
 space; technology
 has sped up the
 pace of
                         Folk culture – self-
                          sufficient, isolated,
                          traditional customs,
                          change slowly,
                          promoted by
                         Popular culture –
                          heterogeneous ideas
                          & practices of urban
                          industrial societies,
                          rapidly changing
                          (technology), usually
Elvis statue in Israel
• Origination & Diffusion of Folk & Pop
  – Folk – usually anonymous hearths &
    sources; Pop – product of developed
  – Music: Folk – tell stories, convey daily
    life (e.g. country music originated in
    Upper South); Pop – written by
    individuals for the purpose of being sold
    (originated c. 1900)
  – Examples of Diffusion:
    • Folk – Amish (relocation diffusion);
      70,000 in US, visible on landscape in 17
The Amish have diffused
 throughout the US
 since they first arrived
 in Pennsylvania in the
• More examples of diffusion:
  – Popular clothing – rapidly changing styles;
    Jeans- became popular in 1960s, status
    symbol in former USSR - $400 (on black
  – Popular foods – alcohol, snacks, fast food
• Problems w/ Popular Culture:
  – Threat to folk culture - loss of traditional
    values & customs, changing role of women
    (subservience) and men
  – Environmental impact – modification,
    uniform landscapes (buildings, restaurants),
    increased demand for natural resources,
McDonald’s in Tokyo, Japan
• McDonald’s – Good or Bad?
  – Restaurants spread over 6 continents,
    uniform appearance (logo is easily
  – Reflects traditional tastes (beer –
    Germany; goat cheese sandwiches –
    France; lamburgers – India)
  – Commodification – taking a good
    previously not to be bought or sold and
    turning it into a commodity w/ a price that
    can be sold
  – Increased meat consumption; 90% less
    efficient than eating grain for calories, 1
                                 in Skopje,
                                 Notice the

Minority groups seeking to avoid exogenous
 cultural influences have had little success
Syncretism – elements from different cultural
 sources combine to create something new
Hybridity – product of cultural mixing

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