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Cultural Geography

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					Cultural Evolution vs. Cultural Diffusion
Behavioral Geography
Culture Realms
Global Diffusion of Western Culture




              CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
WHAT IS CULTURE? (IN SOCIOLOGY)
 Knowledge
 Language

 Values

 Customs

 Material objects




    *Also called Cultural
    Traits or Elements
NOTES ON CULTURAL
   Learned. The process of             Mutually constructed. By
    learning one’s culture is            means of constant and ongoing
    called                               social interaction, individuals
    “enculturation.” Culture is          create, recreate, and change
    not merely passively                 the nature of a particular
    absorbed, but rather taught          culture.
    and learned by agentive             Symbolic. Those within a
    individuals with differing           particular culture possess a
    levels of power.                     shared understanding of
   Shared. Members of a                 meaning.
    particular society have their       Arbitrary. Culture is not
    culture in common.                   based on natural laws but
   Patterned. People in a               rather is created by human
    given society live and think         beings.
    in distinctive and describable      Internalized. Culture is
    ways.                                habitual, taken for granted,
                                         and perceived as natural.
KEEP IT GOING
 Each is passed person to
  person in the society
 Also from one generation
  to the next
 CREATING CULTURAL LANDSCAPES
The earth’s surface as modified by human
action
CULTURES CHANGE IN TWO WAYS:
Evolutionism            Diffusionism

 Cultures change        Cultures change externally
  internally              by borrowing of cultural
 Technology plays an     elements from one society
  important role          by members of another
                         Cultural diffusion –
                          process of spreading
                         Acculturation – process of
                          adopting
THEORIES OF CULTURAL
EVOLUTION
How might cultures change through internal
measures?
VARRO’S THEORY OF HUMAN STAGES
   Stages of Development
       Stage 1 – Hunters & Gatherers
       Stage 2 – Pastoral Nomadism (domestication)
       Stage 3 – Settled agriculture (Subsistence
        agriculture)
       Stage 4 – Commercial Agriculture
       Stage 5 – Urbanization & Industry


   Challenges
     Not every culture passes through the same stages
     Not true of all societies
     “Some ahead and some behind”
     Used to dominate other cultures
MARX’S HISTORICAL MATERIALISM
 Looks for the causes of developments
  and changes in human societies
 Technology is the key to change!

 Technology determines economic
  systems which determines politics
  and society
 Cornucopian

 Goods would be distributed based on
  need since technology would help
  produce surplus.
                        * Malthusians believe that there is no
                        guarantee that technology will
                        continue to provide rising standards of
                        living as population increases.
ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM
 View that the physical environment, rather than
  social conditions, determines culture.
 Societies adapt to natural landscape

 Climate (major control)

 Challenge-Response Theory
       People need the challenge of a difficult environment
       Weather of the middle latitudes led to more determined
        and driven work ethics
   Possibilism
       Theory that the environment sets certain constraints or
        limitations, but culture is otherwise determined by man's
        actions
Environmental
Determinism
Debate
CULTURAL DIFFUSION
How might cultures change through external
measures?
CULTURAL DIFFUSION
 Overwhelms Cultural Evolution
 Does not explain all distribution

 Diffusion is affected by a number of important
  variables:
     duration and intensity of contact
     degree of cultural integration
     similarities between the donor and recipient cultures
     built in cultural resistance

 Cultural Hearth – place of origin of culture elements
 Problem: Same phenomenon occurs spontaneously at
  two or more places
ACCULTURATION
 Exchange of cultural
  features that results when
  groups come into continuous
  firsthand contact
 Immigrants adapt to
  cultural change resulting
  from contact with the
  dominant group by using one
  of four strategies:
     Assimilation (adopting)
     Integration (multicultural)
     Separation (separate)
     Marginalization (alienation)
CULTURAL RESISTANCE
   France bids Adieu to “E-mail”

    PARIS, July 18, 2003-- Goodbye "e-mail," the
    French government says, and hello "courriel" — the
    term that linguistically sensitive France is now using
    to refer to electronic mail in official documents. The
    Culture Ministry has announced a ban on the use of
    "e-mail" in all government ministries, documents,
    publications or websites, the latest step to stem an
    incursion of English words into the French lexicon.
FOLK CULTURE
 Made   up of people who maintain the
  traditional
 Describes people who live in an old-
  fashioned way-simpler life-style
 Rural, cohesive, conservative, largely self-
  sufficient group, homogeneous in custom
 Strong family or clan structure and highly
  developed rituals
 Tradition is paramount — change comes
  infrequently and slowly
FOLK CULTURE
Amish          Appalachia
POPULAR CULTURE
 Consists of large masses of people who conform to
  and prescribe to ever-changing norms
 Large heterogeneous groups
 Often highly individualistic and groups are
  constantly changing
 Pronounced division of labor leading to
  establishment of specialized professions
 Police and army take the place of religion and
  family in maintaining order
 Money based economy prevails
 Replacing folk culture in industrialized countries
  and many developing nations
GROUPING HUMANS IN CULTURE
How are humans groups defined?
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RACE AND
ETHNICITY
   Race: attitudes formed      Sociologist Max Weber
    in consequence of            once remarked that:
    being a minority or           "The whole conception of
    majority member (via         ethnic groups is so
    privilege). – Not            complex and so vague
    assumed to be                that it might be good to
    biological                   abandon it altogether.“

   Ethnicity: attitudes        Examples: Polish, Arab,
    formed associating           Chinese, Japanese,
    with the traditions          Mexican, & French
    and values of
    particular ethnic
    group.
    GROUPS
    Culture Groups                Ethnic Groups

   Defined by a variety of        “Ethno” – Gr. for people
    characteristics or just        Ambiguous term
    one:
                                   May depend on:
     Language/Literature
                                       Biology
     Religion/Values/Tradition
      s                                Culture

     Politics/Beliefs                 Allegiance

     Food/Manners                     Historic background

 Subjective                         Ethnocentrism - judge
                                      other cultures by own
 Subculture – smaller
                                      standards
  bundle of attributes
  shared by a smaller
  group
ARE YOU TABOO?
 Do you eat pork?
 Have you ever kissed in public?

 Should you have more than one wife or
  husband?
 Do you eat with your left hand?

 Do you compliment physical features?

 Do you eat fertilized duck eggs?

 Do you wear shoes in the house?

 Have you ever talked back to an adult?
BEHAVIORAL GEOGRAPHY
 Approach to Human Geography that examines
  human behavior
 Studies perceptions of the world and how
  perceptions influence behavior.
 “Pictures in our heads” – Mental Maps

 People make decisions on their mental maps

 Cultural differences in perceptions

 Proxemics (cross-cultural study of the use of
  space)
 Territoriality
CULTURE REGIONS/ CULTURE
REALMS
WHAT CRITERIA IS USED TO DEFINE THE
CULTURE REGION?                   1. Is it consistent?
                                  2. Is it meaningful?
WHAT ARE THE MOST OBVIOUS FACTORS OF
CULTURAL DIVERSITY?

 Language
 Religion

 Ethnicity

 Architecture

 Statues & Monuments

 Clothing/Style
SETTLEMENT PATTERNS
   Cluster Housing
     Live together, work together
     Family or Religious bonds
     Common security
     Europe, Latin America, Asia,
      Africa, & Middle East
   Isolated Housing
     Peace & security
     Agricultural colonization
     Anglo-America, Australia, New
      Zealand, South Africa
FORCES THAT STABILIZE CULTURE
REALMS
 Despite diffusion, cultures remain fixed
 Inertia – term for the force that keeps things stable

 Historical Geography
     Studies the past and how geographic distributions have
      changed
     How people have interacted with their environment, and
      created the cultural landscape.
 Fixed Assets (Infrastructure)
 Historical Consciousness (self reflection on history)

 Values - Preserve key aspects of culture

 Passed down from generation to generation
TRADE & CULTURAL DIFFUSION
 Diminishes isolation
 Triggers change - Important
  force of diffusion
 Trade, economy, and culture
  intertwined
 Part of Economic Geography
       Study of how various people make
        a living, how economies develop,
        and trade
   Export surplus, Import Luxuries
TRENDS IN TRADE
 More Trade, More Diffusion
 Nearly all parts of the world are affected

 Friction of Distance is less (costs down)

 Felt needs are created (think you need)

 Activities relocate freely – footloose

 Communication advances trades/ideas
     Electronic highway
     Cyberspace

   Possible clash of “Civilizations”
GLOBAL DIFFUSION OF
EUROPEAN CULTURE
NOTES ON EUROPEAN CULTURE
 Widespread (through
  conquest)
 Massive Impact

 Progress or unwanted
  acculturation???
 Illustrates all types, paths,
  and processes of diffusion




                                  Prince Henry “the Navigator”
CULTURAL IMPERIALISM
 European ways are
  superior
 Christianity a major
  catalyst (conversion)
 Economic & military
  superiority
 Methods
       Force
       Training/schooling
       Reference Group Behavior
        (desire to belong)
       Rewarding
       Degrading
WESTERNIZATION TODAY
   Diffusion continues        U.S. Influence
     Wealthy buy Western        Very strong
      products                   9/11 Ripple Effect
     Young adopt western        Negative views of
      styles                      American policies
     Media & TV increase
                                     “Drugs”
      rate of diffusion
                                     “Peace-Keeping”
 Tourism
                                 Spread of U.S. Culture
 Non-Western
                                 Economic Power
  Professionals (Europe
  & U.S.)
 Transforming
  traditional
  cultures/folk cultures
UGLY AMERICAN
 Used to describe boorish people from the U.S.
  insensitive to those in other countries
 Bothers fans of the 1958 novel The Ugly
  American, whose title character was actually
  sensitive and thoughtful—he just looked ugly

                Are Americans truly ugly?



     “The Great Satan” – 1979 Ayatollah
                              Khomeini
                                              47 nations surveyed
PEW GLOBAL ATTITUDES PROJECT
(6/2006)
   America's Image Slips        In Japan, barely a quarter
       Spain, India, Russia,     of respondents (26%) now
        Indonesia, & Turkey       favor the U.S.-led war on
 U.S.-led war on terror          terror
  draws majority                 War in Iraq has made the
  support in just two             world a more dangerous
  countries - India and           place
  Russia                         33 of the 47 countries polled
 United States as the            expressed a dislike of
  worst culprit in                American ideas about
  “hurting the world’s            democracy, with the
  environment.”                   hostility highest in three
                                  allies: Turkey, France and
                                  Pakistan.
WHAT ARE AMERICAN VALUES?
 Equal Opportunity        Progress (move forward)
 Achievement &            Science
  Success (competition)    Democracy and Free
 Material Comfort          enterprise (individual
 Activity and Work         rights have significant
  (action)                  value)
 Practicality and         Freedom (individual

  efficiency                over the group)
                           Racism and group
                            superiority

				
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