Session 5: Theoretical approaches to the
geography of culture and environment – Part 1
Lunenburg,
Nova Scotia
Norton, W. (...
Humanism
“to treat humans objectively would be to treat them as objects and
most as thinking, feeling individuals” (Norton...
Humanism
Human phenomena should not be hypothesized
 instead should be described  meanings explored (lifeworld)
3 princi...
New item / thought provoking item of the day
Example of the humanism in research:
Honor the Treaties - directed by Eric Be...
Questions for discussion
1. What was it about Aaron’s/Sheppard approach that was
humanistic?
2. What did Aaron/Sheppard do...
Topophilia: love of place
Sense of place: emotional underpinning attached to place
*will explore this concept further with...
Behavioural Geographies
Structuralism: analyses of the minds parts or structures
Functionalism: understood in terms of ongoing thought process
responsible for learning; influenced by Darwin’s evolutionar...
Space and behaviour:
•behaviour = observable
activities in general (study of
patterns; came from spatial
analysis field)
•...
Research of place and behaviour
Exploration of topic exhaustibly
Classify and compare different accounts
Summarize the res...
The Problem with inference
Marxism
3 concepts in Marx’s Social Theory:
1) Identification of human society types and historical
context
2) Transition ...
Forces of production: produce goods
Relation of production: economic structure of society
Society
1. Identification of hum...
2. Transition from one type of society to another
Dominant class will try to maintain the current system
South Africa
Distribution of wealth following
the end of apartheid
Canada
The Indian Act
Also know as structural violence ...
3. Analysis of 19th Century capitalism
Marxist philosophy in action
•Labour movements: unions and strikes
•Socialism: cooperative management of property
•Communi...
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Geo2630 fall2013 session5

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Geo2630 fall2013 session5

  1. 1. Session 5: Theoretical approaches to the geography of culture and environment – Part 1 Lunenburg, Nova Scotia Norton, W. (2005). Cultural Geography: Environments, Landscapes, Identities, and Inequalities. Oxford University Press, Don Mills. Readings: Chapter 3 of Norton – Humanism; Behavioral Geographies; Marxism. September 19, 2013 Theoretical approaches to questions in the geography of culture and environment that challenged the landscape school: 1. Humanism (video & discussion) 2. Behavioral Geographies 3. Marxism
  2. 2. Humanism “to treat humans objectively would be to treat them as objects and most as thinking, feeling individuals” (Norton, 2005, pg. 71) 3 aspects of humanistic approach: 1) Humans are ontologically (reality) and epistemologically (knowledge) irreducible; 2) Focus on human experience and symbolic expression (acknowledges many different truths); 3) Respect for individuals freedom and dignity.
  3. 3. Humanism Human phenomena should not be hypothesized  instead should be described  meanings explored (lifeworld) 3 principal humanistic interests: 1) Phenomenology: focus on the lived/experienced world (rejection of the “objective reality” outside of human expience) 2) Existentialism: concern with human being/existence 3) Idealism: phenomena only important when part of human consciousness (the importance of thoughts behind actions) * a significant focus on the individual and human autonomy
  4. 4. New item / thought provoking item of the day Example of the humanism in research: Honor the Treaties - directed by Eric Becker http://www.reelhouse.org/becker/honortreaties/honortreaties
  5. 5. Questions for discussion 1. What was it about Aaron’s/Sheppard approach that was humanistic? 2. What did Aaron/Sheppard do that was outside of the norms for creating “unbiased” research? 3. How did Aaron/Sheppard understand and frame/interpret poverty and class in relation to the Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Reservation? Instructions: • Work as a group of 3 or 4 and answer the questions; • Take approximately 5 minutes to answer each question; • Designate a note taker and one person to respond to each question
  6. 6. Topophilia: love of place Sense of place: emotional underpinning attached to place *will explore this concept further with MyaWheerlerWiens Placelessness: not a useful concept – if a place can be identified it will have meaning to someone Photo credit: Darlene Mazzone
  7. 7. Behavioural Geographies Structuralism: analyses of the minds parts or structures
  8. 8. Functionalism: understood in terms of ongoing thought process responsible for learning; influenced by Darwin’s evolutionary theory; focused on the subjective experience mental states are constituted solely by their functional role – not so much about individual perception
  9. 9. Space and behaviour: •behaviour = observable activities in general (study of patterns; came from spatial analysis field) •ignores aspects like creativity, freedom, and dignity (instead sees humans as optimizers of opportunity – economic theory) •focuses on the cognitive – such as perception 2 Models for Behavioural Geographies Place and behaviour: •humanist concerns: psychological concepts like mental maps & the subjective / perceived experience •Husserl - important to understand structure & meaning (not just scientific interpretation) •perspective resulting in the action is important
  10. 10. Research of place and behaviour Exploration of topic exhaustibly Classify and compare different accounts Summarize the results
  11. 11. The Problem with inference
  12. 12. Marxism 3 concepts in Marx’s Social Theory: 1) Identification of human society types and historical context 2) Transition from one type of society to another 3) Analysis of 19th Century capitalism "Capital is dead labor, which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks.” - Karl Marx, Das Kapital (Volume I, Chapter 10)
  13. 13. Forces of production: produce goods Relation of production: economic structure of society Society 1. Identification of human society types Infrastructure: relations of production Superstructure: legal and political system determinism
  14. 14. 2. Transition from one type of society to another Dominant class will try to maintain the current system
  15. 15. South Africa Distribution of wealth following the end of apartheid Canada The Indian Act Also know as structural violence (Galtung, 1969)  a way of understanding why disparities persist! Soweto Atiwapiskat
  16. 16. 3. Analysis of 19th Century capitalism
  17. 17. Marxist philosophy in action •Labour movements: unions and strikes •Socialism: cooperative management of property •Communism: social organization based on the holding of all property in common *often manifests as a totalitarian regime *This is what Marx predicted and is the problematic nature of any political philosophy **With regards to cultural geography  major contribution is the recognition of the role of politics
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