Geo2630 fall2013 session5
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Geo2630 fall2013 session5 Presentation Transcript

  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Behavioural Geographies Structuralism: analyses of the minds parts or structures
  • 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. 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. Research of place and behaviour Exploration of topic exhaustibly Classify and compare different accounts Summarize the results
  • 11. The Problem with inference
  • 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. 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. 2. Transition from one type of society to another Dominant class will try to maintain the current system
  • 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. 3. Analysis of 19th Century capitalism
  • 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