Human Geography: Places andRegions in Global Context, 5e Chapter 5: Cultural Geographies Paul L. Knox & Sallie A. Marston PowerPoint Author: Keith M. Bell
OverviewCultural geography is the topic of Chapter Five. This broad field focuses on howspace, place, and landscape shape culture, and on how culture shapes space,place, and landscape. Globalizing trends and the distinctiveness of cultures areboth aspects of this field of study.Language and religion are two fundamental aspects of culture. Both language andreligion demonstrate globalizing and localizing characteristics. For example, Englishhas become a global language while, at the same time, speakers of many otherlanguages are asserting their linguistic identity. Likewise, Islamism is an influentialforce in some countries as it attempts to resist globalizing trends.Cultural geographers today also realize that other forms of cultural identity—suchas sexuality, gender, and ethnicity—are also means of asserting identity and ofresisting the influence of majority or dominant cultural patterns. In sum, this chapterexplores the globalization (or worldwide standardization) of culture and various localand societal attempts to resist this globalization.
Chapter Objectives• The objectives of this chapter are to: – Examine the cultural systems of religion and language as they are related to geography – Provide a foundation in the understanding of cultural nationalism – Survey culture and identity by examining our sexual geographies, ethnicity and the use of space, race and place, and gender – Explore the relationship between culture and the physical environment – Investigate the relationship between globalization and cultural change
Chapter Outline• Culture as a Geographical Process • Islamic Cultural Nationalism (p. (p. 174) 197) – Cultural geography and culture defined – Islam, Islamism, and resistance to• Building Cultural Complexes (p. globalization 179) • Culture and Identity (p. 203) – Carl Sauer and the cultural landscape – Sexual geographies – H.C. Darby and historical geography – Ethnicity and the use of space – Paul Vidal de la Blache and genre de – Race and place vie – Gender, class, and vulnerability – Cultural traits, regions, and complexes • Globalization and Cultural Change• Cultural Systems (p. 182) (p. 208) – Religion, hearth regions and diffusion, – How has globalization changed changing religious practices culture? – Language, hearth regions and – Is culture becoming global? diffusion, minority languages • Conclusion (p. 211) – Culture and society; ideas of kinship
Geography Matters• 5.1 Geography Matters—The Culture of Hip-Hop (p. 176) – Hip-hop’s origins and diffusion• 5.2 Geography Matters—Changing Religious Practices in Latin America and the Caribbean (p. 194) – Religious syncretism in the Americas• 5.3 Geography Matters—Language and Ethnicity in Africa (p. 201) – Links between language and ethnic identity in Africa• 5.4 Window on the World—Separatism in Québec (p. 204) – Reasons for French-Canadian cultural nationalism in Canada
Cultural Geographies Though culture is a central, complex concept in geography, it may be thought of as a way of life involving a particular set of skills, values, and meanings. Geographers focus on how place and space shape culture, and how culture shapes place and space. Culture is dynamic. Culture has been profoundly impacted by globalization. Cultural geography seeks to understandthe role played by politics and economy in establishing and perpetuating cultures, cultural landscapes, and global patterns of cultural traits and complexes. Cultural geography includes analysis of gender, class, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and life-cycle stages. Globalization does not necessarily mean that the world is becoming more homogenous. The local is in some ways even more important.
Expressions of CultureTa mako (tribal tattoos) are signs of identification, rank, genealogy, tribalhistory, eligibility to marry, beauty, and ferocity in the Maori culture of NewZealand.
Culture as a Geographical Process• Geographers seek to understand the manifestations and impacts of culture on geography and geography on culture.• Geographers are interested not only in how place and space shape culture but also the reverse—how culture shapes place and space.• Definitions of culture: – Culture is a particular way of life, such as a set of skilled activities, values, and meaning surrounding a particular type of economic practice. – Culture is a set of classical standards and aesthetic excellence: opera, ballet, or literature. – The term culture describes the range of activities that characterize a particular group, such as working-class culture, corporate culture, or teen culture.• For our purposes: Culture is a shared set of meanings that is lived through the material and symbolic practices of everyday life.
Death PracticeRoadside memorials are artistic expressions that mark the place where thesoul has left the body in a fatal accident. Have you seen these where you live?
The Geography of Hip-Hop East Coast vs. West Coast vs. South Coast
Folk Culture vs. Popular Culture • Folk culture is seen by specialists as the traditional practices of small groups, especially rural people with a simple lifestyle, such as the Amish or the Roma. • Popular culture is viewed by some cultural geographers as the practices and meaning systems produced by large groups of people whose norms and tastes are often heterogeneous and change frequently, often in response to commercial products.
Building Cultural ComplexesThis Masai village is enclosed by thorny vegetation gathered from the surroundingarea. Inside the barrier are dwellings, as well as pens for all-important livestock.
Sauer’s “Morphology of Landscape”• Material expression of culture manifest themselves in the landscape.• Cultural landscape is a characteristic and tangible outcome of the complex interactions between a human group and its natural environment.• A cultural landscape is a “humanized” version of a natural environment (i.e., landscape management).
Market Gardens in CorsicaGenre de vie referred to a functionally organized way of life that was seen tobe characteristic of a particular culture group. Farming is a way of life—agenre de vie—that we can read from the landscape where extensive cultivatedfields and isolated farmhouses constitute key elements.
Domesday Book H. C. Darby most successfully implemented his historical geography approach to cultural geography and landscape by developing a geography based on the Domesday Book (or Doomsday Book). William the Conqueror ordered this book compiled so that hecould know the value of all that he conquered. For geographers like Darby, such data (e.g., homes, people, wealth, customs) were invaluable for reconstructing the political, economic, and social forces that shaped past landscapes.
Iroquois LonghouseA cultural trait is a single aspect of the complex of routine practices thatconstitute a particular cultural group (e.g., distinctive styles of dress, dietaryhabits, and styles of architecture). Longhouses were communal, housing up to20 families at once.
Rites of PassageThe coming-of-age ceremony for girls turning twenty years old inSouth Korea is held every May 15 in Seoul. Koreans who turn 60are also ritually celebrated on hwan-gap.
U.S. Religious Distribution, 2000At such a scale, this map does not reflect the nuance of faith diversityacross America. However, it does illustrate the concept of culturalregions based on religion (e.g., the “Bible Belt” in the Deep South or theMormon hearthland).
Cultural Systems• Geography and Religion – Religion is a belief system and a set of practices that recognizes the existence of a higher power. – Diaspora is a spatial dispersion of a previously homogeneous group.• Geography and Language – Language is a way of communicating ideas or feelings by means of a conventionalized system. – Cultural hearths are the geographic origins or sources of innovations, ideas, or ideologies.• Culture and Society – Kinship is a relationship based on blood, marriage, or adoption, but also includes a shared notion of relationship among members of the group.
World Distribution of Major ReligionsNot evident on the map are the local variations in practices, as well as the manysmaller religions that are practiced worldwide (e.g., Sikhism or Santería).
Origin Areas and Diffusion of Four Major Religions The world’s major religions originated in a fairly small region of the world. Judaism and Christianity began in present-day Israel and Jordan. Islam emerged from western Arabia.Buddhism originated in India, and Hinduism in the Indus region of Pakistan (from Vedic rites and rituals). Religious beliefs are organized and codified, often based on the teachings and writings of one or more of its founders.
Geography and Language • Language classification includes families, branches, and groups. • A language family is a collection of individual languages believed to be related in their pre-historical origin. • A language branch is a collection of languages that possess a definite common origin but have split into individual languages. • A language group is a collection of several individual languages that is part of a language branch, shares a common origin in the recent past, and has relatively similar grammar and vocabulary.
Spread of BuddhismCommercial routes, like the Silk Road, were important vectorsfor the spread of the religion across Asia.
Spread of Christianity in Europe • Christianity diffused through Europe largely because of missionary efforts. • Monks and monasteries were especially important as hubs of diffusion in the larger network. • The shaded areas indicate places where Christian converts dominated by A.D. 300.
Pre-Columbian Religions in North America European contact with the New World was, from thebeginning, accompanied by Christian missionizing efforts. Proselytizing efforts were directed at changing the belief systems of the aboriginal peoples andconverting them to the “the one, true religion.”Religion, especially for theSpanish colonizing agents,was particularly important in integrating Native Americans into the feudal system.
Changing Religious PracticesTibetan monks protest in Megachurch, Illinois, UnitedNepal States
Muslim WorldWhat is the difference between Islam and Islamism? What is the differencebetween fundamentalism and jihad? What are the five pillars of Islam?
Muslim WomenAfghanistan Turkey In fundamentalist, theocratic states (e.g., Afghanistan under the Taliban), women must observe rules of modesty. In Turkey, where there is a secular democratic government, women may have more liberal attitudes of decorum. How do Westerners view the burqua and conservative Islamic culture?
Language Map of IndiaIndia’s linguistic landscape is complex, with hundreds of distinct languages in use. This map provides an illustration of the intricategeography of language on the subcontinent.
African Countries with Extinct and Threatened Languages It is not absolutely certain how many languages are currently being spoken worldwide. Estimates range between 4,200 and 5,600. While some languages are being created through the fusion of an indigenous languagewith a colonial language, indigenous languages are mostly dying out. Although only Africa is shown in this map,indigenous languages are dying out throughout the Americas and Asia as well.
Globalizing Film Industry: NollywoodNollywood video films are popular the world over and rival Hollywoodand Bollywood in numbers produced. The films follow differentproduction techniques and invoke different kinds of stories, ultimatelyresulting in a different aesthetic.
Sexual GeographiesSexuality is a set of practices and identities that a given culture considersrelated to each other and to those things it considers sexual acts anddesires. This gay pride (LGBT) parade in São Paulo, Brazil, attractedalmost 2 million people.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Have the class describe and discuss some of the natural and cultural landscapes in the local community. How have these landscapes shaped each other? – The natural environment and cultural practices shape each other. The university campus may be a good example to consider.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• How would you characterize the cultural traits of your community or region? What things are “hot” and “not hot” in the community or region? Are any of these traits distinctive to the area, or do they reflect national or global tastes? – The best source for this discussion is Michael J. Weiss’s Latitudes and Attitudes (Boston: Little, Brown, 1994), which provides data for all regions of the United States.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Discuss how language shapes thought. For example, how is the same concept literally expressed in different languages? – For example, in English, one says “I am hungry,” which suggests a state that a person is in. In German and Spanish, one says “I have hunger,” which suggests that hunger is some thing that one can have or not have. In the Diné (Navajo) language, one says “hunger is killing me,” which suggests that hunger is a malevolent external force. In Amharic, one says “it hungers me,” which again suggests an unknown force. Differences in language may be reflected in cultural practices.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Discuss how languages have been used as the bases of identity, and, consequently, as instruments of resistance to globalization. Is speaking English a part of globalization? – You might consider examples such as French in Canada or Spanish in the United States. A great deal of material on language as resistance can be found on the Internet.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Discuss how religions have been used as the bases of identity, and, consequently, as instruments of resistance to globalization. – You might consider the example of Islam and Islamism, as well as related movements —see pages 197–203 in the textbook for more information on Islamism. Other religions and religious movements would also provide good examples.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Discuss how measures of identity—such as gender, sexuality, and ethnicity—are used as instruments of resistance to culturally dominant groups. How do gender-, sexuality-, and ethnicity-based groups use space as an element in this resistance? Does the local community have any evidence of such identity- based social spaces? – Depending on the community, there may be enclaves, ghettoes, or colonies of ethnic groups and gay or lesbian groups. See pages 203–206 in the textbook for further information.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• An interesting topic for lecture or discussion is the development of syncretic religions, which combine elements of two or more religions. – Good examples are found in the Caribbean region, in which African, European, and indigenous cultures mixed. Most Caribbean islands have their own syncretic religion, notably Voodoo in Haiti, and Lucumí or Santería on Spanish-speaking islands such as Cuba and Puerto Rico. Have the students research one of these religions. You can then trace different elements of these religions back to African, European, and indigenous roots.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What are the advantages and disadvantages of globalization and the standardization of culture? Ask the students if they would prefer to live in a community in which everyone were the same (no differences in language, religion, sexuality, and so forth) or one in which such differences exist. What are the costs and benefits of each? – Answers to these questions are largely a matter of opinion. Having the students read pages 208–211 in the textbook might better prepare them for a discussion of this topic.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• What is the hearth region of the English language? How did the language diffuse globally? How is this diffusion reflected in the language itself? – England could be considered the hearth region of English, though the language derives from the migrations of Germanic tribes as well with an admixture of French after the Norman conquest. English diffused globally through exploration and colonization. English outside England has adapted to local circumstances and has borrowed words both from local languages and from immigrant groups, making American and Australian English different from that of England and from each other, for example. You might want to consult the works of David Crystal, in particular his book English as a Global Language (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997) for more information.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Use Figure 5.A to illustrate the diffusion of rap music in the United States. This figure clearly indicates the geographic concepts of a hearth region and spatial diffusion. You might also use examples of recorded music to illustrate changes and differences in regional styles. – Playing music in class with a portable player will give the students a chance to experience regional differences in musical styles. If you are not fond of rap music, you can substitute a different musical genre to illustrate the same points. Country/Western, bluegrass, jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues work particularly well.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Compare Figure 5.E with a political map of Africa. How do political boundaries relate to linguistic boundaries? What are the consequences of the lack of overlap? – Linguistic boundaries and political ones do not generally match because colonialism largely ignored African political and cultural boundaries. Consequently, linguistic groups are often divided between two or more countries or have become minority languages within a country, often leading to political tensions.
Discussion Topics and Lecture Themes• Discuss the importance of the works of the geographers Carl Sauer, H.C. Darby, and Paul Vidal de la Blache on 20th- century geography. – Information about these geographers can be found on pages 179–182 of the textbook. They each helped lead geography away from the environmental determinism that dominated much of early 20th-century geography.