The “sense of place” that humans possess may apply
to a larger area of Earth than a specific location.
Why are places the same or different?
Unique is because of Culture; similar is do to
diffusion; similar due to independent invention;
different because of syncretism
Thinkin’ about region
Cultural Regions, Formal Regions, Functional Regions
and Perceptual Regions
Definition: a way of life developed by people.
Origin of word “culture” from Latin: “to care
In English two different meanings
- “to care about”- to adore or worship something
- “to take care of”- to nurse or look after
elements of culture
Cultural trait – a single element of normal practice in
a culture. (wearing a turban in Muslim societies)
When a group of traits is combined, a cultural
A small area where there is a complex is a region; a
larger area is a realm
Difference between Realm and region is scale!!!
Traits to system
TRAITS can be classified into 4 parts of culture to
create a system...
-Beliefs (religious, other)
-Institutions (govt, economic, education)
Culture is learned and therefore it is BILT. (Get it!
Other Culture terms
Cultural Hearth: Heart of culture; birthplace; starting
point - things diffuse from there
Cultural Trait - Cultural Complex - Cultural Region -
Material culture refers to the physical objects,
resources, and spaces that people use to define their
These include homes, neighborhoods, cities, schools,
churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, offices,
factories and plants, tools, means of production,
goods and products, stores, and so forth.
Physical aspects of a culture help to define its
members' behaviors and perceptions.
For example, technology is a vital aspect of material
culture in today's United States.
American students must learn to use computers to
survive in college and business, in contrast to young
adults in the Yanomamo society in the Amazon who
must learn to build weapons and hunt.
Non-material culture refers to the nonphysical ideas
that people have about their culture
Beliefs, values, rules, norms, morals, language,
For instance, the non-material cultural concept of
religion consists of a set of ideas and beliefs about
God, worship, morals, and ethics.
These beliefs, then, determine how the culture
responds to its religious topics, issues, and events.
Types of regions
Formal or homogeneous region: an area within
which everyone (majority) shares in one or more
common distinctive TRAITS.
Common economic activity
Is Montana a formal region?
everyone is a citizen within boundaries
taxes collected; license plates given
boundaries very clear
Is the wheat belt?
sure, but what problems are there in defining and
delimiting a region like this?
Functional Region or a nodal
an area organized around a node or focal point.
Chicagoland area: region is tied to central point by
transportation, communication, economic or other