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Topic:%20Cultural%20Geography

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Title: Topic:%20Cultural%20Geography


1
Topic Cultural Geography
  • Aim In what ways can we examine cultural
    elements of geography?
  • Do Now How would you define culture? Is there
    such a thing as American Culture? If so, define
    it

2
A Homemade Culture???
  • As we read the following passage from Human
    Geography Landscapes of Human Activity (Fellman,
    Getis, Getis, 10th ed.) listen carefully and
    describe the authors thesis about so-called
    American Culture.

3
Culture is
  • Learned, not biological
  • Transmitted within a society to next generations
    by imitation, tradition, instruction and example
  • Provides a general framework as each individual
    learns adheres to roles and general rules and
    conventions

4
Material and Nonmaterial Culture
  • Material Culture
  • The things a group of people construct, such as
    art, houses, clothing, sports, dance, and food.
  • Nonmaterial Culture
  • The beliefs, practices, aesthetics, and values of
    a group of people. Examples-religion, language,
    traditions customs

Little Sweden, USA (Lindsborg, Kansas) Is the
Swedish Dala horse part of material or
nonmaterial culture?
5
What is culture?
  • Material objects (artifacts)
  • Interpersonal relations (sociofacts)
  • Ideas and beliefs (mentifacts)
  • Each element has a spatial distribution

6
Cultural Systems
  • What we eat, when we eat and how we eat is an
    example of cultural differences
  • Some Asian cultures eat with the right hand, East
    Asian cultures use chopsticks, Western cultures
    use knife, fork and a spoon.
  • Certain foods are considered delicacies by some
    cultures, unclean and unfit for consumption by
    others. E.g. shrimp, snails, worms, insects, etc.
  • Voice-tone and level are very culturally
    specific.
  • Body gestures-Japanese bowing, slurping of
    food, Western shaking hands, tipping of the hat,
    etc.
  • Various marriage customs-intermarriage is
    accepted in some societies, but not others

7
Cultural Landscape
  • The imprint of people on the land-how humans use,
    alter and manipulate the landscape to express
    their identity.
  • Examples
  • Architecture of buildings
  • Methods of tilling the soil
  • Means of transportation
  • Clothing and adornment
  • Sights, sounds and smells of a place

8
  • The cultural landscape is fashioned from a
    natural landscape by a cultural group. Culture
    is the agent, the natural area the medium, the
    cultural landscape is the result. Under the
    influence of a given culture, itself changing
    through time, the landscape undergoes
    development, passing through phases, and probably
    reaching ultimately the end of its cycle of
    development. With the introduction of a
    different-that-is alien culture, a rejuvenation
    of the cultural landscape sets in, or a new
    landscape is superimposed on remnants of an older
    one. ---Carl Sauer, 1925

9
  • Custom frequent repetition of an act until it
    becomes characteristic of a group of people..
  • Taboo a restriction on behavior imposed by
    social custom.
  • Habit repetitive act performed by an individual.

10
Left-an Apache girl nears the end of her Sunrise
Ceremony which is a coming of age ceremony for
young girls reaching puberty. The sacred pollen
on her face invests her with healing powers. A
good example of a cultural trait.
Right-festival in Tarabuco, Bolivia. The
revelers wear wool hats that mimic the steel
helmets that were worn by the Spanish
conquistadors of the 16th century
11
Cultural Complex
  • Individual cultural traits which are functionally
    interrelated. Such complexes are universal
  • For the Masai (left) keeping cattle was a
    cultural trait. Related traits included
    measurement of personal wealth by number of
    cattle owned, a diet containing milk and the
    blood of the cattle, and disdain for labor
    unrelated to herding. All these together form a
    cultural complex
  • Examples in the U.S.???

The Masai of Kenya
12
Cultural Realm
  • A set of cultural regions showing related
    cultural complexes and landscapes, having assumed
    fundamental uniformity in its cultural
    characteristics and showing significant
    differences from surrounding realms

13
Environmental influence
  • Old environmental determinism
  • Physical environment shapes everything
  • Prone to racist conclusions
  • New possibilism
  • People are the driving force
  • But environment shapes cultural activity

14
Architecture
  • Building materials based on environment
  • Wood in forested areas
  • Brick in hot, dry places
  • Grass or sod on prairies
  • Skins for nomads

15
Nebraska
Syria
Dominican Republic
Newfoundland
16
Architecture
  • House shape may depend on environment
  • Interior courtyards for privacy
  • Open plan for letting in air
  • Tall, narrow to maximize land
  • Steep roofs in snowy areas

17
China
Amsterdam
Massachusetts
18
Architecture
  • House form and orientation as sociofacts
  • Front porches, front stoops
  • Sacred direction, sacred wall
  • Sleeping orientation

19
Guyana
Brooklyn
20
Poland
Korea
Yemen
21
Clothing
  • Based on climate
  • Warm or cold
  • Wet or dry
  • May reflect occupation/status
  • Also reflect values, traditions

22
Netherlands
Samoa
Morocco
China
Guatemala
23
Food
  • Strong part of group identity
  • Demonstrates innovation, diffusion,
    acculturation, and assimilation
  • Can be part of place identity
  • Back and forth between culture and place
  • Preferences may depend on environment
  • Staple foods rice, sorghum, maize, wheat
  • Salted meats, fish
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Or genetics (lactose intolerance)

24
American foodways
  • Colonial foods (Thanksgiving)
  • Foods diffused back to New World
  • Potatoes to Ireland
  • Tomatoes to Italy
  • Chocolate to Spain
  • Peanut and sweet potato to Africa
  • Mixing of foods (creole) Acculturation (or not)
  • Southern cooking retains strong regional identity
  • African slaves cooked on plantations
  • Less urban influence
  • Anti-North attitudes discouraged

25
American foodways
  • More immigrants mean more foods
  • Similar diffusion pattern to place names
  • Anti-immigrant attitudes through dieticians
  • Chili power bad for stomach
  • Common pot unsanitary
  • Pickles unhealthy
  • Sushi during World War II

26
Tomato
Vinegar
Mustard
27
Food and place identity
  • Historical connections
  • Deliberate marketing
  • Tourism and place consumption
  • Pineapples and Hawaii
  • Lobster and Maine
  • Wine appellations and terroir

28
Pineapples and Hawaii
  • Originally South American
  • Plantations since 1800s
  • Doles national ad campaign in 1907 Hawaiian
    pineapple
  • Cheaper to grow in Thailand, Philippines
  • Hawaii focuses on fresh fruit for tourists

29
Lobsters and Maine
  • Originally food for poor, or fertilizer
  • Wealthy New Englanders in 1860s
  • Summering in Maine
  • Imitating the locals
  • Only for wealthy vacationers
  • Now negative symbol for locals

30
Wine geography
  • Production based on environmental factors
  • Temperate climate (hot summer, wet winter)
  • Hillsides allow drainage, sunlight
  • Coarse, well-drained soil
  • And social factors that determine consumption

31
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32
Wine geography
  • Terroir how environment shapes wine flavor
  • Soil, sunlight, slope, rainfall, etc.
  • Varies at the vineyard scale
  • Appellation place-of-origin label
  • Champagne, Bordeaux, Burgundy, etc.
  • Parmigiana Romano, Stilton, Camembert

33
Food Preferences Taboos
  • Certain foods are consumed based on their
    perceived benefits or detriments (whether true or
    false)
  • Abipone Indians eat jaguars and bulls to gain
    bravery and strength
  • Some Mediterranean cultures eat the mandrake
    plant, thought to enhance sexual prowess
  • Any restriction on consumption habits due to
    perceived negative effects is called a food taboo

34
Food Taboos
  • Ainus in Japan dont eat otters who are thought
    of as forgetful animals
  • Europeans traditionally blamed the potato for
    social ills due to the way it was grown
  • In Papua, New Guinea, couples cannot eat together
    before marriage, however premarital sex is
    considered socially acceptable

35
Food Taboos Religion
  • Religion plays an active role in food taboos.
  • Kosher Law, Halal Meat, Prohibition of cow meat
    for Hindus, Prohibition of pork for Muslims
  • Some of the rationales have a basis in sanitation
    and environment, however they cannot be explained
    solely this way. Social values also play an
    important role

36
Food Taboos in U.S.
  • Avoid eating insects, despite nutritional value
  • Canned mushrooms and tomato paste contain insects
    (though not commonly acknowledged)

Deep fried giant water bugs are a snack in
Thailand
37
Raise your hand if this is appetizing to you!
38
Do Asians Eat Weird Things?
39
Food Attractions
Associated with becoming a better lover
Mandrake
40
Other food taboos
  • Before becoming pregnant, Mbum Kpau women of Chad
    do not eat chicken or goat during pregnancy do
    not keep meat from antelopes with twisted horns
  • In the Trobriand Islands (near Papua New Guinea)
    couples are prohibited from eating meals together
    before marriage, but premarital sexual relations
    are accepted

41
Food Taboo Against Pork
  • Jews and Muslims
  • Jews needed pigs for farming
  • Muslims pigs unsuited for dry lands of Arabian
    Peninsula (would compete with humans for food
    without providing other benefits e.g. milk, wool,
    pulling plow)

42
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43
Food Taboo Against Cows
  • Sacred for Hindus
  • Environmental reason cows are needed to pull
    plows
  • Can only plow when monsoon rains arrive and need
    a large supply of oxen
  • Religious sanctions keep a large cow supply

44
No Reservations - Quebec
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