Lecture 2: The Evolution and Regionalization of
Reading: Fellman Chapter 12
Why Geography Matters: The Role of Landscape
Landscapes and places are settings for social interaction:
• Structure routines of economic and social life
• Provide both opportunities and constraints for people’s long-
term social well being
• Establish a context in which everyday knowledge and
experience are gathered
• Provide a setting fro processes of socialization
• Provide and area for contesting social norms
Some places acquire a strong symbolic value.
• Important connotations and meanings
Places and Regions are Extremely Interdependent
Places, regions and landscapes pay particular roles in changing
complex networks of interactions and change
Locations are tied to larger processes of change that are reflected in
large-scale geographical patterns.
Can we recognize the wider processes and patterns?
• How are they useful?
• Do we control them, or are we controlled by them?
• What are the financial, political, social, and geographic
• And so what?
The Interdependence of Geographical Scale
(get chart from web)
But be careful of reductionism
• Problems that exist at the largest level are not always solved
at the molecular or atomic level
Interdependence of Places
Can we recognize and use such broad patterns without losing sight of
the importance of localities?
Process and Pattern
• Interact to produce, modify, and reshape landscapes
• Process and pattern then cope with change, by changing
themselves à dynamic
• Is there a discernable direction in the change of landscapes
due to the interaction of pattern and process?
Misreading the African Landscape
• Landscape change à direction trajectory
• Must look across scales Other Examples of Change
Tree Species Distribution
• Arizona, USA – mesquite and cattle ranching
o To make room for the cattle ranchers, mesquite trees
had to be removed and cleared
o Mesquite moved up to the hilltops, where it wasn’t
o Mesquite moved into other species nat