GEOG 210 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Cultural Landscape, Natural Environment, Luxurious

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7 Feb 2013
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Lecture 8: The Making of Cultural Landscapes
2/5/13 8:41 AM
Quiz 2 has been extended by a day. It is now ending at 5pm on Saturday,
February 2.
Reading: Fellman et al, Chapter 5, Entire Chapter
The Concept of Nature//Progression in Views of Nature
What is a Resource? An Environment?
Visual resource in Quebec
o Tourism
o What was not a resource in the past, is a resource today and
vis-a-versa
Resources change constantly
Humans designate as ‘resources’
Only those things which they consider useful and have the
knowledge and technology to use it
o Window of Opportunity
o Provide desired goods and services
o Natural stuff failing to meet this requirement is called:
! “Neutral stuff”
! “Nuisance stuff”
Resources are time sensitive and person sensitive.
What is Nature: Cultural Variation in Views of Nature
What is and is not a resource is a matter of perception.
A perceived set of resources differs over time and space to reflect variations
in:
Physical Presence
Knowledge
Technology
Social structures
Economic Conditions
Political Systems
Resources are not spread evenly. The location must line up with the window
of opportunity to exploit that resource. A lot of inputs have to line up to be
able to use a resource.
What is a Resource?
Resources are visible, but not always from the service.
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This difference in WHERE resources are WHEN, and for WHO is important in
the formation of cultural landscapes:
Particularly where the cultural significance of:
o Landscapes
o Flora
o Fauna
o Ecosystems
All these things vary between social groups.
If we use it, it is a resource.
Exam: What is a resource and give an example?
What is Nature?
Western views of the environment:
We start with Paradise
o All things good
o Luxurious garden
o Mild climate all year
o Ripe fruit on every tree
o No thorns, stinging insects
o No aggressive animals
o No want or danger
o And Ideal state
o Historically: In the Judeo-Christian Tradition, Paradise is good
and wilderness was then seen as a manifestation of evil.
! Then, wilderness embodies
" 1. Danger
" 2. Beyond Control
" 3. Terror of the wild, leading to a hostility toward
nature
" 4. Evil, supernatural, monstrous
" 5. Mystery, fear
! Wilderness as ‘evil’
" For the greeks, there were many demons that
lived in the wild places.
" The lord of the woods for the Greeks was called
“Pan” and was part man part beast.
! Views of Nature
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" Safety and happiness depended on getting away
from nature and wilderness.
" But for much of history, reality was forced to live
on the land.
" They wanted to control the land.
! Nature is just their garden and cultivated field. The
good part of the natural world.
o Humans in this tradition wanted to control nature:
! Fire
! Domestication of animals
! Clearing land and raising crops
o The reduction in the amount of wilderness and the increase in
the amount of cleared agricultural land in an area. This
marked achievement and advancement toward civilization.
o The earlier people in this tradition lived too close to
wilderness and danger and hardship were everywhere.
o “Civilizing” areas meant bringing order to chaos and changing
evil into good.
Later, with the advance of this ‘civilizing’, nature became viewed as
something useful.
o Trees became lumber
o Prairies became farms
o Canyons became sites for dams
o Make the wilderness bloom
o Uncultivated land in this view was useless
o ‘Idealized Progress’
Nature becomes useful. It now relies on an innovator to see this
“use”.
A shift Begins
o Appreciation of wilderness and the environment began in
cities of the more developed west.
o In the 18th and 19th centuries wild country lost much of its
repulsiveness in the West.
o In the 19th century it became possible to live and travel
widely without coming into contact with wild country.
o Qualities of solitude and mystery are now sought after.
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