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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

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GEOG 210
Jon Unruh

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. 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 ú 1. Danger ú 2. Beyond Control ú 3. Terror of the wild, leading to a hostility toward nature ú 4. Evil, supernatural, monstrous ú 5. Mystery, fear § Wilderness as ‘evil’ ú For the greeks, there were many demons that lived in the wild places. ú The lord of the woods for the Greeks was called “Pan” and was part man part beast. § Views of Nature ú Safety and happiness depended on getting away from nature and wilderness. ú But for much of history, reality was forced to live on the land. ú 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
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