Geographies of Health and Health Care Feb 1, 13
← Consider: We all have own geographies.
Everyone’s health circumstances differ. The geography of where you live and
the risks associated with that impacts your risk of health and risk of disease.
Our access to basic resources is also spatially differentiated. Also, the
provision of health care services varies from one location to another. Even is
Hamilton one person lives very close to a clinic or doctors office or some
don’t even have a family doctor or a nearby clinic, etc. So overall where you
live effects the kinds of treatments which you can get and the speeds at
which you can get these treatments.
Traditional medical geography was interested in spatial set up of disease.
Where as today, health geography is about spatial context of health and well
being. The difference is that the WHO’s definition for health is the absence of
disease. Whereas today, the definition of health is the composite of physical,
social and emotional well-being. It does not only include if you are sick but
overall how you feel emotionally, physically, etc.
APPLIED TO HEALTH
Health geographers do the following four Ds
-Distribution: spatial patterns of health and disease.
e.g. malaria, health disease, etc. A map can annotate where there is more
of that illness, etc. Another way which these maps can be utilized is how Dr
John Snow did so, the epidemiology.
-Diffusion: This is the spread of disease over a space.
e.g. The case of H1N1 and how its spread on a map.
-Determinants: The factors which effect individual health status. Such
factors are income, behavioral factors (exercise, smoking), social
environment, genetics, etc.
-Delivery: The delivery of health care services and resources. What is
available to the individuals in order to improve there health status. USA uses
most money on health care however the share between public and private is
huge. They spend more on private than public. Canada spend very less on private expenditures and most of public, etc.
We can think about epidemic: A temporary and spatially wide spread
outbreak of a particular disease.
A pandemic is the same thing however it is an epidemic of greater scale and
proportion. H1N1 was nearing this as the volume of people effected was very
great and it was wide spread.
World Health Organization has Pandemic Phases (ex country code red type
Epidemiology connects to an academic discipline which connects to health
and statics and geography. And studies the incidents and transmission of
disease and how it can be controlled. They are mostly concerned about
infectious diseases and how widespread they are.
The Epidemiological transition: changing prevalence of infectious and
degenerative diseases. It suggest that there two age, 1. Age of pestilence
and famine and2 is the age of degenerative diseases and this is where we
are currently situated. Within those stages there are sets of stages within
*Today since we have controlled infectious diseases we are more prone to
getting degenerated diseases such as cancer. Before hand people did not
die form degenerated diseases because they would die of infectious diseases
first and there life was not long enough. In stage 1 infectious diseases, stage
2 degenerated diseases are most common.
Infectious Disease Stages: ???
← -Stage 1-2: Begins to happen at steady rate
-Stage 3-4: begins to die down
-Stage 5: Defining Culture & Cultural Geography Feb 5, 2013
← *Read chapter 6.
We have a certain routine everyday and it reflects our culture. Such as what
we wear, what we eat, etc.
These cultural attributes vary based on religion, language spoke, ethnicity,
origin, age, gender and individuals personality.
Would we see the same results if we did this in a university in a different
university, or a senior home, etc, Probably not.
How familiar would you be to a person’s culture in which you have not been
raised in or are familiar with. If it is a person from South Africa in Canada
the difference is very big. But what about someone from London, England to
Culture is a way of life of the members of a society.
In some cases the variation is quite small like England vs Canada, whereas
somewhere like Pakistan vs Canada would have a huge variation.
Is there a distinct Canadian culture? Or do we share with other. The logical
question then is what is the difference between the Canadian and American
culture. There are many things we share. We have the same language, form
of government, economic system, religions in the country, interest in pop
culture such as sports, music (although there is some variation). However,
our cultural symbols are different, our role in global politics are different.
Hence, does North America have one or more North American culture.
Consider sub culture (somewhat different from the norm, but a part of the
-Teenagers (subcultures within teens even, -> (goths, punks, skate
Cultural Geographers: Spatial distribution of cultural activities, their hearth, and the process of diffusion across space.
When we think about culture within human geography. We are interested in
two main components. Non material and material forms of culture.
-> Non-Material Culture
1. Mentifacts – Key attitude elements/values. Thought to us when we’re
children such as language, religion.
2. Sociofacts: Norms involved in group formation. E.g. meet an elder person
and you call them mr. _____. These are just stuff we learn they are not
-> Material Culture
-Artifacts – All the tangible elements related to how people live their lives.
E.g. car, clothes, tools etc.
Within material culture we can think about the spread of culture from two
different types of culture.
1. Folk Culture: cultural practices and material culture. Relatively small and
relatively isolated cultural group and the isolation is the key parts of it, there
material culture tend to be unique to them. They also tend to be
homogeneous which is they tend to be much the same.
2. Popular Culture: Cultural practices and material culture. E.g. wearing
jeans, or particular forms of music.
The spatial distribution of both these kinds of cultures is very different. Pop
culture has a wide spread distribution whereas folk is usually condensed in
one place isolated. The level of interaction is key. Popular culture has high
levels of interaction. There is a lot of influence today by media which help
the spread of the pop culture but increasingly the world is becoming
interconnected through globalization so they get exposed to popular culture.
Cultural Region: An area with a degree of homogeneity in cultural characteristics.
Spatial scale matters. In McMaster if we just look at the campus we see
there are health sci area, business area, residence areas, etc. But if we look
at Hamilton as a whole we see that those lines blur and McMaster becomes
What is regionalization: It varies from person to person but it is similarities
we see in a spatial area.
Cultural Landscape: The outcome of interaction between people (societies)
and their environments; the visible human imprint on the land.
Cultural Landscape: Reflects human modification of the land, i.e urban and
Cultural regions and landscapes are interrelated.
Cultural Adaptation: The adaptation (adjustment), by people and cultures to
the challenges posed by the physical environment.
For example the clothing choices we make in our culture reflect the
environmental circumstances in which we live. We need to have clothes for
winter and summer. Whereas tropical locations don’t have whether clothing
variation. There homes are build like that as well as it is warmer there. And
as cloture’s continue to evolve each culture begins to get slightly more
different than other culture so evolves and adapts over time. Cultural
adapations are not a one tiem thing it is a ever changing thing probably
because the environment is constantly changing and adapts. Geography of Language Feb 12, 2013
← *Reference chapter 6
Mother tongue is the language which you speak as an infant.
What is the point of language as a cultural variable. It is intimately
connected to cultural groups. Its how people differentiate themselves from
other cultural groups. Language is being thought to you from day 1 even if
you can not say anything back.
The survival cultural