GEO 106 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Physical Geography, Attractor, Vaughan Mills

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29 Nov 2020
Lecture 6 Part 1: Representation of Place: Cultural Geography at the Local, National,
Regional, Global Scales
- Nature of representation
- “All representations potentially communicate place myths in one way or another”
(Holloway and Hubbard, 2013)
- All representations are partial, and subjective, depending on the person who is
making the representation
- Aspects of a place are highlighted in order to convey a particular view or framing,
sometimes with a particular motive
- Representations most often evoke emotion
- Selling Ethnic Enclaves:Real Estate and Tourism Representations
- Little Italy Toronto, Possibly The Best Little Italy
- Ethnic Neighbourhoods of Toronto
- Lonely Planet travel videos
- Cultural Geography
- Cultural Geography is a subfield of Human Geography which focuses “upon the
patterns and interactions of human culture, both material and non-material, in
relation to the natural environment and the human organization of space”
(Cosgrove, 1994)
- The study of human cultures as they occur in physical space and in relation to
the physical landscape
- Culture as a Concept
- Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people,
encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts
- Shared patterns of behaviors and interactions, cognitive constructs and
understandings that are learned by socialization. Thus, it can be seen as the
growth of a group identity fostered by social patterns unique to the group
- Based on a set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices
- Depends upon transmitting knowledge and cultural practices to succeeding
- Culture vs. Ethnicity
- Inter-related concepts:
- Ethnicity: sharing the same ancestral place of origin, a common heritage or roots but
not necessarily place of birth
More static (rooted in the past)
- Culture: based on shared values, beliefs and rules of conduct that make people behave
in a certain way (e.g., sense of dressing and eating habits),
a common language the production of art and artifacts reflective of a way of life that is
passed down through generations
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- More dynamic and evolving (the everyday)
- Cultural Landscape: Carl Sauer
- The cultural landscape is fashioned from a natural landscape by a cultural
- Culture is the agent, the natural area is 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 culture, a rejuvenation of the cultural
landscape sets in, or a new landscape is superimposed on remnants of
an older one
(C. Sauer, “The Morphology of Landscape.” In J. Leighly (ed.), Land and Life: Selections
from the Writings of Carl Ortwin Sauer, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press,
1964, pp. 315-350.)
- Current Trends in Academic Research (Bürgi, M., et al (2017) Analyzing dynamics and
values of cultural landscapes, Landscape Ecology, 32 (11): 2077 -2081.)
- Efforts to Preserve Cultural Landscapes
- Restoration of Pre-colonial Landscapes
- Ecotourism and Cultural Landscapes
- Sziva, I., and R. Zoltay (2016) How attractive can cultural landscapes be
for Generation Y?, Almatourism, 7(14): 1 -16.
- Developing their online and mobile presence
- The authenticity and the so-called edutainment activities
- Elements of a Cultural Landscape
- Cultural Practices Processes
- Events, activities, social groupings and language that participants use, produce
and reproduce in the context of making meaning in everyday life
- Ceremonies, holiday celebrations
- Rituals, rights of passage
- Greetings
- Eating habits (time of day, type of food)
- Language (including colloquialisms)
- Arts: Painting, sculpture, craft, poetry, literature, fashion, dance
- Cultural Artifacts Patterns
- Anything created by humans which gives information about the culture of its
creator and users
- Architectural styles
- Landscape styles ornamental, naturalistic
- Objects (arts, clothing, used for worship, use for food preparation)
- Inter-Scalar Aspects of Culture
- Localized Culture
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- National Culture (regional within Nation-States)
- Regional Culture (among Nation-States)
- Western vs. Eastern Cultures
- Global Culture(s)
- As you go up the scale, there is increasing homogenization
- Localized Culture
- Local context shapes expressions of culture
- What was there before
- Size of a community relative to other communities in an area
- Length of time in the local area
- Institutional completeness: the extent to which its community can provide
all goods and services to its members
- A layering of cultures occurs at a local level, by individual households
- Applications of cultural norms vary within households as well
- Sequent-Occupance
- The notion that successive societies leave their cultural imprints on a place, each
contributing to the cumulative cultural landscape
- We can see this at a local scale in Toronto, in various ethnic enclaves
- “Greektown” along Danforth Avenue, between Chester Avenue and Dewhurst
Blvd., in east Toronto
- Greektown on the Danforth
- Many Greek residents have moved out, but old churches and retail outlets
- At the “Taste of the Danforth” festival, Greek food prevails, but there are
numerous options, including Thai, Chinese, Brazilian, Indian, and Japanese,
reflecting the change of the cultural composition of the neighbourhood over time
- Studying Fronts of Houses and Yards
- Spiritual or religious symbols above the door or on windows
- Hanging lemon and chilli tied to a thread at the entrance: While some say
it brings prosperity, some believe it keeps them away from the ill effects of
the “evil eye”
- Dream catchers were traditionally used as talismans to protect sleeping
people, usually children, from bad dreams and nightmares
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