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Lecture 2

GGRA02 lecture 2 notes

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Michael Ekers

What is Geography? What is Globalization? Sept18. Lecture TWO Geography Librarian: Sarah Fedko ([email protected]) Review:  A variety of different global processes exist: Economic, political, cultural and environmental  We may be bound together through a variety of processes but people experience global issues very differently. o If you’re not with us, you’re against us.  countries think differently, eg: freedom to America )  911 (twin towers)  When we critically interrogate our own everyday lives, they are revealed to be global. Discussion Questions:  What is geography? o This class is about human geography; how people interact with each other o Studying the change that humans cause to the environment & how we change to it. o Populations o Urbanization  What are some of the central concepts of geography? o  How can geography help us understand global issues? o Helps us understand how we’ve arrived to the issues that we face today o What we have to do to alter the history o Location to the matter, matters Defining Geography:  “The study of the spatial organization of human activity and of people’s relationships with their environments.” (Knox, Marston and Nash, 2010; 4) o The word ‘organization’ points to a broad number of relations including a consideration of economics, culture, politics and other social processes. o Human activity is human foundation; you’re nothing if you’re not doing something. o We learn to behave a certain way; lining up instead of butting to the front. o How we act is spatial, traceable; where we came from, how we movie around daily o The word environment should be understood broadly to include a range of different social and physical landscapes and places. o The word environment should be understood broadly to include a range of different social and physical landscapes and places. Geography: Key Assumptions  There is nothing natural about our social worlds; rather our social words are produced through a range of relationships & processes.  Multiple histories & geographies exist & over-layer one another o There are different histories to every location that layers upon each other to become what they are; Scarborough is made out of different people coming from different places  Attention on social & cultural difference & inequality  At its best, geography is premised on an ‘integral’ or ‘open’ analysis o Many analysis of the world; not just political – many perspectives. Open Quote & Question  “A highly embroiled quarter [part of a city], a network of streets that I had avoided for years, was disentangled at a single stroke when one day a person dear to me moved there, It was as if a searchlight set up at this person’s window dissected the area with pencils of light.” Walter Benjamin, One-Way Street and other Writings  What can we understand about the nature of place from this quotation? o o Place  A ‘place’ is often assumed to be a discreet entity like a park, neighborhood or campus. o Based on an assumption that a park is a bounded object o Assumption that place is comprised of a ‘coherent community’ o How do we define the boundaries of Scarborough Town Centre as a place?  The building itself? Parking lot? The major streets around it? o What relations constitute & sustain Scarborough Town Centre?  Layers of meaning, all the different processes that construct & make the place, what the place means – a shopping location… etc.  Why does place matter? o Location of where we are affects life choices, chances, opportunities, provides the settings for people’s daily lives. eg: quality of schools  All processes are grounded in some physical location o Global finance is connected to specific locations in a series of ‘world cities’  The particularity of a place affects the character of a range of social, cultural, political & economic processes.  A place is a social, cultural, political and economic entity that assumes its “specific character because of the complex flows and connections that come together *in a locale+.” (Massey, 2002) o “A global sense of place” o Layered meaning reflects the social construction of a place o Places subject to change  Gentrification, sprawl, decline, ‘ethnoburbs’ What can Geography do?  “If place is really a meeting place then ‘the lived reality of our daily lives’ is fa
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