What is Geography? What is Globalization? Sept18. Lecture TWO
Geography Librarian: Sarah Fedko ([email protected]
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
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.
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.
What are some of the central concepts of geography?
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
“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
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?
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,
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