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GGRB13 - Lecture 2

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Minelle Mahtani

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GGRB13 – Lecture 2 – January 16, 2012 Review from Last Week - Thinking about your own place in this world - Paying attention and being aware of your surroundings, people around you - Tutorials February 6, March 12, April 2 - This course is about how you view the world differently What is social geography? How do social geographers think about maps? What is a mental map? What is Geography to you? - How the world works - Physical features of the earth - Historical facts - Countries and continents - These are all about space and place in geography So What is Geography? - It is about exploring, searching and mapping - A politics of identity is a politics of location - People are defined differently depending on where you are, the spaces that we are in - Positivism is the scientific way of analyzing the world - What’s the future of social geography? Historiography - It’s about how knowledge is transmitted or communicated, how stories are understood and communicated and told over and over again Ex. Parent’s stories, and stories of their parents - Getting together with your high school friends, you tell each other stories - How do you tell stories different about the past? - We tell stories about our past differently over time, we tend to forget some things but remember others Neil and Norm McDonald - Geography opens up worlds What makes a Geographer? - People come from other academic backgrounds - There is a convergence of individuals out of different origins and conditions What is Social Geography - It looks at the struggles that make up culture in space - How are social meanings and power, social and economic advantages maintained and produced in space? - The notion of scale is important, the way we think of scale and how it influences us daily Why should we care about Geography - What does the word mean? - Geo = world - Graphei = to write - Writing about the world in which we live - Geography is not just about maps, it’s about space and place - Maps were seen as the earliest form of communication - A great way to communicate visually - It tries to find out why THINGS and PLACES are where they are Geography is about Maps, so what are they? - Maps have what matters to the geographer - Maps have different voices - Maps with words vs. Maps without words - “Maps without words can feel like songs without lyrics” - Geography is not just about the physical attributes that make up our landscape The Power of Maps - Earliest forms of communications was through maps - They are a great way of communicating spatial information - The power that lies in mapping landscapes - It’s about what we know about the world but also our place in it, locating ourselves in the world, where are we in the map? - Maps convey messages and are powerful symbolic representations - How maps are made is related to how people (the map creator) view the world differently Rethinking mapping from social/cultural geographical perspective - People trust maps implicitly - Maps are compelling to look at, they attract the eye - They connote authority, what’s important? - Maps hold secrets to geography and spaces in which we live in - Maps drawn by diplomats and generals become a political reality
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