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?
- 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
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