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Lecture 3

GGR100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Merchant Capitalism, Mass Production, Toronto Islands

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Michael Ekers

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Lecture 3: Toronto’s Indigenous Landscape: The
Global History of Toronto
M., Ekers
Note taking sheet:
Place is constructed out of a number of processes and relations that constitute the
meaning and physicality of a given locale.
Globalization refers to the increasing interconnectedness of our world.
However, growing disparities exist in our globalized world.
Political economic and cultural forces drive globalization.
Space: Absolute Space
Mathematical space, described through points, boundaries and lines, for example maps.
Space pre-exists human activity (processes happen in space)
Despite the assumption of objectivity, absolute space can be deeply political.
Space: Relational Space
New activities equal new infrastructures thus creating a new spatiality or new geography
Not fixed; something we’re all engaged with; e.g. Starbucks
Concern: How it is constructed
Spatial Practice
Refers to the location in which social and economic activity occurs, and in turn, how that
activity occurs, and in turn, how that produces space.
Consider bitumen from Northern Alberta.
Representations of Space
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The invisible ways in which power is inscribed into space.
Space governs us and becomes a force in which we are required to follow. It organizes
our lives
Quebec language laws, street signs, zoning etc.
Symbolic Space
Cultural and symbolic meanings associated with distinct spaces.
Significance of infrastructure is emphasized (representation of identity, economic state,
communication and history)
City Hall, Parliament Buildings, CN Tower.
Starting Pints: Definition
The extension of the power of a nation through direct or indirect control of the economic,
political, cultural and environmental life of other territories.
Involves the establishment and maintenance of political and legal domination by a state
over a separate and alien society.
Physical settlement of people from the colonizing state.
The Global History of Toronto: Aboriginal Settlement in the Toronto area
Aboriginal settlements for about 11,000 years
(Layers of Toronto as a place and a space)
Temporary, seasonal settlements and posts for hunting, gathering, fishing, defense, and
Agricultural villages since about 1000 years ago (reaching up to 2000 inhabitants)
Haudnesaunee/5 Nations, up to the foot of the Humber River
Diversity in terms of community inhabitants
Huron/Wendat, Georgian Bay
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Mississauga, Humber River, TO Island, Credit River
First Nation words that describe a place points how a place is defined by multiple
Aboriginal Social Formations
Defined by ‘kinship mode of production’: extended families are key units of
Unique; extended families key for resources such as food
Egalitarian social structure (division of labour along gender and age and specialization
does not lead to the formation of different classes and a separate state authority; ritual
redistribution of surplus)
Social classes and gender roles weren’t definitive and certain flexibility existed
Communal ownership: private property and the individual are alien ideas
Foreign political system imposes on the country and alienates the First Nation
Family lineages and decision-making often defined and shaped by women, mothers
(they are matrilineal or matriarchal societies)
No idea of “Male bread winner”
Trade and the Affluent Society
Affluent Society (definitive factor)
Abundant resources, leisure time, cultural development
Time governs us and with the spread of waged work comes the decrease of time
for leisure
Toronto a site of trade and commerce that pre-dates European contact
“Archaeological digs in Toronto have unearthed artefacts which originate on from the gulf
of Mexico, to the arctic, to the pacific coast.”
Transfer of knowledge, culture, goods
First Nations communities were considered very sophisticated which was not identified
by the English colonizers.
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