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[Geography 1400F/G] - Final Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (29 pages long!)


Department
Geography
Course Code
GEOG 1400F/G
Professor
Godwin Arku
Study Guide
Final

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Western
Geography 1400F/G
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Geo Final Study Notes
Lecture 6 – Culture and Landscapes
Culture – a complex term that typically refers to the way of life of members of a society;
also usefully understood as referring to our ability first to analyze and then to change the
physical environments that we encounter
Summary of important introductory argument to a world divided:
1. Our world is divided, especially because of spatial variations in culture
2. By culture, we mean the human ability to develop ideas from
experiences and subsequently act on the basis of those ideas
3. Once cultural activities and behaviours are in place, ad inevitable
tendency is for them to become the frame of reference – however inappropriate –
within which all new developments in culture are placed and evaluated
4. One task humans may choose to tackle today is to create new sets of
values – in effect to re-engineer ourselves
oCulture acts as a barrier between people at the world scale
What is Culture?
oVarious Definitions:
Artistic and intellectual product of elites
System of shared beliefs
Capabilities and habits acquired by members of a society
oCodes – a set of rules or guidelines; formal or informal
Example of ‘cultural code’:
Clothing
Food
Bodies (Positioning & gestures)  Body language and beauty
Manners or etiquette
Landscapes
oAnother definition of culture: Totality of a shared, learned “way of life”; doing
and thinking
oGoal of studying culture:
To describe and explain the processes creating culture and cultural
landscapes
Characteristics of Culture:
oHuman Creation: invented, practiced, changed, maintained by people
oDynamic & Constant: change vs. tradition
Eg. Fewer Canadians bothering to marry
oScale Varies: global to local
oPlurality: Many cultures within & across societies
oOverlap: Sub-cultures overlap creating still other sub-cultures
oASK IF THE FOLLOWING ARE ALSO CHARACTERISTICS OF
CULTURE
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oMedium of Expression: everything humans know, use or invent – material or
immaterial – expresses or reveals something about humanity, about culture
oSpatial: How space is usead, organizaed, arranged & ascribe meaning or identity
by people reveals culture
Space is a medium of cultural expression
oPolitical: Cultural expression are ‘sites of struggle’: who’s culture is acceptable?
Where? When? By whom?
Structure of Culture
oCulture can be divided into two categories:
1. Non-material:
Mentifacts – key attitudinal elements or values, such as language
and religion; those mental or non-physical elements of culture; the
values held by members of a group
Sociofacts – the norms involved in group formation, such as rules
about family structure; those elements of culture most directly
concerned with interpersonal relations; the norms that people are
expected to observe
2. Material:
Artifacts – all the human-made physical objects and elements
related to people’s lives and livelihood, and thus includes the human
landscape; the physical objects created by a culture for pleasure (art,
toys), work (tools), living (vessels for cooking), or worship (crucifix)
oSociety – the interrelationships that connect individuals as members of a culture;
a cluster of institutionalized ways of doing things
Cultural Landscapes
oWe know:
Plurality of cultures
Built or human environments (land) & ways of seeing (scapes) are
cultural creations
Given those premises, we know:
Plurality of cultural landscapes
oPlurality of …..
Cultural groups
Sites, areas, places, regions
People and activities
Artifacts, mentifacts, and sociofacts
oPlurality of ‘ways of seeing’
Each cultural group has a landscape
Cultural landscapes may:
oBe separate in space
oOverlap in space
oConflict in space
“Environment sustains us as creatures, landscapes reveal us as cultures” -
(D. Meinig)
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