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Margaret Walton- Roberts

Reading Reflections Fear and Money in Dubai Article Reflection In this article Davis notes that Hubbert’s Peak is in the foreseeable future and that oil prices will rise beyond what they have yet been seen as. I found this theory interesting and sad when connected to Dr. Shue’s lecture about oil prices and poverty. India’s use of oil money to develop their tourist economy has brought success, with success usually brings the unwillingness to change. With India’s growing economy relying on oil dollars there is little reason to believe they would be willing to decrease the cost of a barrel of oil. Dr. Shue noted that to solve poverty the cost of energy (ie oil) needs to decrease so that everyone on the planet has access to it. This potential solution will not likely be realized with the combined economic success of countries like India and the realization of Hubbert’s Peak. Also the article discusses gated communities as something India is now proud to have as it used to be a nomad and tent area. The notion of a gated community in this article is similar to a person reaching their distinguished level of success. India has gone further than the USA by not only having more gated communities but also taking the idea of a gated community to the extreme and creating gated islands. These islands are at times man made and often cost more than a home anywhere else in the world. I thought it was interesting on a side note that sand was one of the key resources as it is used to build islands such as those in “island world”. This article had an interesting perspective bringing in the experiences of tourists, business men, political people and low class workers. It was able to analyze a broader spectrum of the problems which I greatly appreciated. Personally I found this article extremely interesting and closer to what I had hoped the course of cultural geography would be focused on. I have found the articles on the history of geography extremely dry and as someone taking this course from a North American Studies and Global Studies perspective I would rather the history be a course only for geography majors. Socializing Culture, Racializing the SocialArticle Reflection This article focused on the historical shifts of geography as a discipline, more specifically on cultural geography as a social lens to view the world. The article pointed out that with the shift away from national identities it becomes difficult at the university level to teach students about cultures and other nations because a homogenous identity no longer exists. Each nation has shifted in support of globalization towards a more multicultural understanding. The helps to further facilitate globalization rather than challenge it as other disciplines may. I also found that this article helped me understand the concept of super organic much better than any of the lectures have been able to. In this article it explains culture as super organic “culture has seemingly come to mean everything and nothing.” The concept of culture being an overarching concept which can be used in many contexts to connect ideas and mean more than the simple definition of the word. This article also made me realize how much the word culture meant to some scholars, particularly the ones who critiqued Mitchell’s article one culture meaning nothing. In some ways I understand his viewpoint that culture has come to mean so much that the definition is stretched taking on too much and can no longer accurately represent all that it is wanted to. With this over stretching culture can no longer accurately represent anything (any single portion of the definition it has been forced into). Another point which we have also discussed in class but that I find interesting is that the shift away from fieldwork to empirical methods of data collection is deemed a legitimate method of study. As a geographer I would expect that one has entered the landscape which they are studying not simply read other articles focused on that area. This in my opinion is an illegitimate method of study and should not be considered acceptable if not done in combination with extensive fieldwork. Cartography- Cultures of Mapping: Power in PracticeArticle Reflection This article notes that “words are more weighty than images in both teaching and research” I understand that when researching a topic the explanation in words can lead to a better understanding than a picture but I disagree that words hold more weight. What a person says is influenced by many things including their perception, social location, interpretation and other biases, this skews the reader’s understanding and changes the meaning. A picture in opposition to this can be slightly staged but can not be entirely forged (without computer software). I have found that whenever doing research or learning in classes a picture makes me remember a theory or event so much clearer and can change my ideology more than words from another person. For example when reading war survivor recollections you are able to understand the atrocities but you are not able to understand what they witnessed. In War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning, Hedges says something along the lines of words can make
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