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geog 100 lec 3

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Simon Fraser University
GEOG 100
John Irwin

GEOG 100 Lecture 3 Cultural Geogrpahy Inportant terms: − Culture: can be thought of as a bundle of charactristics of shared behavior or belief. These may include anything and everything about the way people live. − cultural landscape: a landscape that reveals and reflects the many ways people their local environment Numan cultures are certainly never static or fixed in nature; they are constantly changing The forces that cause these cultural chagne divided into 2 categories: -evolutionism – the most inportant sources of cultural change are rooted in cultures and chang occurs within a culture -Diffusionism- empahsize how varioud aspects of cultures spread out from the places they orginate and are therefore adopted by other people. The process is known as cultural diffusion and the process of adopting some aspect of another culture i called acculturation – assiminlation to integrtion. Cultural diffusion can be actively imposed, as when an outside power conquers a region and imopses its way of life Cultural diffusion can be freely chosen, as when one group discovers and adopts some aspect of a different culture that it considers superior to its own :Theories of Cultural Evolution 1. theory of human stages -argues that all cultures evolve through certain stages of development, and it definesthese stages by the ay in which the culture exploits the earth's environment -humankind originally derived its food from things that pepople hunted, gathered, and harvested naturally. Humans in this sstage of evolution are known as hunter gtherers -humans then domesticated animals and moved into the evolutionary stage of pastoral nomadism – no fixed residence -settled agriculture. Agriculture was at first subsistence agriculture which means that people raised food only for themselves. Subsistence agro evolved into commercial agro which is the raising of crops for sale -urbanization and industrialization -there are still human groups living in each of these categories of cultural evolution 2. Theory of historical materialsim -cultural evolution is based in the idea that humas technology has increased our control over the environment – founded by karl marx -all social evolution is rooted in technological evolution or innovation. This is because technology is a determinant of any society's economic system and the economic system in turen determines any society's political and social life -thus as technology advances, technological change triggers changes in all aspects of society -Marx said that technology would eventually produce material abundance for all people. Goods would be created and distributed “from each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs” - many scholars do not agree that all aspects of a society are rooted in its technology nd economic system.Also can technology keep uo withthe pace of risig human populations Societys values and beliefs ^ Society's political structure ^ Society's production (economics) ^ Society's means of production (technology) Environment – where humankind extracts material welfare Cultural Geography: Cultures and Environments -somewhat simplistic belief that human events can be explaines entirely by the effects of the physical environment is called environmental determinism -the study of the ways societite adapt to environments is called cultural ecology -it is important to note however that human affairs are not simple, and any gradn theory proves insufficient in fully explaining relationships between humans and the environment Cultural ecology -”the study o fthe processes by which -This method is based on the examination of the interaction of societies and social instituttions with each other and with ecological systems within a geographically bounded area -recognises both competition and -genereal categories of data: ecological data: resources, flora, fauna, climate, local diseases, and many other ecological features -cultural data: `societies' exploitative and adaptive technologies 'the social arrangemtsns required in land emplotation 'poppulation density, distribution, and nucleation 'permanence and composition of population aggragates 'territoriality of societies 'intersocietal relationships 'cultural values -an empirical analysis of each society -the empirical problem is whether the adaptation or exploitation is so rogod as to allow only one pattern or various patterns to be developed or borrowed -conceptual distinctions about the nature of culture: 1. vaious components of a culture (technology, languge. Society, and stylistic features) respond very differenty to adaptive processes 2. different levels of social and cultural integrtion profoundly affect the interaction of ciological, cultural, and environmetal factors -societies woth supracommunities (developed) versus tribal societies -draws on historical processes of cultural development and ecological dapatations: -biological factors: • family structi=ure (nuclear, post nuclear, suprafamilial or extended fmaily) • the prolonged period of human groewth and development (childhoodP a long period of dependency) -settlement patterns: • sparse dispersal, dense medium and large settlements • interactions with neighboring societieies ( intemarraige, trade, warfare) • eploitation by certain cultural devices that impact the emnvironment (deliberate fire setting, deforestationm overgrazing, damming and channeling rivers, urban sprawl) cultural eolution − origins of cultural evolution − humans evolved from 'lower' forms of life − at one point humans were without culture − human culture must have started form simple beginnings and grow more pomplex − therefore, cultural evolutionists viewed cultural development as a progression from 'savagery' to 'barbarism' to 'civilization' with each stage being ushered in by a single invetion − the shortcomings of early c
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