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Geography 2010A/B
Suzanne Greaves

Geography Notes – Sept/12 Introduction - Regional identity – Is a persons’ association with a place or region and their sense of belonging to a collectivity. Living, working, and sharing together in a common space inevitably leads to the formation of a regional identity. - Regional consciousness – Is the identification and feeling of belonging to a place or region, and the willingness to advocate for regional interests. - Regional self-interest – Is an outcome of regional identity and regional consciousness. It is the aspirations, concerns, and interests of people living in a region and acted on by local politicians. These efforts are sometimes designed to improve the prospects of their region at the expense of other regions. Regional self- interest often results in conflict between the provincial and federal governments. - Sense of place – The special feelings that people have for the area where they live. It is a powerful bond between people and their region. It is cultural. It is a sense of identity or belonging tied to a particular geographical place or region. It can stem from the natural environment (common scenery such as coastline or mountains), shared common experience (surviving/adapting to a harsh or unique environment, perhaps over generations), or a common political/historical experience (settlement by people of a certain ethnicity/culture). It generates a strong local culture. Placelessness is the opposite of sense of place. - Power of place – Is linked to globalization and the global economy. It is the economic, political, and cultural power of a particular place that is derived from geographical attributes related to its location and from the extent to which this power is used by the people that live there. Economic power derives from a region’s resource wealth and geographic location combined with global economic trends. Power of place is contributing to a changing geographic balance of power in Canada (shift in economic power from ON to AB). Growing resource demands from the developing world (China, India) will lead to higher resource prices, which will lead to growing economic power for AB, BC, and SK – Canada’s resource rich provinces (oil, coal). Over time, world prices rise and fall according to demand. World prices have favoured manufactured goods (core) over resources (periphery). Because of the recent economic problems, resource prices declined, but not a lot because there was still demand from China and India. If this trend continues, Canada’s economic power may shift westward. - Super cycle theory – Demand will outstrip supply and thus keep prices high. In a global economic downturn, demand from industrializing countries will keep price declines to a minimum. - Regional geography – Is the geographic study of a particular part of the world. It looks at the interaction between people and their economic, social, and physical environments, and allows for better understanding of human society and interconnectivity. - Region – Is an area of the earth’s surface that is defined by its distinctive human and/or natural characteristics. There is an emphasis on humans because the physical environment is mediated through culture, economy, and technology. Regions can be physical or cultural (language, average income). All regions have boundaries and these are called transition zones. This means that at the boundary of two regions, the characteristics of each region become less distinct and they merge together, creating transition zones. An example is the tree line in Canada. A characteristic of regions is hierarchy – there can be regions within regions. An example – The city of London is found within Middlesex County, which is found within Southwestern Ontario. Regions are human constructs, so there can be an infinite number of regions. The number is limited only by our ability to design sets of regions. Regions can be formal or functional. Formal regions are those based on uniformity and an example is French speaking regions of Canada. But it can be difficult to define those areas which are French speaking. Uniformity can be the presence or absence of a characteristic (example – desert regions lack water). A formal region is where all parts of the region share the same characteristic. In a functional region, different parts of the region are related and interact together. The interaction can be from the centre outward (example – distribution of newspaper). - Regionalism divides countries into different natural/political/cultural parts. Regionalism has a powerful influence over Canadian affairs and there are many factors why Canada is not a more homogeneous state like the US: – Canada’s vast geographic size and physical geography create natural regional divisions. – Continentalism and the physiographic regions promote internal divisions within Canada. – Each region experienced a different pattern of historic settlement and relationship with Aboriginals, and this created distinct cultures. The recent immigration of people has created a pluralistic society (visible minority), which is where small groups within the larger society are allowed to maintain their unique cultural identities. – Quebec provides a cornerstone in Canada’s regional identity. – The BNA has created political regionalism in Canada by giving power to provinces. – Canada’s uneven population distribution and economic activities concentrate power in Central Canada. – Federal government policies and programs impact mostly heavily populated areas (Central Canada). This has to do with the concept of corporate and political elite, which says that corporate and political leaders hold all the power and they do things for their own economic gain. - Canada is made up of 6 regions: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Western Canada (MB, SK, AB), Atlantic Canada, Territorial North. Why regionalize and why these regions?: – Canada is so big that it needs to be divided into manageable sections. – These regions have also been divided based on their geographic size, economic importance, and population size. – These regions are commonly used by media and scholars. – These regions have identifiable and distinctive physical features. – The breakdown of these regions is on a provincial basis to help with the use of statistics (census material). – Geographic location and historical development distinguish each region. – These regions are also divided based on the key economic activity found there: Ontario (car manufacturing), Quebec (hydroelectric power), BC (forest industry), Western Canada (agriculture), Atlantic Canada (fisheries), Territorial North (megaprojects). - Function regional framework: There are the core/periphery or heartland/hinterland models. Core and heartland are the same thing and periphery and hinterland are the same thing. This model can exist at different scales – global, regional, local. The core or heartland is the industrial centre, and the periphery or hinterland is the supplier of natural resources. The core in Canada is Southern Ontario and Southern Quebec. Everything else is the periphery. The term main street was coined by geographer Maurice Yates, and it signifies the 300 mile wide band between Windsor and Quebec City (Windsor-Quebec axis). Included in the periphery are the upward transitional region (western Canada), the downward transitional region (Atlantic Canada), and the resource frontier (territorial north). - The economic sectors are primary (resource extracting and harvesting), secondary (manufacturing, construction), and tertiary (services). ON and QC have more workers in the secondary sectors than any other province. - Definition of core/periphery: The core is involved in manufacturing and industry. It is geographically relatively small and is relatively urban. It has a diverse economy (all sectors are represented). It receives raw materials from the periphery. It is involved in decision-making and has corporate headquarters. It has factors of production (capital, money, finance) and it is densely populated. The periphery is the primary sector (primary resources). It is geographically relatively large and is relatively rural. It is resource-based (mining, fishing). It purchases finished goods from the core, it receives decisions from the core, and it receives factors of production. It is sparsely populated. The core and periphery are dependent on each other (reciprocal relationship). Traditionally, away from the core, regional disparity increases (ex. economic disadvantage changes), average income decreases, and unemployment increases. But since the 1980s, these regularities or norms have started to change. Ontario is sometimes now on the receiving end instead of the giving end. Canada’s six regions can change their position within this model. - Is there m
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