Understanding the components and regional variations of cultural patterns and processes are critical to human geography. We studied the concepts of culture and cultural traits and learned how geographers assess the spatial and place dimensions of cultural groups as defined by language, religion, ethnicity, and gender, in the present as well as the past.
This module also explored cultural interaction at various scales, along with the adaptations, changes, and conflicts that may result. The geographies of language, religion, ethnicity, and gender are studied to identify and analyze the patterns and processes of cultural differences. We distinguished between languages and dialects, ethnic religions and universal religions, and folk and popular cultures, as well as between ethnic political movements. These distinctions help students understand the forces that affect the geographic patterns of each cultural characteristics.
Another significant emphasis of the module was the way culture shapes relationships between humans and the environment. We learned how culture is expressed in landscapes and how land use, in turn, represents cultural identity. Built environments enable the geographer to interpret cultural values, tastes, symbolism, and beliefs.
Concepts of culture frame the shared behaviors of a society.
- Explain the concept of culture and identity of cultural traits.
- Explain how geographers assess the spatial and place dimensions of cultural groups in the past and present.
- Explain how globalization is influencing cultural interactions and change.
Culture varies by place and region.
- Explain cultural patterns and landscapes as they vary by place and region.
- Explain the diffusion of culture and cultural traits through time and space.
- Compare and contrast ethnic and universalizing religions and their geographic patterns.
- Explain how culture is expressed in landscapes and how land and resources use represents cultural identity.
- Compare and contrast popular and folk culture and the geographic patterns associated with each.
This chapter includes the following sections: