Geographies in Relation to Culture Discussion and Responses
1 Please take note of the part in bold here as well:
After reading the chapter, watching the mini-lecture, and taking notes on both, please read each of my responses to the frequently asked questions I’ve posted below. Then reply by the due date (in 100-150 words each) to three of the questions I’ve posed back to you all after my responses, making sure not to just reply to the original FAQ (20 points). Ideally these are the three you’re most unfamiliar with, as to get us to grapple with new issues more. Then reply to at least two classmates (50-100 words each) within three days/72 hours of the original due date (10 points).
***Try your best to reply more substantively than “I agree with you…” Rather, describe what someone’s response brings up for you, examples of these issues from your life, how something coincides (or contradicts) with another course concept or a concept from another discipline, etc. As always, please let me know if you have any questions.
Additionally, here are three great articles that tie into our topics this for week and the course in general:
To be honest, I approach these sorts of mainstream media outlets very cautiously and I very seldomly view them myself, but these particular articles offer us some valuable information; at the very least that “‘boricua’ refers to the name Taíno Indians had given to Puerto Rico” (Blancaflor 2019). Please let me know what thoughts and considerations the articles lead you to have.
Here’s to more multi-cultural awareness helping us cultivate more empathy, equity, and justice.
Mobile Identities Discussion
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As we’re learning about in different contexts over the past few weeks, one of geography’s five main themes is mobility. Mobility greatly affects culture and the many geographies of humanity. In Chapter 1, we looked at mobility involved with migration. This week, we also see how information and technology experience mobility and what we can observe about culture in those movements (for example, gentrification of the Bay Area due to certain Silicone Valley jobs). Furthermore, identities are a big part of culture and mobility, and globalization is entwined in these processes more and more as time marches on.
for 1 1 Q: What are the negative side effects of pop culture and the diminishing regional variation? And how do mass media, placelessness, and regional concentration have an effect on consumption and globalization?A: Some negative side effects of pop culture and the diminishing regional variation can include the marginalization or loss of traditional and folk cultures and cultural elements; e.g. making clothes and sewing skills in general, which used to be very common in homes around the world. Pop culture’s emphasis on mass produced, trendy clothing has diminished that; e.g. Gap Clothing Co. To continue with that thread, this process often diminishes regional variation by people buying into the trend in other places; e.g. Gap in Tokyo, Sao Pablo, and Beijing. Such trends in consumption, which are highly influenced by corporation-backed, international trade deals and hyper-speculation in exploitative financial markets, are a key way people are affected by globalization.What are your perspectives on these issues? And how do you see them playing out in your lives?2 Q: Are indigenous communities struggling to keep their cultural beliefs alive due to pop culture? Or would it be the complete opposite and they are thriving from it?A: It can go both ways, but by and large it’s more of the former; that is, most indigenous groups are struggling to keep their cultural beliefs alive. Exogenous religions, languages, and commercialization are some of the biggest factors. Where I conducted research in China’s Yunnan Province, many indigenous customs, languages and beliefs are being erased by China’s pop culture and global influences too. The same erasure is still happening in the U.S. with Native Americans, disastrously. Opposite examples are very valuable as well. For instance, check out the the music group Tribe Called Red.What are ways you see indigenous communities potentially benefiting from pop culture?3 FAQ: Where would you find the majority of indigenous culture regions in the United States of America?A: In the south-west, especially around Native American reservations.Besides that distribution, what stands out to you about this Bureau of Indian Affairs map and why?4 Q: How is folk culture in America viewed? Is it a culture of it’s own or a mash of different cultures?A: There are many groups around the US that demonstrate folk culture to varying degrees, such as the Amish . This is to say there isn’t just one folk culture in the US. However, yes, various elements of folk culture, and perhaps even the cultures themselves, are a mash of different cultures as you say. This dynamic is based on their histories of stemming from other countries and how they have evolved and interacted with other cultures here in the US, such as the Quebecois in northern New York State.What are your experiences with folk and what are reactions to my response?5 FAQ: Can you explain what popular culture has done to impact the environment?Like we’ll see time and again, it depends on where and what aspect. For example, popular culture massively impacted the environment in modern N. America with the expansion of suburban living, creating not only the associated urban sprawl leading to loss of wild lands and farms but also significant increases in carbon emissions from transportation. In contrast, many would argue that environmentalism is a form of pop culture now, which can take on forms of helping the environment; eg personal reductions in travel or other carbon emissions, or trendy “energy star” high efficiency appliances.What are you perspectives on pop culture’s range of environmental impacts? 6 FAQ: Why wasn’t there always one culture and similar human beliefs all across the world? Why is it that every part of this world is different and there are different cultures which then help shape that specific area’s geography?A: There weren’t similar human beliefs all across the world because people adapted and changed their cultures while living in many different places and not having contact with each other, thus allowing many different cultures and beliefs to develop separately. That also answers your second question about why every part of the world is different. Individual cultures have helped shape their geography, which in terms of physical geography, is primarily based on the need to survive from that area of land or water. For example, many of California’s Native American tribes, as well as many in OR, WA, and BC, would deliberately burn low intensity wildfires to burn off the understory of forests to promote the growth of certain plants for food or to hunt historically. The forest ecosystems evolved with these fires as well as the surrounding chaparral ecosystems and animal populations.What are your perspectives on the genesis individual cultures and how physical geography has a reciprocal role?
The negative side effects of pop culture are the loss of many traditional cultures and beliefs in many cultures. Many cultures who hand weave their clothing and products are being replaced by mass manufactures that the west is known for. The loss of many traditional cultures can lead to global homogenization, and more specifically, the world adopting the western way of living, which will continue making the US a global superpower. Placelessness has an effect of globalization because by the west expanding their modern pop culture on the rest of the world, pop culture is no longer unique to one location and will diminish other cultures that are unique to their areas. Examples include imposing popular culture onto indigenous people.
I also believe it can go both ways. The US and Europeans have a history of colonizing countries and an event most notable were the Europeans colonizing Native Americans, forcing them to abandon their culture and practices and adopt the westernized way of living. The US continues to spread its democratic ideas on democracy and individualism in countries including the middle east which has been detrimental to their country. Many of these countries don’t glorify the same ideals as the west and as a result, created many anti-American attitudes from this area of the world. However, pop culture can also have a positive effect on a country by the idea of vampire tourism. This is where people are motivated to visit places that are featured in tv shows including the setting for Vampire Diaries and Twilight. The influx of tourism improves many towns economically.
Folk culture is a mass of different cultures and is viewed as rural and unified. They have close ties to the land and often produce ecological knowledge of the land. They are largely self-sufficient and share similar customs and ethnicities. Many items of daily use including clothing, furniture, and housing are handmade and most food is grown and consumed locally. An example of their self-sufficiency is a solution the folk culture made for navigating around the everglades in southern Florida. They installed huge balloon tires, oversized suspension, and other modifications on pickup trucks. They eventually were able to move around through the terrain. Folk architecture is also an example of mashing cultures because some can still be seen in North America but many are seen through historic preservation.
Contemporary Human Geography (2019) Neumann, and Price; 2nd Ed. The ebook can be bought instead of the paper textbook if you prefer. Having the paper book is helpful though. The first edition is sufficient and more affordable.
Contemporary Human Geography (2019) Neumann, and Price; 2ndEd. or the (2015) 1st Ed. of same title.