Cultural Geography
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Cultural Geography
Historical, Cultural and Social Issues of place and space
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Pope Francis: Central American Kids Crossing US Border Should Be ‘Welcomed and Protected’

Pope Francis: Central American Kids Crossing US Border Should Be ‘Welcomed and Protected’ | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
In a Monday letter to a Mexico City Vatican conference, Pope Francis wrote that the tens of thousands of Central American children illegally crossing into the United States should be “welcomed and protected.”
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Ramadan in Sweden with no dusk, no dawn

Ramadan in Sweden with no dusk, no dawn | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
During summer, the sun never sets in Sweden's northernmost town, posing challenges for Muslims observing the holy month.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Like many early religious traditions, Ramadan is observed based on measurements from the moon and sun. The start of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon, which  moves about 11 days back in the Gregorian calendar each year. During Ramadan the consumption of food and water is prohibited between dawn and dusk, how do Muslims observing the fast manage in the far north of Scandinavia, where the sun never sets?  When Ramadan falls in December, however, Muslims will face the opposite of midnight sun: polar night. For two weeks, the sun does not rise above the horizon.

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Cultural Identity

Cultural Identity | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

Two women from different parts of the world, showing allegiance with a gun, flag and holy book http://pic.twitter.com/NgjUOhcEOz 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This juxtapostion is fascinating...

How are they the same? How are they different?  How does your own cultural identity impact how you judge these two images? 

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Seinfeld's 25 greatest contributions to the English language

Seinfeld's 25 greatest contributions to the English language | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"

Twenty-five years ago this Saturday, Seinfeld debuted on NBC.

It didn’t do particularly well at first, but it slowly began gathering viewers and then — yada yada yada — it permanently changed the way that we, as New Yorkers, talk.

In honor of those 25 years, here are 25 things that Seinfeld added to the popular vernacular over the course of its nine seasons on the air (1989-98)."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The cultural geographies of New York and the United States are heavily influenced by pop culture...and Seinfeld certainly changed the way people talked. 

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This Woman Had Her Face Photoshopped In Over 25 Countries To Examine Global Beauty Standards

This Woman Had Her Face Photoshopped In Over 25 Countries To Examine Global Beauty Standards | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Through her work, Esther Honig hopes to discover if a global beauty standard actually exists.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Is there a 'universal' beauty?  How is beauty constructed within societies?  Why are their differences between societies on what is beautiful?   

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Do UK Muslims need to 'be more British'?

Do UK Muslims need to 'be more British'? | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Prime Minister David Cameron's defence of 'British values' seen by critics as an attack on minorities.
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Ukraine Faces Hurdles in Restoring Its Farming Legacy

Ukraine Faces Hurdles in Restoring Its Farming Legacy | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Once the breadbasket of the Soviet Union, the country is looking to agricultural production to help fix its economy and reduce its dependence on Russia.
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Third-generation Canadian was treated like a second-class citizen

Third-generation Canadian was treated like a second-class citizen | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Third-generation Canadian was treated like a second-class citizen Times Colonist “We need to take the next step and ensure that our education curriculum says clearly and categorically that it's not all roses and sunshine when we look at the history...
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Number of children in Japan drops for 33rd year

Number of children in Japan drops for 33rd year | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
The number of children 14 and under has fallen for the 33rd consecutive year to a record low of 16.33 million as of April 1, the government said Sunday, reflecting ...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is why Japan's impending demographic crunch is such a pressing concern to policy makers...

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Maps Reveal How Immigration Transformed Boston's Neighborhoods

Maps Reveal How Immigration Transformed Boston's Neighborhoods | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"In 1910, Boston was the fifth biggest city in the United States, with a population just over 670,000. It was the second busiest port of entry for foreigners at the time, and 240,000 of its citizens were foreign born. A new exhibit at the Boston Public Library uses maps, modern and historic photos, and census data to illustrate how waves of immigration shaped the city and its individual neighborhoods in the 20th century — and continue to shape them today."

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Liberals Eat Here. Conservatives Eat There.

Liberals Eat Here. Conservatives Eat There. | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Can you tell a person's politics based on where they buy their groceries or hamburger? Here's one gauge of how liberal or conservative customers are at America's chain restaurants, fast-food establishments and supermarkets.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Years ago before the whole "Marriage Equality vs. Chick-Fil-A" snafu, I was outside of Baltimore on a road trip.  As my family pulled of the interstate there were two options food options: Panera Bread and Chick-Fil-A.  My 3 kids couldn't care less about Foccacia, so I took them to Chick-Fil-A while me wife got something at Panera.  Although these establishment were adjacent to each other they occupied radically different social spaces and distinct ethnic networks and speculated that the political affiliations of customers would also be difference.  This observation is supported by the data in this article that shows that certain restaurants attract (cater to?) a clientele that is either more conservative or more liberal.    

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Donald Sterling’s Impolite Racism

Donald Sterling’s Impolite Racism | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
The embattled basketball team owner broke the rules of how one should go about being racist in America.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Donald Sterling fiasco has the country talking about race and the how racism plays a role in society and its institutions.  This article has some great fodder for discussion on the topic.  Most especially though, the second half of the linked video, where this question is posed, “Why do racist words bring more accountability than racist practices?”  Given the Cliven Bundy and Donald Sterling stories, it's fair to say that Americans are no longer willing to put up with their racist friends.  

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Renata Hill's comment, April 29, 4:22 PM
I so disagree with the delicate use of "impolite" in this head and the way that so many people are tiptoeing around the issue! Sterling's (and Bundy's) type of generational-based racism is so repugnant, so virulent and awful that the only way non-white people (and, frankly, the rest of the US) will be able to live in a decent, compassionate society is for such old, white men to die off. The mainlining of such powerfully prejudiced ancestoral "juice," needs to be cut off, like a gangrenous limb.
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Slam poetry looks at religious stereotypes

Poets compete at Brave New Voices in Chicago Best known as a festival, Brave New Voices is a growing network of over 70 organizations. Brave New Voices is co...
Seth Dixon's insight:

I found this YouTube clip from Upworthy, and thing that it is worth sharing.  These two girls share their diverse cultural experiences as they seek to find the similarities and cast off stereotypes. 

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Video: How do you pronounce ‘water?’

Video: How do you pronounce ‘water?’ | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
YouTube users across the United States have uploaded dozens of videos to demonstrate their local dialects. PostTV examined people’s accents and state-specific answers to an online list of common questions.
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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, July 16, 10:42 AM

unit 3, this is one of my favorite topics in class!

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The Geographic Legacy of Seinfeld

The Geographic Legacy of Seinfeld | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
25 years after the show's premiere, New York City is dotted with monuments to Jewish humor.
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Should FIFA move the ball on racism?

Should FIFA move the ball on racism? | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Football federations have imposed higher fines for violating product placement rules than racism.
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How do 32 teams from 32 countries communicate at the World Cup?

How do 32 teams from 32 countries communicate at the World Cup? | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
With so many players and referees from different parts of the globe it's a wonder that World Cup soccer games operate as smoothly as they do. But, miscommunication has occurred on the field. In fact it was one incident during the 1966 World Cup in England that gave birth to the red card, yellow card system.
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'Runaway maids' tracked down on Kuwaiti Instagram

'Runaway maids' tracked down on Kuwaiti Instagram | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Local account uploads photos of 'escaped' domestic workers.
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After 5 Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High

After 5 Months of Sales, Colorado Sees the Downside of a Legal High | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Adult deaths and children’s emergency room visits in Colorado are being linked to newly legal marijuana, often in its edible form, and opponents of legalization are warning other states to pay heed.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Understanding the cultural, political impacts of the Colorado's marijuana legalization can be quite difficult because proponents and  critics each are trying to use the evidence to support their position.  This New York Times article shows the negative impacts while this article emphasizes the positives.  Given both articles, what to you think the impacts are going to be? 

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Urban geographer’s brush with the law risks sending cold chill through social science

Urban geographer’s brush with the law risks sending cold chill through social science | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"Whether urban explorers are aware of it or not, their photographs show us how much of the world has been privatised, permanently segregated from the public by locks, hired guards, barbed wire and surveillance cameras for exclusive use by financial elites. This insight is a direct result of Garrett hanging out with these Underground spelunkers and skyscraper climbers. But hanging out with them also landed him in court.

Ethnographers do some deep hanging out. They work, play, live, joke, eat and sometimes fall in love with their subjects. The method builds empathy, rapport, trust, and ideally a transformation of the researcher into a person who has internalised and can communicate a small understanding of the values, discourses, and practices of the people they observe."

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Chris Kiser's curator insight, May 27, 9:52 PM

unit 7- this demonstrates incredibly well how the modern world has come to be imaged. it shows how urban centers develop and how they look in a way accessible enough to be analyzed and charted as data. it is also an eye opener to how commercial business and materialism have affected the way places look and where things are located within them.

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This Facebook Page Allows Iranian Women to Share Selfies Sans Hijab

This Facebook Page Allows Iranian Women to Share Selfies Sans Hijab | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"A Facebook page called Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women has garnered more than 200,000 likes since its creation at the beginning of this month. The idea behind it is simple: an anonymous platform for Iranian women to post photos of themselves without their head scarves.

As Mid East Faces reports, Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, who moved to London in 2009, decided to create the page after receiving countless complaints from her female friends back home. They were jealous of her Facebook photos of "her hair blowing in the wind," Mid East Faces writes. 

Alinejad told the Guardian that she doesn't judge when it comes to whether or not a woman in Iran wants to wear a hijab."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The hijab is an incredibly complex cultural artifact full of social meanings all over the political spectrum.  This poster shows some of the social pressures exerted on women in Iran to wear the hijab.  Many hijab-wearing women don't want other women to be shamed into conforming.  

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Why Every Book About Africa Has the Same Cover

Why Every Book About Africa Has the Same Cover | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"The 'post-colonialist and Orientalist' undertones of the ubiquitous acacia tree"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm sharing this article with the idea that we all consider how we think about places and analyze the generalizations and stereotypes that might be embedded in our thinking.  No one can know everything about every place, and we create this mental constructs called regions to lump together bits of information to fill the gaps in our understanding.  Sometimes this serves us well, but often, we are fall for overused tropes.  


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The Changing Face Of America's Chinatowns

For centuries, people from China have immigrated to major cities in the United States. There, many formed their own neighborhoods known today as Chinatowns. But with China's economy booming and the U.S.

Via Mr. David Burton
Seth Dixon's insight:

Nothing stays the same...some nostalgically mourn the loss of what once was, but the cultural fabric of an individual neighborhood continues to get reshaped but successive waves of national migration and global restructuring. 

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Hats Off (But Dresses On) to Our Kurdish Feminist Brothers

Hats Off (But Dresses On) to Our Kurdish Feminist Brothers | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"A remarkable and unusual sort of civil disobedience has been triggered in Marivan, a city in the Kurdistan Province of Iran. On April 15, an Iranian court in the city forced a male convict to wear traditional Kurdish women’s clothes in public, perceiving it as a humiliating punishment. Kurdish feminists of the Marivan Women’s Community protested against this misogynistic decision on the streets of Marivan in red traditional clothes, similar to the Kurdish bride robe that the convicts had to wear, and they were confronted by violent security forces.

Then, in solidarity with the women, Kurdish men took an extraordinary initiative by dressing as Kurdish women and posting their photos on social media."

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Tracey M Benson's curator insight, May 5, 5:54 PM

Kurdish men dressing in women's clothes to show solidarity: in one word - fabulous!

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The white tourist’s burden

The white tourist’s burden | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

"Growing Western demand for altruistic vacations is feeding the white-savior industrial complex.  Volunteerism presents an escape, a rare encounter with an authenticity sorely missed, hardship palpably and physically felt – for a small price."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As stated in this article, "Under this program, well-to-do tourists sign up to build schools, clean and restore riverbanks, ring birds and act as caregivers to AIDS orphans for a few weeks. This led to the creation of a profitable industry catering to volunteer tourists. The orphans’ conditions are effectively transformed into a boutique package in which 'saving' them yields profits from tourists. The foreigners’ ability to pay for the privilege of volunteering crowds out local workers."  For a satirical look at this type of tourism, the Onion absolutely delivers.  

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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 29, 2:22 PM

Why not take advantage of "I feel guilty because Im doing exponentially better than them?" or the less politically correct term - "white guilt." Arguably this can be seen as the "those that have" feeling guilty and thinking that by volunteering for a few weeks will make them feel better about their rampant consumerism. As the article points out though, this is not a problem solver. You can build homes for people but without giving them a foundation(and education) in how to take "proper" care of themselves, as well as the proper infrastructure to support them, they will continue to beg, or be unable to find work(if there is any) that will give them the security they need to support the house given to them, or take care of any well water that has been established, etc, etc. Unfortunately, many of the volunteers who pay to volunteer do not want to fix the bigger picture but instead want to get a small taste of it so that they can talk about it over cocktails or use their Kodak moment for a new Facebook default.

Tracey M Benson's curator insight, May 5, 5:59 PM
I have heard from people working long term with schools and orphanages the short term volunteer culture causes more harm than good.Seth Dixon sums this article up:

As stated in this article, "Under this program, well-to-do tourists sign up to build schools, clean and restore riverbanks, ring birds and act as caregivers to AIDS orphans for a few weeks. This led to the creation of a profitable industry catering to volunteer tourists. The orphans’ conditions are effectively transformed into a boutique package in which 'saving' them yields profits from tourists. The foreigners’ ability to pay for the privilege of volunteering crowds out local workers."  For a satirical look at this type of tourism, the Onion absolutely delivers.