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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82 Seconds to History for Saudi Olympian

82 Seconds to History for Saudi Olympian | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
It only lasted 82 seconds, but Wojdan Shaherkani made history.

 

In 2012, we have now entered an era of human history where all national Olympics teams have sent women to compete in the Olympic Games.  Is this a cultural watershed moment or is that overstating the symbolic moment?   

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Geographic Influences of Skating

"Dogtown and Z-Boys: A documentary about the pioneering 1970s Zephyr skating team."

 

Popular culture is shaped by taste-makers, counter-cultural movements, and the blending of cultural practices in new ways creating a distinct aesthetic. Often, the physical geography of a region plays a crucial role in shaping the cultural practices particular to their environment. All of that can be seen quite vividly in the colorful skating revolution of the 1970s that took shape in the Southern California. Kids who grew up idolizing surfers branched out their recreational habits into the modern form of skating that we see today at the X Games. Made legendary through a series of Skateboarder magazine articles (accessible online here: http://www.angelfire.com/ca2/dtown/articles.html ), this shaped the cultural ethos of skateboarding for over a generation. With the coastal influence of surfing, the socioeconomics of a seaside slum, it’s abandoned piers, the ubiquity of cement and asphalt in the urban landscape, the run-down neighborhood of “Dogtown” was home to cultural movement. The fierce droughts of the 1970 meant abandoned swimming pools; that drought led surfers to the technological infrastructure for modern skating ramps and half pipes as they skated in emptied swimming pools. As stated in those Skaterboarder articles, "two hundred years of American technology has unwittingly created a massive cement playground of unlimited potential. But it was the minds of 11 year olds that could see that potential." The documentary “Dogtown and Z-Boys” and the fictionalized “Lords of Dogtown,” both produced by skater turned filmmaker Stacy Peralta, chronicle the age (“Lords of Dogtown” is probably not appropriate for the classroom).

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Don Brown Jr's comment, July 11, 2012 6:27 PM
This is definitely a great example of how environmental factors both physical and social economic can influence culture, especially leisure or recreation activities. It makes me think about what other sports around the globe also own their success or failure to their surroundings. American football for example is almost exclusive to this country partly because it is so expensive to facilitate. Yet in soccer, all you need is a ball and perhaps this is why it is the most popular sport on the planet.
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'Super Mario' Challenges The Idea Of Who's An Italian

The star of Italy's Euro 2012 team is the Sicilian-born son of Ghanaian immigrants, raised by an adoptive, white Italian family. Mario Balotelli has been subjected to racism on and off the field.

 

Cultural and national identities are often deeply intermingled with ethnicity and race.  Mario Balotelli's success in the European Championships and the post towards Italian pride has led to intriguing discussions about what it means to be Italian and who can be called Italian. 

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