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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No Sexist Halloween Costumes

No Sexist Halloween Costumes | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
WIth the Halloween season just around the corner and my dash piled full of post about how sexist...


This is pointing out the obvious, but this website just shows how extensive the situation is.  The gendered norms for Halloween costumes indicate that there are sociological problems in our society. 

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Head to the pub for soulful Irish music

Head to the pub for soulful Irish music | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

JG: I picked this article because it gives a good example of Irish culture through their music traditions and customs. I also picked this article because I am a musician and I am 50% Irish, with full Irish citizenship. Music in Ireland blends history with the present times and is an ultimate social experience in this country. Once you read this article you will want to hop onto the next flight to the Emerald Isle, as I did seven years ago.

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Baghdad’s Buildings Erupt in Riot of Color

Baghdad’s Buildings Erupt in Riot of Color | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Baghdad has weathered invasion, occupation, sectarian warfare and suicide bombers. But the latest scourge, tastelessness, may prove the toughest to overcome.


This article is a represents the 'aesthetics of culture.'  

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Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation

Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Beneath the catchy dance beat and hilarious scenes of Seoul's poshest neighborhood, there might be a subtle message about wealth, class, and value in South Korean society.


This is a pretty insightful cultural analysis of the sensation. 

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South Korea: Caught in the web

This week on 101 East, we look at the impact of internet addiction as more and more South Koreans get caught in the web.


How does technological advancements impact culture? 

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KIM JONG STYLE

Kim Jong Style! The best K-POP comes from North Korea! Watch Behind the Scenes: http://youtu.be/3LeiYqqVO24 Written by Todd Womack, Mark Douglas, and Bryan O...


So I'm obssessed with these parodies, but this one is entertaining and highlights the many differences between North and South Korea. 

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Twitter / APHumanGeog: This video never ceases to ...

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'Russia’s Tibet’ Opens to Jet-Age Tourism

'Russia’s Tibet’ Opens to Jet-Age Tourism | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

With unemployment high, nature tourism could provide jobs for next generation growing up in Russia’s faraway Altai region...

 

DB: Folk culture can be characterized as being localized, small, rural, traditional and perhaps most importantly an isolated and often stagnant society. In an increasing interconnected and urbanized world it is becoming extremely difficult for any group of people to remain isolated and not be influenced by others or in turn have an impact on them. This is especially true for many traditional folk cultures who have remained largely isolated from other groups. Around the globe tourism is increasing being drawn to these people with the intentions of admiring or participating in the local folk culture but in the long run they may actually be causing its demise. A key feature of folk culture is isolation and the increased interaction brought by tourism can have a profound effect on its stability and duration. In Russia the Altai people in Siberia can be seen as a place where the tourist industry may slowly erode the local folk culture. As members of the community interact more with outsiders they will be exposed to new and conflicting ideas that could make the traditional lifestyle less appealing. Likewise the inevitable construction of tourist shops, hotels and other services will likely alter the physical and cultural geography of the area.

 

What happens to folk culture when it becomes commercialized? Do traditions lose their value and meaning when they are done for money? Can it remain the same in an area where increasingly the only way to make a living is to entertain tourist? Like Hawaiian fire dancers cultural performances may literally become just a performance.  What impact does tourism have on local culture?  How can tourism affect folk culture?

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Fresh protests held over anti-Islam video

Fresh protests held over anti-Islam video | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
More clashes with Pakistani police, as PM Ashraf orders YouTube to be blocked and Tunisia police surround Salafi mosque.


I think this issue is one that highlights differing cultural values (obviously many other topics are part of this complex situation, but I'll focus on just that in this post).  While most in the United States are appalled that someone would produce such a culturally offensive video, they also firmly believe that the right of citizens to free speech must be guaranteed.  Most of the protesters are outraged that the video was produced, but also that a society would permit such action.  Pakistan has block ALL of YouTube to prevent the spread of this one video.  Click here for a photo essay of the protests: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/09/anti-islam_video_protests.html

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Burning Man

This annual arts festival with a strong counter-cultural ethos literally is an experiment in producing alternative urban and cultural geographies that reject normative regulations embedded within societies.  These geographies created last only about a week, as an escape from the regular strictures of society.  The ephemeral alternative geographies then fade back into the desert but not without creating a visually remarkable place.  A word of caution, it is a 'clothing-optional' event, so launching a Google image search live in class is not recommened.


I'll let the producer of the video explain: "It is an 8-day event which takes place annually in late August in the temporary city of Black Rock City located in a dry lakebed in northwestern Nevada, USA.  The radial streets are laid out like a clock face, from 2:00 to 10:00. I have marked some of these streets as well as some of the prominent and favorite theme camps and villages.  The attendees are all participants in a sense and are themselves the attraction. There is no corporate sponsorship or presence of any sort. Only ice and coffee are sold. Everything else is brought in under the concept of 'radical self-reliance' or gifted by others. Most 'burners' participate by finding the creative or artistic thing that they enjoy most and do best, do it to the fullest extent, and share it as much as possible."


Tags: art, culture, unit 3 culture, popular culture

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Nicholas Rose's comment, December 6, 2012 8:40 AM
Well, when I think of this festival called Burning Man it seems to violate the social norms that we have as a society. As for the previous video we saw, people can get seriously hurt at a festival like this especially at Woodstock in which that festival's been going on for years.
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For Both Parties, Spanglish Is The Unofficial Convention Language : NPR

For Both Parties, Spanglish Is The Unofficial Convention Language  : NPR | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
If you grew up in a bilingual Hispanic household, listening to the Democratic and Republican conventions may have sounded a lot like home. In this year's presidential election, Latinos are a major voting bloc — and Spanish is getting its close-up.


Why are cultural politics such a major issue? 

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Jesse Gauthier's comment, September 11, 2012 6:32 PM
Cultural politics are such a major issue, because politicians have to be aware of new cultural population changes, and cater their campaigns to the changes, in order to get more supporters. The Latino population is currently expanding in the U.S. and these candidates are trying to communicate with both the English speaking and Spanish speaking Americans. That is why these politicians are speaking "Spanglish."
Mark V's comment, September 12, 2012 12:22 PM
The issues of politics and cultures being intertwined is nothing new, but recently, the active courting of the Hispanic vote is becoming the norm. We saw it in the 2000/2004 election of George Bush where the president would use Spanish words and phrases and proactively engaged Latino's. Now we are seeing it in 2012, and it will only become more of an issue over the years, because of the demographic shift toward a more Latin USA. Also, politicians know the importance of capturing first generation Americans so that they may win over future generations who follow their parents to the voting booth.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 12, 2012 12:25 PM
In a demographically homogenous country the pluralism of the political system may revolve around certain ideologies. However in a heterogeneous state, political factions can be greatly influenced by ethnicity. The completion for the Latino vote in this upcoming election between the nation’s two political parties seems to demonstrate how the Republican party’s platform needs to change. Like the city of Detroit is to specialized as they seem to target the cultural values of WASP. Therefor they are going out of their way to disprove this conception but in doing so they risk alienating some of their own supporters.
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Why Technology Is Key to Overcoming the Language Barrier

Why Technology Is Key to Overcoming the Language Barrier | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

Language barriers prevent us for completely connecting. But what if the language barrier didn't exist?

 

DB: Presently we are living in a rapidly changing world where the spread of ideas and items are occurring at a rate unprecedented in history. In this globalized and increasingly interconnected world, the variation of languages spoken is drastically decreasing. As some of the most genuine characteristics of a culture are intertwined within its langue, a reduction in spoken languages and increased interaction is threating the duration of some traditional ways of living. Likewise since economics is one of the thriving factors behind globalization, the ability to communicate with your market has become paramount. However technological innovation is currently in the process of making up for the shortage of qualified linguists around the globe. Although possessing a universal portable translation device is currently beyond our capacity, it is likely that such a device similar to what was once believed possible only in science fiction may be readily available within our lifetime. Whether it becomes a public utility or a commensal asset as well as who has access to it remains to be decided. Yet this also brings up an important question of how culture will be affected if the language barrier is overcome through technology? Can geographic cultural diffusion continue to function if everyone can easily understand each other? What happens when worlds lose their cultural significance for the sake of convenience?

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Blake Turnbull's curator insight, March 21, 2013 8:41 PM

A new technology based around the concept of translation that aims to overcome the language barrier. Although the author states that even if they sitting in the same room as a colleague and are both native English speakers, they may still only understand 98% of their intended meaning. So for that reason alone, translation technology will never be perfect, but they believe this is a step in the right direction.

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Summer of 2012 Breakdown.....(8-31-12)

Summer of 2012 Breakdown.....(8-31-12) | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
(6:15 pm Friday August 31st) With Labor Day right around the corner we are reaching the 'unofficial" end of summer. Here is a look inside some of the numbers.
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“Toddler” Cookie Monster Costumes

“Toddler” Cookie Monster Costumes | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

Just to hammer home the point, gender norms isn't only a point of discussion for adult costumes, but little children as well are being socialized and learning "appropriate" gender roles from Halloween at a very early age.  So what does this mean? 

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Selling Climate Change

Selling Climate Change | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
As climate change descends, ads from Perrier and Diesel use global warming to sell more stuff.


How do many companies react to news of global warming? By trying to commodize it and make money.  Notice that global warming and products are being sold with sex.  What does this say about society?


Via Cathryn Wellner, Digital Sustainability
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If there is a heaven

If there  is a heaven | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

NH: This is a great article by a woman who smugged Palistinian friends into Israel to experience McDonald's and the beach- a criminal act.  Here's an NYT article about the same group: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/27/world/middleeast/27swim.html?_r=0

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Along Virginia’s Route 15, the South’s cultural border displays a political divide

Along Virginia’s Route 15, the South’s cultural border displays a political divide | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Along Virginia’s Route 15, the intensity of the election season makes for tricky relationships.


Where is the division between the North and the South?  How might this produce distinct cultural landscapes?  How does this impact politics? 

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Spread of Protests Sparked by Anti-Muslim Video

Spread of Protests Sparked by Anti-Muslim Video | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Protests sparked by an obscure American-made video, posted on the Internet and intended to provoke Muslims, have spread beyond the Middle East and North Africa.


This interactive map lets the reader explore the places where large protests over the "Innocence of Muslims" video have occurred. 

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The Vile Anti-Muslim Video Shows That the U.S. Overvalues Free Speech

The Vile Anti-Muslim Video Shows That the U.S. Overvalues Free Speech | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
The universal response in the United States to the uproar over the anti-Muslim video is that the Muslim world will just have to get used to freedom of expression.


This title and headline take a strong stand and I'm curious to see what you think: should 'freedom of speech' as defined in the United States be seen as a universal standard?  Should freedom of speech be limited only when it may lead to violent actions?  What do you think of the author's opinion?

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Gangnam Style! The Anatomy of a Viral Sensation

Gangnam Style! The Anatomy of a Viral Sensation | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
This infographic explores the "Gangnam Style" viral phenomenon.
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The Body in Public Space

The Body in Public Space | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

Here are some seemingly eclectic topics.  All of them center around the appropriateness of the being displayed publicly and the cultural norms that shape how we think about what is, and what should be.  I've included a sensational restroom, public nursing, top-free protests, and of course, the Kate Middleton scandal.


Tags: culture, popular culture, gender, place, space

 

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Victoria Morgia Jamolod-Umbo's comment, September 26, 2012 7:11 AM
Hilarious! The breasts of women are human parts of a woman which should be respected because it is where a human being feeds. It is a symbol of life.
Don Brown Jr's comment, September 30, 2012 5:07 PM
This cartoon clearly shows how breast are sexually marketed in our society and how we will can accept the fashionably sexual display of breast in public yet consider breast feeding offensive. In many ways this cartoon seems to show how some social norms seem to interfere with common sense as we should be more critical of the sexual advertisement of breast while breast feeding on the other hand should at the very least be tolerated.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 3:37 PM

I think the men who prohibit public breast-feeding of babies should be starved.  I have a baby cousin, whom I love dearly, and I would hate to delay his lunch as much as anyone else would hate to have their own lunches delayed.  To prohibit public-breastfeeding is cruel, discriminatory, and hypocritical, as these prohibitors were likely publicly breastfed at some point in their infant days.  A message overall about other people acting 'scandelously'- get over it.  Grow up.  I don't like having to hear from or about you, and it takes away from my definition of a perfect world when I see people starving my baby cousin.  Culture should accomodate to the entirety of the population, not a majority.  After all, as for babies- we've all been there, and as for old people- we'd be lucky to live that long, but we'll llikely be there too.  I don't think we should be governed by someone that some people elect and other people don't vote for, because it's really not fair... it would be better and a compromise to not be governed at all!  So don't be critical, be understanding... Peace and Love!

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Why the First Laptop Had Such a Hard Time Catching On (Hint: Sexism)

Why the First Laptop Had Such a Hard Time Catching On (Hint: Sexism) | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

It wasn't just a high price that kept businessmen away from early portable computers.


Early on most men were adamantly opposed to purchasing a device for themselves that had a keyboard.  Throughout the 1950's 60's and 70's, keyboards and typewriters were seen as secretarial work.


Questions to ponder: How have American gender norms changed since then?  Why have they changed?  

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As time passes, how should the nation mark Sept. 11?

As time passes, how should the nation mark Sept. 11? | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
How will the nation mark Sept. 11, 2001, as the horrors of that day — as well as the victims and heroes — fade from our collective memories?

 

SM: One thing that really stood out to me in this article was that "Nearly 70% of Americans say they somewhat or strongly agree with this statement: "I have moved on from (the events of) Sept. 11," according to a new American Pulse Survey.  Maybe it is becuase I was so young I didn't quite understand what was going on at the time, but in all honesty did anyone really know what exactly was happening?  Because of this I try to watch as many documentaries and read about the tragic 9/11 attacks as much as I can.  

 

We can all tell the story "I remember where I was when the towers were hit..."  I think this is somehting that needs to live through American History just as the JFK assasination does.  How can people just simply go about there business without even taking the time realize that today is indeed September 11th?  The 11th year anniversary of an evil attack that killed thousands of innocent people. As a future educator I hope that I'm able to teach a unit on 9/11.  Currently teachers are teaching about the assasination of JFK so why should 9/11 be any different?  

 

Regardless of what the future has in store I will forever be interested in 9/11.  I will never forget being in the fifth grade and watching the television the janitor brought into the room.  I turned to my friends and said "this will change America".  I didn't know much about the attacks at the time but I was right.  Thus, 9/11 is something that needs to be remembered in schools and within society.  We, as Americans cannot simply ignore the evil plot that claimed the lives of almost 3000 innocent people 11 years ago.

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La Tomatina 2012

La Tomatina 2012 | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Bunol, located inland from the Mediterranean Sea, that brings together thousands of people for one big tomato fight – purely for fun!


La Tomatina is a cultural festival in Spain that is world renowned for it's exuberance and playfulness.  This gallery of 26 images shows some of the dynamism and appeal to this extraordinary event where more than 40,000 people engage in the world's largest foof fight using upwards of 100 tons of tomatoes in the yearly food fight known as the 'Tomatina.'


Notice the signs for storing backpacks and luggage that are now pastered with tomatoes on the store in the background of the image.  These hastily-composed, informal signs are written in three languages (Spanish, English and Japanese).  What does this tell us about the festival?  Also, notice how the comments section revolves around the concepts of waste, poverty and consumption. 


Tags: Europe, foodtourism, seasonal, culture, unit 3 culture, consumption.

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Don Brown Jr's comment, September 12, 2012 12:03 PM

I find myself caught between respecting the practices of other cultures as I can’t not help but acknowledge that this is still very extravagant and wasteful although we in America are no better. This use of food can be seen globally as just another example of the widening depravation as undeveloped countries may view food solely for consumption while developed countries grow food for commerce with the notion that once you pay for it, it does not matter how you use it.
Nicholas Rose's comment, September 13, 2012 6:59 AM
This article is very interesting to say the least. The reason why is because culturally even this is the largest food fight in the world involving only tomatoes but it has been a critical cultural tradition in Spain for many years and will still become a tradition to Spain.
Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 25, 10:02 AM

Spaghetti anyone? La Tomatina is a large tomatoe fight held in Bunol. It is a cultural festival in Spain purely for fun. Thousands meet in the streets to throw tomatoes and through the pictures shown, one can only imagine how many tomatoes get thrown at this festival. The streets are flooded red!

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The Oregon Duck - Gangnam Style Parody

The Duck was bored the other day. Here's what he did. Directed by: The Duck Starring: The Duck Also Starring: Oregon Cheer, Sluggo, Bigfoot, a watermelon Fil...


The Oppa Gangnam Style sensation is all over the internet, complete with parodies that both honor and mock the original. Questions to Ponder: Considering the concept of cultural diffusion, what do we make of this phenomenon?  What cultural combinations are seen in this.  How has the technological innovations changed the what cultures interact, spread and are replicated?  

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