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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THE LAND OF PUNT

THE LAND OF PUNT | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

Believed to be a mythical land for centuries, excavations reveal that the Land of Punt was a real land known for

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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 10:11 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 8:07 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 6:37 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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Indo-European Languages Originated in Anatolia, Biologists Say

Indo-European Languages Originated in Anatolia, Biologists Say | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Evolutionary biologists say the first speakers of what would become the Indo-European languages were probably farmers in what is now Turkey — a conclusion that differs by hundreds of miles and thousands of years from a longstanding linguistic theory.

 

This research potentially can explain much about the geography of languages and the distribution of cultural groups in Eurasia. 

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Top 12 Cities for Culture

Top 12 Cities for Culture | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Where are the most culturally rich cities in the world? The World Cities Culture Report has named its Top 12 choices. Do you agree with the picks?

 

How do we rank "culture" in lists such as these?  What criteria is preferred and what elements of culture are ignored in this perspective on culture? 

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Kim Kardashian: how did she become such a threat to western civilisation?

Kim Kardashian:  how did she become such a threat to western civilisation? | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

The head of a girls' private school won praise for her attack on the west's obsession with celebrity. But are today's teens really naive enough to see reality TV stars as role models?

 

A clash of cultures?  Cultural values?  Who creates cultural values and how are they shaped?   Do you agree with the perspective that Kim represents 'what's wrong with society?'  

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Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too?

Latvia votes: Is Russian our language, too? | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Like a detective at a crime scene, chief language inspector Antons Kursitis scans the lobby of a hotel in downtown Riga. He spots a brochure that lists hotel services in Russian only, a flagrant violation of Latvia's language laws.

 

"Protecting the Latvian language — that is, safeguarding its supremacy over Russian — has been a priority here since the Soviet occupation ended two decades ago. Those efforts face their biggest test yet on Saturday, in a referendum on whether to make Russian the country's second official language."  What historical, political and demographic factors shape this cultural issue of language?  Why is language often seen as so crucial to cultural identity?  

 

The Latvian voters have spoken: in a massive voter turn-out, they struck down the referendum that sought to make Russian an official language.  "Latvia is the only place throughout the world where Latvian is spoken, so we have to protect it," said Martins Dzerve, 37, in Riga, Latvia's capital. "But Russian is everywhere."  For more on the vote, see: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17083397    

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Derek Ethier's comment, October 18, 2012 1:14 AM
It is definitely important for Latvians to hold on tightly to their culture. However, the Soviet Union caused Russian culture and language to spread throughout the USSR and countries are feeling the effects today. There are millions of Russians in former satellite nations who hold on to their Russian culture. At the same time, these nations wish to regain their national pride especially after the fall of the Soviet Union. It is a difficult conundrum, but I do agree with the Latvians' decision.
Jason Schneider's curator insight, March 5, 2015 4:54 PM

About 35 percent of Latvia's population (5,000,000) contains Russian ancestors. Russia does not want to give Latvia credit for practicing Russian languages and the Russian heritage because Russian feels like since they take up about 11% of the world, they don't need to share their heritage with any other country. It's kind of like copyright laws that Russia seems to have.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:37 PM

this article is great. the latvians are doing the right thing. in the place you live and where you are from, the people should speak your language and follow your rules. you should be worried about what the native people want and not what others want. be proud of your culture and preserve it.

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Vanuatu: Meet The Natives

"Five men from the remote Pacific island of Tanna arrive in America to experience western culture for the first time, and force us to look at ourselves through brand new eyes..."


This cross-cultural experiment reinforces numerous stereotypes, but also seeks to get viewers to look at issues from a variety of perspectives.  Folk cultures, modernization and globalization are all major themes of this show.     

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Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 10, 2015 7:14 PM

This reminds me of what we learned in class about American people or white folks in general go to a native island and want to see the natives uncivilized and not up with the times of technology, clothes, homes made of up to date material. They want to see grass skirts, old tools, tribal living. The white folks see modern times already they want to see old things.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:19 PM

I think exercises like this are really cool, there are a lot of these experiments that go on with culture swaps and I always find the reactions when returning home to be probably the most interesting, just like in this video it is a large celebrations and it helps to put things in perspective

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:42 PM

This is a show that is based on how we see and view daily life of native people as compared to our own. How ever I feel as though this show is more based on the how these people actually live rather then adapting and learning to the area that they are in. It does show how globalization plays an important role in the show.

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New Zealand's Wild Haka

ESPN Video: In the USA-New Zealand FIBA matchup, the USA players are very confused by New Zealand's pregame Haka.

Via Mr. David Burton
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've enjoyed the Haka, a ritualized war dance that the New Zealand teams often perform just before a match (and can't we argue that sports a form of ritualized warfare?).  The clash of cultural contexts is  of New Zealand and Team USA is what makes this video work for me. 

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MsPerry's curator insight, September 6, 2014 4:37 PM

APHG-U3

Sarah Mahoney's curator insight, October 9, 2014 8:14 PM

Great example of cultural diversity

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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 11:40 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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"Political Landscapes"

"Political Landscapes" | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

While touring Kevin Babola's art studio yesterday, I found this thought-provoking piece entitled ‘Political Landscapes.’ I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the artist about the political, economic and urban visions that went into this painting.  The conceptual idea behind this painting started when the artist was exploring the neighborhoods of New Bedford, MA and noticed how a sense of place can change very quickly. I dare say most cities have areas similar to the one portrayed here where the socioeconomic character changes very abruptly. While physically it might be very easy to cross from the side of the street with tenements to the neighborhood with single family homes, making that transition permanent is incredibly difficult.

 

Questions to ponder: what leads to cities having abrupt changes in the urban fabric? What might this chasm represent to people on either side of the divide? How does this impact the neighborhood institutions (schools, local government, etc.)?  Please visit the artist's webpage at: http://www.kbolaillustration.com

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 16, 2013 1:03 PM

While touring Kevin Babola's art studio yesterday, I found this thought-provoking piece entitled ‘Political Landscapes.’ I greatly enjoyed my conversation with the artist about the political, economic and urban visions that went into this painting.  The conceptual idea behind this painting started when the artist was exploring the neighborhoods of New Bedford, MA and noticed how a sense of place can change very quickly. I dare say most cities have areas similar to the one portrayed here where the socioeconomic character changes very abruptly. While physically it might be very easy to cross from the side of the street with tenements to the neighborhood with single family homes, making that transition permanent is incredibly difficult.

 

Questions to ponder: what leads to cities having abrupt changes in the urban fabric? What might this chasm represent to people on either side of the divide? How does this impact the neighborhood institutions (schools, local government, etc.)?  Please visit the artist's webpage at: http://www.kbolaillustration.com

Donald Dane's comment, December 10, 2013 8:41 AM
this picture meant a lot to me simple due to the fact that I've lived in the city of providence for the last three years now. everywhere I look in the city shows an identical view to this picture that protrays inner-city compact houses vs grass and space of the kind of suburbs. on the right is the inner-city version where houses are only separated by a one car width driveway and are two to three stores high to accommadate more families and people. the left side of the picture protrays a more suburb area of the city. but this area isn't necessarily the suburbs because it would be an area just minute outside of the busy city center like a north providence or east providence area. in north providence yes you technically have a yard and grass but it is so small that you mine as well have scissors to cut the lawn. with a bite more space houses being more single family oriented this is more luxurious than the left side of the picture
Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 1:27 PM

This pictures shows the difference between the city and suburbs. Even in the same city, you can  have some parts that look more economically wealthier. But looking at it from a political view, I would guess that the whole in the ground that divides the two neighborhoods would be the line that divides democrats and republicans. City folk tend to vote more democrat because they want the government to assist the people. WHile Republicans tend to look out more for themselves.

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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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How geography shapes cultural diversity

How geography shapes cultural diversity | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it
Study offers evidence that long countries give better protection to languages than those that are wide.

 

This article explains some of the research that Jared Diamond's hypothesis in "Guns, Germs and Steel" generated.  More specifically, this particular research hypothesizes that in a given country, its primary axis of orientation (North-South, East-West or balanced) helps to predict the survival of indigenous languages.  While I have some skepticism about Diamond's core thesis, this is a good extension for teachers that use Guns, Germs and Steel in their classes. 

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Body Ritual of the Nacirema

Body Ritual of the Nacirema | Cultural Geography | Scoop.it

Written by Harold Miner, the Body Ritual of the Nacirema was written in part to parallel an early 20th century cultural anthropology report on a culture this can be used to discuss culture and different perspectives of culture groups.  This could be very fun, especially waiting to see when the "aha" moment comes and they understand just who the Nacirema are (the SPOILER will be embedded in the comment section).  It is lengthy and written as academic paper, so for K-12 use, I'd recommend using snippets and having them work in groups to analyze the seemingly bizarre cultural rituals of the Nacirema.  

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Seth Dixon's comment, November 11, 2011 2:17 PM
**SPOILER ALERT** The NACERIMA are is modern American society (American spelled backwards). This little bit of information drastically changes the reading.
Seth Dixon's comment, November 14, 2011 4:05 PM
The "Nacirema" are "American" spelled backwards (or interpreted backwards).