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Developing Spatial Literacy
Learning the spatial skills of Geography
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Where Does the South Begin?

Where Does the South Begin? | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Roads? Religion? Accent? Food? Which factor dictates where the North ends?

 

This is a great intellectual expercise to help student think about regions and how we define them.  The article can help also inform some of their thinking since one of the main problems for students in drawing regional boundaries is a lack of place-based knowledge.   

 

Tags: regions, USA.


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:49 PM

Borders... the first thing I think of was a giant bookstore near my hometown... it now ceases to exist, having been replaced by Barnes and Nobel...  As for the political organization of space, I could apply this situation and laugh.  Borders will cease to be, and they will be called after people's last names!  I think this has already happened, when people unite together in countries such as the USA- although borders are specific, the general federal laws and many policies still apply in all states... generally. And people's names are often the namesakes of places.  I don't like the idea of borders, though, it seems like a bunch of warmongers trying to get ahead in a world where they can't truly cheat death, so they cheat other people of land that may have been decreed in ancient documents as property of their ancestors, or even in accordance with the righteousness of the universe and what should be alloted to whom.  Ownership is a concept of denial, because no one can truly own anything, not even our bodies, which contain trillions of infinite universes the size of the large one around us that we commonly refer to.  Borders are relative, and will likely become recognized as obsolete.  I know this was abstract, but it's my thoughts on the topic.

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'Where Children Sleep'

'Where Children Sleep' | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
James Mollison wanted to portray children's diverse worlds. What better way to do so than to photograph their bedrooms?

 

Pictures with the children and the space they inhabit, creates a more personal touch to geographic context for students.  It builds what I call "geographic empathy," which builds on commonalities, instead of just reinforcing stereotypes.   


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Ellen Van Daele's curator insight, March 22, 4:06 PM

This article is very interesting as it shows so much cultural difference by just taking pictures of a child's bedroom. The pictures portray the family's wealth, religion, technological advancements, and parenting style. 

 

When you look at the difference between some of the pictures it is horrible. Some of the children have an abundance of toys, while others don't even have their own room or have to sleep on the ground. It is also interesting to see how some pictures portray the person's lifestyle. Some have a very minimalist room with little luxuries, which can be for religious reasons or personal style. 

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U.S. Teen Birthrates

U.S. Teen Birthrates | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
Teen births follow the same fault lines of religion, politics, and class that divide Americans. ...

 

What cultural, economic and political patterns can we see in this map?  What else might help us understand these spatial patterns?  The rates of highest teen births appear to be correlated with the 'Bible Belt.'  Why might this be? 


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11 Guerrilla Street Art Greats

11 Guerrilla Street Art Greats | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
When guerrilla-geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison travels, he always keep his eyes peeled for unexpected works of art that creatively subvert culture, rules, and politics and force us to see...

 

Not all cultural landscapes are officially sanctioned by city planners or government officials.  These landscapes of resistance are often poignant critiques on society and represent the mulitplicity of voices within places.  There isn't one "Geography" with a capital G of a given place, but many geographies.  Many people and demographic groups interact and use the same place in distinct ways and the meaning of that place is socially mediated within the cultural landscape.   

 

Tags: art, landscape, culture, place, unit 3 culture.


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A Guide to Mass Shootings in America

A Guide to Mass Shootings in America | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
There have been at least 57 in the last 30 years—and most of the killers got their guns legally.

 

Still not sure if I'm prepared to explain what this all means, but it would be worth discussing in class. 


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The Geography of Charitable Giving

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your area? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people, according to a new study.

 

Questions to ponder: What are some reasons that Providence RI is the 'least charitable' metropolitan area in the United States according to this data?  Why is the state of Utah ranked as the 'most charitable state?'  Why are the bottom 3 states all in the New England region? 


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Twitter Languages in London

Twitter Languages in London | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

This map is a fantastic geovisualization that maps the spatial patterns of languages used on the social media platform Twitter.  This map was in part inspired by a Twitter map of Europe.  While most cities would be expected to be lingistically homogenous, but London's cosmopolitan nature and large pockets of immigrants.

   

Tags: social media, language, neighborhood, visualization, cartography.


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Betty Denise's comment, November 7, 2012 1:13 PM
Thank you – again – for your tremendous partnership
Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's comment, December 14, 2012 9:29 PM
thanks for this! we have shared!
Ursula O'Reilly Traynor's comment, December 14, 2012 9:29 PM
thanks for this! we have shared!
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The Pop vs. Soda Page

The Pop vs. Soda Page | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
A page that plots the geographic distribution of the terms "pop" and "soda" when used to describe carbonated beverages...

 

This is an old classic that is going viral on Facebook right now, so I thought it would be time to link you to the original.  This map isn't just cool, but a great portal to a discussion on regions, diffusion and cultural identity.  This is a modern 'shibboleth' for the United States, a way to show where you are from to some extent.  What are other 'shibboleths' that make your region distinct?  


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cookiesrgreat's comment, February 2, 2012 5:23 PM
Other could mean "cola" or "drink"
Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 16, 2012 5:05 PM
Such a neat map that certainly illustrates the differences between US states. Seeing this map and the reasons for the variation in name makes sense. Of course soda is called "Coke" in the south. Georgia is the home of the Coke Cola Factory.
Sarah Ann Glesenkamp's curator insight, September 9, 2014 11:44 PM

Unit 1

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The Invisible Borders That Define American Culture

The Invisible Borders That Define American Culture | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it
We can be connected (or disconnected) based on where we move, how we speak, and even what sports teams we root for.

 

This article is a great source for discussion material on regions (include the ever-famous "Soda/Pop/Coke" regions).  How do we divide up our world?  What are the criteria we use for doing so?


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Bella The Non-Vampire's curator insight, August 21, 2014 10:22 AM

i believe that these fifty states are divided into three different regions that define them by what those regions are made of. Those regions im talking about are the formal, functional, and vernacular regions. Some types of examples of those regions are common language, transportaion, and mental maps. I.C.

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Environmental 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 ), these kids 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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The Body in Public Space

The Body in Public Space | Developing Spatial Literacy | Scoop.it

Here are some seemingly eclectic topics.  All of them center around the appropriateness of the body being displayed publicly and the cultural norms that shape how we think about the issue.  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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Linguistic Geography: My Fair Lady

This is a most decidedly dated reference for pop culture, but a great movie for making explicit the idea that the way we speak is connected to where we've lived (also a good clip to show class differences as well as gender norms). The clip highlights many principles and patterns for understanding the geography of languages.

 

Tags: Language, class, gender, culture, historical, London, unit 3 culture and place.

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