This map show Mother's Day celebration dates around the world.
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
This map show Mother's Day celebration dates around the world.
While most of the world celebrates Mother's day in May, March 21st (the vernal equinox) is day most countries in the Middle East celebrate Mother's Day. So, why might the first day of spring be the day used to honor mothers? Hint: think about agricultural cycles and fertility symbols. Happy Mother's Day!
MOUNT GERIZIM, West Bank (AP) — The Samaritans, a rapidly dwindling sect dating to biblical times, have opened their insular community to brides imported from eastern Europe in a desperate quest to preserve their ancient culture.
Some folk cultures, such as the Samaritans, have historically intermarried and have been plagued by genetic diseases. Recently, they have turned to global solutions to their local demographic woes. "Five young women from Russia and Ukraine have moved to this hilltop village in recent years to marry local men, breathing new life into the community."
|Suggested by Giovanni Della Peruta|
International Women's Day: political rights around the world mapped
This is late for International Women's Day, but it is never a wrong time to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of the expansion of women's political rights. This interactive map is excellent for seeing these few metrics, but a more expanded dataset with maps concerning gender (in)equality in the world and the status of women is WomanStats.
I imagine I could tell you what I think about this image, but my opinion is just one man's opinion. I'm sharing this to provoke you to have your own thoughts, feelings, perspectives and reactions to this political cartoon. In what way(s) is your perspective a product of your cultural, historical and geographic setting?
|Suggested by Tara Cohen|
Gender imbalances in China have created a generation of men for whom finding love is no easy task
When it came time for the Super Bowl, Clemmie Greenlee was expected to sleep with anywhere from 25 to 50 men a day.
There certainly is a dark side to large sporting events as this article on human trafficking makes perfectly clear. The 'event economy' based on tourism (even without trafficking) also has some negative impacts.
|Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks|
France declares war on the English language. Erin Burnett reports....
France is famous for trying to slow the linguistic diffusion of globalization's most powerful online language (which also happens to belong to their age-old cultural and political rival). France has a commission dedicated to removing new words that have English origins since 1996 with the goal of introducing words with have linguistic roots in French. Recently then have done away with the Twitter term #hashtag to #mot-dièses. This video criticizes this cultural practice and it is also derided in this NPR article. However this does not mean that France is immune to cultural pressure to change linguistic traditions. There was been a movement to alter the term Mademoiselle on official documents with a new title that allows women the freedom to choose the form of address that they prefer (and not to force them to reveal their marital status--think Ms. vs Miss).
Questions to Ponder: Why (and how) do languages change over time? Is it possible to keep a language 'pure?'
If you are up in space looking down on America west of the Mississippi, one of the brightest patches of light at night is on the Great Plains in North Dakota. It's not a city, not a town, not a military installation.
This patch of light is baffled me since clusters of light on this image almost always are connected to high levels of urbanization and North Dakota has no major population center of that magnitude. This is the Bakken formation, a new oil and gas field that is producing over 600,000 barrels a day. The lights are oil rigs that are lit up at night, but even more because many gas flares are burning leading locals to call the area "Kuwait on the Prairie." Oil men from far and wide are flocking to the rural, lightly populated area raising rents sky-high. This has caused a huge localized gender imbalance, changing the demographic and cultural character of the region because of the drastic the economic and environmental shifts in the area (see the national gender balance here). This is a great reminder that the physical and human geographies of a region are fully intermeshed one with another.
The problems with the economy are not universally spread throughout society. Certain segments are impacted more than others by the current struggles, especially when with look at axes of identity, such as class, gender and ethnicity. While planning on a blue-collar job in the 1950s could have been a solid career plan for a young man in the United States, not so in the 21st century.
There will soon be 7 billion people on the planet. Find out why you shouldn’t panic—at least, not yet.
This whole year, National Geographic has been producing materials on the impacts of a growing global population (including this popular and powerful video). Now that the year has (almost) concluded, all of these resources are archived in here. These resources are designed to answers some of our Earth's most critical questions: Are there too many people on the planet? What influences women to have fewer children? How will we cope with our changing climate? Are we in 'the Age of Man?' Can we feed the 7 billion of us? Are cities the cure for our growing pains? What happens when our oceans become acidic? Is there enough for everyone?
|Suggested by Ryan LaHayne|
Seventeen years after she stared out from the cover of National Geographic, a former Afghan refugee comes face-to-face with the world once more.
The original cover is one of the more famous National Geographic photos of all time, and yet the woman in the photograph has not lived a life as though millions of people could recognize her eyes. This is her story.
In a country this battered, fractured, dysfunctional – how much can she really hope to achieve?
The issue of female education in Pakistan has exploded after Malala Yousafzai was attacked by the Taliban for publicly advocating for girls to receive more schooling. This attack has lead several media outlets to take a more serious look at the gendered cultural and economic opportunities (or lack thereof) for girls within Pakistan. This NPR podcast also speaks of the real options in front of so many girls like Malala and the cultural and political contexts within which they navigate their lives.
From technology to equality, five ways the world is getting better all the time...
This article by former President of the United States Bill Clinton, outlines numerous ways that globalization can improve the world, especially in developing regions. He uses examples from around the world and includes numerous geographic themes.
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.
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.
Landesa partners with governments and local NGOs to ensure the world's poorest families have secure land rights, which develops sustainable economic growth and improves education, nutrition, and conservation...
Globally speaking, women are the primary agricultural workers yet rarely own land.
In a bid to reconcile strict gender-segregation laws with a desire to increase employment opportunities for women, Saudi Arabia is planning to construct a new industrial "city" exclusively for female workers, Russian news agency RT reports.
The idea is mind-blowing to say the least. More women would be able to be a part of the workforce and move freely about women-only cities in Saudi Arabia than they could in 'regular' cities.
Question to ponder: would the implementation of this idea represent a cultural step forward for Saudi Arabia towards gender equality or would it be a step that further isolated women and is repressive? What do you think of the idea given the ingrained gender norms of Saudi Arabia?
Tahmina Kohistani’s Olympics lasted exactly 14 and 42/100ths of a second.
This is a great article that highlights the Olympic successes that are underreported. Due to geographic circumstances, simply competing is a remarkable accomplishment. The women participants from Afghanistan and Iran are highlighted in this article.
Rather than focusing on how to make cities safe at any hour for citizens of both genders, the official response has been to curtail women's access to public areas deemed sensitive by authorities.
This is an interesting topic to use to debate urban policies and planning issues. What leads to a safer city for women? How does the creation of zones not safe for women impact the city long-term? Think about scale: Is what is best for the city policy what is best for the individual?
Many items are marketed specifically for boys or girls. Boys are given rugged survival skills of strength, while the girl's guide suggests tips to promote better social interactions. How is this a result of cultural patterns and processes? How does this form of gendered marketing produce cultural patterns? How does this create a normative society with prescribed gender roles?
Rick Reilly tells the story of a woman's efforts to swim topless after a double mastectomy.
We have deeply ingrained social norms about what is and is not acceptable within public spaces. Certain cases come along that show that these norms often treat the world as though it is black and white without varying shades of gray. In this case, a woman who has had both of her breasts completely removed after breast cancer, discovered that conventional swimsuits physically pained her and she wanted to swim topless in a public pool. Controversy predictably ensued. What do you think? Big deal? Non-issue? Acceptable in public or not? Why?
|Suggested by Allison Anthony|
"Saudi Arabia is to allow its women athletes to compete in the Olympics for the first time ever, a statement by the country's London embassy says." In what is viewed as sensitive 'baby steps' towards inclusion for women in activities most in the West take for granted, females will be competing for the Saudi Olympic team in London, something that has been forbidden until very recently. Allowing their participation also alleviates pressure from the entire team being disqualified due to gender discrimination. (Apparently they can ride horses - will driving automobiles be far behind?)
"The social-science evidence is in: though it may benefit the adults involved, the dissolution of intact two-parent families is harmful to large numbers of children."
On this Father's Day, I'm thinking about the sociological importance of fathers and my gratitude for my father (an educator who instilled in me the desire to teach). Although this article is quite dated and was politically charged with a controversial title at the time, "Dan Quayle was Right," many of the main points still hold today. The article points to solid social science evidence as to the importance of fathers within society. Conversely, fatherlessness also has major (negative) impacts society as well.