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Americans truly are exceptional — at least when it comes to circumcision

Americans truly are exceptional — at least when it comes to circumcision | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"There's no question that among the world's wealthy nations, the U.S. stands out when it comes to circumcision. The WHO estimates that the overall male circumcision rate in the states is somewhere between 76 and 92 percent. Most Western European countries, by contrast, have rates less than 20 percent.  But even these numbers mask considerable regional variation within countries."


Tags: perspective, cultural norms, culture, genderregions

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Whatever happened to Psy and K-pop’s bid to conquer the world?

Whatever happened to Psy and K-pop’s bid to conquer the world? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"K-pop sensation Psy was everywhere once but little has been heard since. What happened to him?  Having earned an estimated $55m (£36m) from his work in the West, Psy is now racking up similar amounts from the lucrative Chinese market, where his collaboration with world-class pianist Lang Lang is currently producing a run of consecutive number ones. Psy's decision to focus on the Asian music market may be an indication of where the entertainment industry turns over the highest profits for musicians."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In 2012, we were analyzing the cultural geography of a viral sensation, that seemed to fizzle out so we dismissed it as a one-hit wonder.  So often we assume that being culturally and economically viable in the West is of greatest importance, but truly savvy brands aren't sleeping on East Asian markets.  This "one-hit wonder" in the West strategically moved on to even larger markets. 


Tags: popular culture, diffusion, globalization, culture, music

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'Love locks' to be removed from Paris bridge

'Love locks' to be removed from Paris bridge | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The city of Paris will start removing padlocks from the Pont des Arts on Monday, effectively ending the tourist tradition of attaching 'love locks' to the bridge. For years, visitors have been attaching locks with sentimental messages to the bridge in symbolic acts of affection. Some further seal the deal by throwing keys into the Seine River below.  It was considered charming at first, but the thrill wore off as sections of fencing on the Pont des Arts crumbled under the locks' weight. The bridge carries more than 700,000 locks with an estimated combined weight roughly the same as 20 elephants."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Graffiti, tombstones, love locks, monuments...each of these are manifestations of people's desire to have some tangible impact on the landscape.  Something that manifests a connection to place in a profoundly personal way. 


Questions to Ponder: Why do people want leave a mark on places that are meaningful to them?  When do you think that they that these markers are appropriate or inappropriate?  Do we have more of a 'right' to mark some places than others? Why do many oppose these personal marks on the landscape? 


Tags: placeculture, landscape, Paris, tourism.

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Leslie G Perry's curator insight, June 2, 2015 8:32 AM

I LOVE Seth Dixon's insight on this and how it figures in with Design Technology. What mark do we leave and why? What are the unintended consequences of leaving out mark?

 

Seth Dixon's insight:

Graffiti, tombstones, love locks, monuments...each of these are manifestations of people's desire to have some tangible impact on the landscape.  Something that manifests a connection to place in a profoundly personal way. 

 

Questions to Ponder: Why do people want leave a mark on places that are meaningful to them?  When do you think that they that these markers are appropriate or inappropriate?  Do we have more of a 'right' to mark some places than others? Why do many oppose these personal marks on the landscape?

Linda Denty's curator insight, June 4, 2015 8:32 PM

Great discussion point for your classes!  As Seth Dixon says why do people choose to leave a mark on certain places and is this appropriate?  Could people be doing something else that doesn't have such a deleterious effect on it's environment?  

CMuddGeo's curator insight, June 7, 2015 6:29 PM

This is understandable but very sad...

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This grand OTR experiment is about all of us

This grand OTR experiment is about all of us | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nowhere else in Cincinnati is contrast more evident than this one block of Republic Street. Rich and poor. Black and white. Dark past and vibrant future." 


Seth Dixon's insight:

The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood is very close to the APHG reading site, and the urban renewal here is quite controversial.  Many point to the economic positives and infusion of investments, while other see social displacement of the poor.  No matter your perspective, it is a place where there are very visible social boundaries

 

Tags: neighborhoodlandscape, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economicAPHG, Cincinnati

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The Chinese Art of the Crowd

The Chinese Art of the Crowd | Geography Education | Scoop.it
After viewing news photographs from China for years, one of my favorite visual themes is "large crowd formations." Whether the subject is military parades or world-record attempts, mass exercises or enormous performances, the images are frequently remarkable. The masses of people can look beautiful or intimidating, projecting a sense of strength and abundance. Individuals can become pixels in a huge painting, or points on a grid, or echoes of each other in identical uniforms or costumes.


Tags: China, East Asia, cultureart, landscape.

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Nidhal Bk's curator insight, May 20, 2015 8:34 AM

http://serrurier-pontoise.lartisanpscher.com

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 24, 2015 7:19 AM

These photos invoke both a sense of beauty and intimidation. The photos themselves are majestic. They are almost perfect creations of art. The photos also invoke a sense of intimidation and dread. The Chinese have mastered the art of propaganda. They know how to put on a display that invokes both power and fear. Many of their photos involve military parades. The entire point of parading your military is to show both power and intimidation. It is both a threat and honor at the same time.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 6, 2015 4:30 PM

there were two things i learned from this. first, the Chinese are an insanely regimented society. the government can instill in soldiers the discipline to march in such an exact manner that it looks like a lineup of mirrors. second, the Chinese will beat you at any numbers based world record that catches their attention.

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How to Make an Attractive City

We've grown good at making many things in the modern world - but strangely the art of making attractive cities has been lost. Here are some key principles for how to make attractive cities once again.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While we can't objectively measure beauty, in this video from the School of Life, London-based Swiss writer Alain de Botton offers a cheeky, thought-provoking, six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design. Alain de Botton feels that tourism can be seen as helpful proxy variable for what the general public perceives as good urbanism that makes for beautiful cities.  The six main points of this article are:

  • Order and Variety
  • Visible Life
  • Compact
  • Orientation and Mystery
  • Scale
  • Local


Tags: urban, planning, urbanism, culturearchitecture, tourism.

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Seth Forman's curator insight, May 26, 2015 6:57 PM

Summary: This interesting video talks about principles that should be considered by city planners that could make our life's better and happier.

 

Insight: This video is relevant  to unit 7 because it shows efforts that should be taken by urban planners and how a simple city layout can effect our lives. 

Emerald Pina's curator insight, May 27, 2015 1:01 AM

This video gives you an overview of how to make the most attractive city in six ways. It explains the reasons and the wants of a city that potential residents are looking for.

 

This video relates to Unit 7: Cities and Urban Land Use because it talks about the orgin, site and situation a city should have for it to be considered attractive to people. A city should be chaotic/ordered, should have visible life, compact, is should have a nice/mysterious orientation, it should not be too big or too small, and it should be local and lively. Today, many cities lack attractiveness because of the intellectual confusion around beauty and the lack of political will. I totally agree with video and the requirement s to have an attrative city. 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:17 AM

We definitely need more visually pleasing cities, our world is lacking and we are loosing it to like in the video "corporate opportunists".

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Women's Restroom Sign Breaks Stereotypes

Women's Restroom Sign Breaks Stereotypes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The It Was Never a Dress campaign is not only taking social media by storm, it is also changing the way we view the traditional women's bathroom sign. We see that the men's figure wears pants and the women's symbol wears a dress, but what if it was never meant to be a dress in the first place?  Tania Katan launched the popular #ItWasNeverADress campaign at last week's 'Girls in Tech' conference with the idea that the female figure is instead wearing a cape, asserting that women can be superheroes or anything else they choose to be."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These restroom signs are so ubiquitous that we might fail to realize how they are a part of the gendered landscape in which we live.  This takes that well-known icon that was designed to generically represents women and makes us see the sign (and women maybe?) in a new light.  It's delightfully playful and yet powerfully subversive; it challenges us to see beyond what we've been told to see and what society tells us what we should see.  The designers called this "an invitation to shift perceptions and assumptions about women and the audacious, sensitive, and powerful gestures they make every single day."


Questions to Ponder: what other elements of the cultural landscape convey gendered messages? What impact do these message have? 


Tags: perspective, cultural norms, culture, gender, popular culture.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, May 21, 2015 10:30 AM

I love this! Unit 3: Cultural landscape and norms.

Katie's curator insight, May 22, 2015 12:19 PM

In this article it suggest that the stereotypical dress for the the women bathroom sign is not a dress, but a cape. This hows that women can be superheroes or whatever they want to be. Still today there is a lack of women in he workforce compared to men. For every 4 men working working for Google there is 1 women and half of them quit because of the poor work environment. I think this helps represent that women are capable of anything. This is an example of women in the workforce and gender equity.  

Seth Forman's curator insight, May 26, 2015 9:08 PM

Summary: This article basically explains the story of the recently emerged #ItWasNeverADress campaign. This is a pretty cool article because I never really payed attention to how even a restroom sign could be considered gender inequality. 

 

Insight: This article is relevant to unit 6 because gender inequality is an important measure of development.

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Burka Avenger is the Muslim Female Superhero We've All Been Waiting For

Burka Avenger is the Muslim Female Superhero We've All Been Waiting For | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Muslim world doesn't have the best reputation when it comes to female empowerment. With a lack of of strong, independent female role models, young women in the region have few places to look in popular culture for guidance. Until now.

Meet Burka Avenger, the game-changing Pakistani cartoon that, for the first time, has flipped the status quo on its head with its female superhero protagonist, who fights crime in her magical burka."


Tags: Pakistangender, popular culture, SouthAsiaglobalization, culture, Islam.

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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:05 AM

This superhero is more than just something to bring joy to children in Pakistan. This hero empowers women to think they can be strong like the Burka Avenger.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 30, 2015 9:51 AM

This is an awesome, heartwarming story, and I highly recommend people to watch the trailer for the show offered on the website- it seems very cool, and like something kids will actually want to watch (unlike a great deal of educational television). For a nation that is plagued by such a great deal of bigotry and gender inequality- with female infant mortality rates contributing to a gender distribution of 108 men to 100 women- it is so good to see a program such as this being released from Pakistan. Young Muslim women are so deprived of positive and powerful female role models, allowing for the continued systematic abuse and mistreatment of women in many parts of the Middle East, including Pakistan. This show looks promising, from both a critical and humanitarian perspective, although I fear for the lives of its creators and that its showing will be suppressed in the very nations that need it the most. Terrorist organizations and religious extremists fear education and empowerment more than any army, as only those two factors can truly combat these movements effectively, and they will show no mercy should they ever be given the chance to cease the production of this program. I applaud its creators for their bravery, and hope that they are able to get their message across.

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When Wearing Shorts Was Taboo

When Wearing Shorts Was Taboo | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In certain places in American history, showing a little leg has been illegal — for men and women.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is cultural acceptable varies over time and space.  This particular issue may seem silly now, but it is a reminder that the norms of the here and now, might have been seen as revolutionary or scandalous in a different time and place.  Cultures and customs are socially mediated and those processes creates cultural norms--norms are continually enforced, resisted and reshaped.     


Tags: culture, folk cultures, unit 3 culture.

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Marianne Naughton's curator insight, April 28, 2015 8:54 AM

Changing Times

L.Long's curator insight, May 1, 2015 6:38 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is cultural acceptable varies over time and space.  This particular issue may seem silly now, but it is a reminder that the norms of the here and now, might have been seen as revolutionary or scandalous in a different time and place.  Cultures and customs are socially mediated and those processes creates cultural norms--norms are continually enforced, resisted and reshaped.  

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 5:24 AM

Currently in many Asian countries women showing any skin is looked down upon or even illegal. Now social trends have changed and shorts in Westernized civilizations have allowed the use of shorts.

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The fastest growing religion in the world is ...

The fastest growing religion in the world is ... | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Despite predictions that religion will go the way of dinosaurs, the size of almost every major faith -- sorry, Buddhists -- will increase in the next 40 years, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. The biggest winners, Pew predicts, will be Islam and Christianity."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is is an overview of the more detailed statistical projections from the Pew Research Center on what the world of religion will look like in 2050 (and 2100). 


Tags: religionpopulation, culture.

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Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 6:13 PM

unit 3

This article is an overview of the more detailed statistical projections from the Pew Research Center on what the world of religion will look like in 2050. Pew predicts the biggest winners will be Islam and Christianity. Islam, which is currently at 1.6 billion will leap to 2.76 billion by 2050, where Muslims will make up about one third of the worlds population.

Christianity is also expected to grow to a little over one third of the worlds population but no where near the rate at which Islam is. it should be at about 2.92 billion people from the current 2.17 billion.  

Ethan Conner's curator insight, March 16, 2016 9:38 AM

This article is is an overview of the more detailed statistical projections from the Pew Research Center on what the world of religion will look like in 2050 (and 2100). 


Tags: religion, population, culture.

Peyton Conner's curator insight, March 16, 2016 9:49 AM

 Predicting the growth of religions by population growth is a great way to  determine which religions are becoming more popular today. This study is one of the first of its kind to use fertility rates, migration patterns, and ages of populations to measure religion populations and shows promise in the future. PC


Tags: religion, population, culture.

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Using Humor to Break Stereotypes

"A founding member of the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour, standup comic Maz Jobrani riffs on the challenges and conflicts of being Iranian-American -- 'like, part of me thinks I should have a nuclear program; the other part thinks I can't be trusted ...'"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This comedian doesn't just get laughs; he uses stand-up as a platform for discussing important social issues and to foster greater cultural understanding.  His big goal is to break stereotypical perspectives of Muslims and Middle Easterners by showing that "there are good people everywhere."  Here is another of his entertaining and educational TED talks.  


Tags: Middle East, TEDglobalization, culture, Islam.

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Sharrock's curator insight, June 22, 2015 1:13 PM

A way to explore stereotypes and being American. Teachers can explore these issues to attack immigration, ethnicity, perspective, and more. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 22, 2015 7:49 AM

At its best, humor can break down old stereotypes and foster a greater degree of cultural understanding. That is exactly what Maz Jobrani is trying to accomplish with his humor. There are obvious stereotypes about Muslims that are often far too pervasive in our culture. The most common stereotype  is the lumping of all Muslims into one monolithic group.  All Muslims are not the same. Like Christianity, not all Muslims interpret their holy book in the same exact way. The large majority of Muslims are good people who respect American ideals. Hopefully, Jobranis humor can reach some people who may not understand those facts.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 11:11 PM
Stereotypes are very common everywhere we go, but due to certain events that project Middle Easters as bad people, stereotypes have become a lot more common to them. Stereotypes, in this case, are being created because of cultural geography which is allowing people to describe a region as bad because of where they were born. Just like Maz Jobrani pointed out, he had trouble at the airport at a European country that disliked Iran, this also shows how political geography might affect how well certain countries get along and treat each other. 
 
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One Place, Two Names

One Place, Two Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Multiple names on the map can hint at bigger cultural and political fault lines.  Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  This article I wrote for the National Geographic Education Blog is on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  


TagsCentral Asia, toponyms, culture, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religionIslam, landscape.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:38 PM
Going by either the name Xinjiang or Eastern Turkistan, Sometimes when people cannot agree on the name of a single place there is conflict, but apparently not here. it became an economic hub after they extracted natural gas, oil, and coal. Because of its location, a lot of the people in the area are Turkish and are Muslim. The Chinese government does not really like this and they are doing what they can to get rid of the Muslim ways, for example, one thing they have done is denounce the hijab, or ban any religious displays. .
Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:45 PM

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 9:52 AM
Very interesting. I am curious to know where this will lead to. There is something also unnerving about how most of us are never taught this in public schools even though it is a very big and very important topic. I can not image there being a split eventually over time, though there is no way that this area will stay as they are with the treatment of their government. This is surely a region to keep an eye on.
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Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere (Man)!

Johnny Cash Has Been Everywhere (Man)! | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is more for the teachers than the students since this is most certainly not a current pop culture reference.  Still, what's better than an interactive map displaying the locations where Johnny Cash has been while listening to him sing "I've Been Everywhere?"  (Tech support: Use Google Chrome or Safari to play and ignore the finger). 


Tags: music, transportation, mapping, tourism.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:08 PM

It remarkable how a map can illustrate in how many cities Johnny Cash performed in with his band. As a famous musician in the U.S., he targeted different states and his audience was diversity. Music gave him the opportunity to help people of all different ethnicties and social backgrounds. With his first band created in Germany, he continued to take his music around the world and especially in the U.S. His country music was most popular in the 70s and 80s and even now it can still be heard on the radio.

Blake Joseph's curator insight, May 6, 2015 5:06 PM

Musicians have the great privilege of being able to travel to lots of places in the world and being paid to do it. Johnny Cash, Steve Miller Band, and The Allman Brothers are three artist out of many I can think of that have written songs directly pertaining to their love of traveling around. While many other occupations travel immensely as well,  a popular musicians outreach and influence on people makes their traveling stories have a much more inspirational impact on people than say truck drivers or flight attendants.

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Why eating insects makes sense

The world's population is projected to reach 11 billion by the end of the century. Feeding that many people will be a challenge, and it is further complicated by the impact of climate change on agriculture. That is why some people advocate an unusual way to boost the food supply and feed people sustainably: by eating less meat, and more insects.

http://econ.st/1sDYlfM

Seth Dixon's insight:

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply engrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.


Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    


Tagsfoodculturediffusioncultural norms, economicfood production, agriculture.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, June 8, 2015 9:33 AM

When speaking of sustainability, many seek new options, new and more efficient—productively speaking—ways of exploiting resources, different types of energies to make up for the missing future expected quota. However, at not point do they seem to ask themselves what makes inefficiency be the norm, and scarcity the automatic reason to why we need more. The solution is right there, in front of our eyes, and not necessarily in the form of insects., though under the current monetary and economic paradigm, that may seem like a good option.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 3:31 PM

While it might make economic, nutritional, and environmental sense, I'm sure that many are squeamish at the idea of insects primarily because in violates many deeply engrained cultural taboos.  The main reasons listed in the video for promoting the production and consumption of more insects:

  1. Insects are healthier than meat.
  2. It is cheap (or free) to raise insects.
  3. Raising insects is more sustainable than livestock.

 

Questions to Ponder: Would you be willing to try eating insects?  How do you think this idea would go over with your family and friends?  What cultural barriers might slow the diffusion of this practice?    

 

Tagsfoodculturediffusioncultural norms, economic, food production, agriculture.

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Why China's ethnic minorities are being left out of the economic boom

Facing ethnic discrimination, China's Uighurs and Tibetans have fallen behind as the rest of the country surges ahead
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video from the Economist touches on many of the same cultural/political issues as I did in my recent article for the National Geographic Education Blog (except, obviously, this video provides a greater economic emphasis).  Ethnic tensions are always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province and Tibet remains culturally resistant to the program set forth by the People's Republic of China.  


TagsCentral Asia, culture, economic, China, East Asia.

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Jessica Ruddy's curator insight, June 3, 2015 2:15 PM

What does this mean for these minorities....will they be phased out of existence?  What cultural impact is there?

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 19, 2015 12:59 PM

"Can't we all just get along?" Ethnic discrimination exists in every industrialized society in every part of the globe, the result of poverty, ignorance, hatred, and various peoples now confined to national borders that do not suit their needs. Chinese discrimination against ethnic Tibetans has long been documented and observed within the West, meeting the condemnation of much of the Western world, so it was interesting to learn about the Uighurs and their plight in Chinese society- I was unaware that China had any significant Muslim populations. To learn that Chinese government officials attempted to evict and ethnic Uighur from her apartment simply for being of her ethnicity is appalling, and something that one can only hope will stop in the future. Is America in a position to judge others for how they treat their ethnic minorities? Not at all- just look at the demographics of our prison system and our families who fall below the poverty line, or our treatment of Native Americans only 100 years ago. Such racism has long been a facet of human civilization, and it is up to us to make it a thing of our past and not of our future. Can we all get along? I hope so.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:43 PM

this is kind of a weird situation. places like tibet have the opportunity to move to places in china with great economic opportunites, but since they are treated as different and since they have pride as tibetans and want to stay in their land, they end up staying and remaining a primarily farming country and being left out of the chinese economic boom.

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Prayer in Various Global Faiths

Prayer in Various Global Faiths | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

See how people around the world pray...video examples of prayer and the cultural/spiritual significance are shown highlighting Buddhists, Mormons, and Sikhs.  Place is very important component to prayer for many and the 4th example shows how some use a labyrinth as a tool to commune with the divine.


Tags: religion, culture, Christianity, Buddhism.

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World's largest hotel coming to Mecca

World's largest hotel coming to Mecca | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Abraj Kudai, a complex in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is set to become the world's largest hotel by room count when it opens in 2017.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Las Vegas currently has the four of the five largest hotels in the world; people flock to the Nevada desert in droves for the gambling and nightlife.  Mecca has a very distinct draw that pulls tourists in from all over the world.  As a sacred pilgrimage site, the tourism industry thrives and needs an immense infrastructure to handle the high volume of visitors that come for the Hajj.

   

Tagstourism, Islam, Saudi Arabiaculture, religion, Middle East.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 22, 2015 7:37 AM

The location of the hotel makes a lot of sense. Mecca is an obvious tourist destination. Muslims from all over the world, make the sacred pilgrimage to the holy city. Those same people, are in need of accommodations once they arrive in the city. The economic potential of such a hotel is outstanding. It was also interesting to learn that Las Vegas currently has four of the five largest hotels in the world. Even with the building of this hotel, I do not see Las Vegas being displaced as the worlds premier tourist destination.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:14 PM

this is hardly surprising, with how many people go to Mecca in a year. Mecca is probably the largest single destination for religious tourism in the world, and it is the only city on earth where there are religious obligations to enter the city .

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 30, 11:36 AM
Although Mecca usually isn’t what comes to mind when I think about a place that gets a lot of tourists, the plans for building this hotel prove that it is.  Since millions of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Mecca each year, it makes sense that they need such a large hotel to accommodate all of those people.  This is telling of the infrastructure that in 2015 in Mecca— that it wasn’t sufficient enough to keep up with the influx of tourists.  The fact that this hotel is supposed to have 10,000 rooms shows just how many people travel to Saudi Arabia every year.  It also challenges the notion that many Americans have that travel is for pleasure, because in this case people are traveling in order to complete a holy pilgrimage.  Another American thought that it challenges is that the Middle East is unsafe for travel.  Millions of people would not flock to Mecca if the travel was actually that unsafe.  The example of this hotel also shows how as the Christian world becomes more secular, the Muslim world continues to participate in religion.
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Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion

Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion | Geography Education | Scoop.it
There are more religiously unaffiliated Americans than Catholic Americans or mainline Protestant Americans.


Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.


Tags: religion, culture, Christianity, USA.

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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:23 AM

It is a shame that millennials are declining religion more. Religion is one of the bases of culture. If you take away a base from a house it crumbles. The more we deny our religion, values, and culture in general the more we will become plain, and no longer culturally diverse.

MsPerry's curator insight, May 27, 2015 9:35 AM

Religion-Christianity in USA

Bradley Blocher's curator insight, April 4, 2017 1:18 PM
This article is related to our AP Human Geography due to the fact religion often plays an important role in the cultural make-up of a country or society. With Christianity declining in America, America will soon have  more problems with trials they may face since faith in God to help us as a nation get through things will no longer be a part of many people.
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A City For Abandoned Mothers In India

Thousands of widows have been making their way to the holy city of Vrindavan in northern India to spend the rest of their lonely lives. Cast out by their families, or simply alone in the world, some travel hundreds of miles to get there.


Tags: genderIndia, SouthAsia culture.

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Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:10 PM

There are 15,000 widows living in the city of Vrindavan and most of them come from over 1300 km away; West Bengal. After their husbands death, these women have been beaten and tortured by their own children for money they don't have and have had to escape to this holy city for safety where, even though they are away from the beatings, they much beg and sing for money. Many wish for death over this humiliation. 

A woman, capable of bringing life into the world, should never be treated like this and especially by her own family. 

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 4:32 AM

It is crazy to think Indian families would abuse these widows, but what questions me is the reason to flee for spiritual fulfillment. I understand why one would leave because their family betrayed them but why spiritual fulfillment?

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Linguistic Geography: My Fair Lady

Seth Dixon's insight:

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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Mrs. B's curator insight, May 2, 2015 9:03 PM

LOVE this clip! #Unit 3

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Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive?

Sixty Languages at Risk of Extinction in Mexico—Can They Be Kept Alive? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Sixty of Mexico's native languages are at risk of being silenced forever—but many people are working to keep them alive, experts say.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If a language dies, an entire culture dies. Every year more and more languages and threatened and it gets worse as more people try to keep up with the demand of globalization. "Mexico isn't the only country losing its voices: If nothing is done, about half of the 6,000-plus languages spoken today will disappear by the end of this century."  Endangered Languages are going to be all the more common.  


TagsMexico, language, folk cultures, culture, globalization.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 22, 2015 8:29 AM

The demise of a language is a truly tragic event. I am heartened to see that there are efforts being undertaken to preserve these historic languages. New technologies  will hopefully aid us in this effort. I imagine that the United States probably faces similar issues when it comes to language loss. We should coordinate some sort of national policy in how to deal with the issue. The current state of political affairs will probably hamper  the cause, but it is still worth a shot. I am in full support of all efforts that might preserve these classic languages.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 2, 2015 9:29 AM

This is one of the reasons that when immigrants come into this country its important they keep their native language going as well as learning to speak English. The sharing of culture, and language is indeed very important. Lots of people come to America and are told to speak English and eventually they lose their native language as well as culture. The English speaking only citizens of this country lose out on a good education about someone's native country. Its too bad. Just think music, language, food, values etc...there is a lot to learn.

Genesis Orellana Cabrera's curator insight, January 24, 10:45 PM
Languages are greatly important which is why I see the urgency in wanting to keep those endangered languages alive. Globalization through this article shows to be affecting cultural geography as Mexicans no longer see the need to know any other language but Spanish since it domains. This is causing the culture of Mexico to be forgotten. Just like Harrison said, "Each of the Mexican indigenous languages contains millennia of human experience, wisdom, and practical knowledge about the natural environment." The many languages are one of the things that shape Mexico and its people. 
 
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The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts

The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"These seven maps and charts, visualized by The Washington Post, will help you understand how diverse other parts of the world are in terms of languages."


Tags: language, culture, infographic.

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Caitlyn Christiansen's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:35 AM

The world is extremely diverse in its spread of native languages. Yet only a handful are commonly spoken by the majority of the world, about 2/3. Over half of the world's languages are expected to go extinct because of the extreme diversity and the minimal distribution which means that in some places almost every person speaks a completely different language and many are dying as their last speakers do not pass it on to their children.

 

This article is relates to cultural patterns and processes through the geographic spread of languages around the globe and the increasing acculturation that causes the loss of many of these languages in our increasingly globalized world.

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 10:35 PM

Its interesting to see just how many people speak the languages we speak everyday, and to see just how many people DONT speak it.

Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 5:34 AM

It is amazing to see all main languages in perspective to the world. Mandarine holding the top spot with 1.39 Billion surprises me but at the same time doesn't. There are 1.3 billion people living there in the first place.

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Lindström gets Swedish double-dot umlaut back

Lindström gets Swedish double-dot umlaut back | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The state transportation authority relies on federal guidelines that outline what it can put on signs, and these rules say signs must use only 'standard English characters, so when we replaced the sign, we didn’t put the umlaut in.'  On Wednesday, the state’s governor put his foot down: The dots were coming back."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The cultural landscape isn't just passively 'there.'  It is purposefully created, defended, protected and resisted by national, regional and local actors.  This example might seem laughable to the national media, but this was a serious matter to those locally that pride themselves on the town's Swedish heritage.  Many want to preserve it's distinctively Swedish characteristics as a part of it's sense of place, but also it's economic strategy to appeal to tourists. 


Tags: place, language, toponyms, culturetourism, English, landscape.

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Julie Cidell's curator insight, April 18, 2015 9:56 AM

Missing umlauts aren't just a problem on the Internet.

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Gentrification as Adoption?

Gentrification as Adoption? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"OTR A.D.O.P.T. transfers abandoned buildings to qualified new owners at reduced cost.  The catch? You must commit to rehabilitating the property and returning it to productive use. You must also demonstrate an ability to successfully complete such a project.  A.D.O.P.T.-Advancing Derelict and Obsolete Properties Through Transfer."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This banner was spotted by Laura Spess, an urban geographer in Cincinnati in during the 2014 APHG reading.   The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood is very close to the reading, and the urban renewal here is quite controversial.  Many point to the economic positives and infusion of investments, while other see social displacement of the poor.  After the reading we were discussing the messages embedded the sign (and the urban landscape).  The OTR ADOPT organization conceptually thought of poorer neighborhoods as orphans and that the gentrification process should be likened to adoption.  While the merits and problems of gentrification can be debated, I find that particular analogy painfully tone deaf and wasn't surprised to find the organizations website, well, derelict and obsolete.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Why might this analogy be problematic?  How might current residents of the community feel about the message? 


Tags: neighborhoodlandscape, gentrificationurban, place, culture, economicAPHG, Cincinnati

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Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments

Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Ever since I researched the meanings of monuments in the cultural landscape in Mexico City, I’ve been fascinated by the cultural politics of memory and heritage. The removal of a statue is a cultural 180, acknowledging what was once honored and revered is now something that is not worthy of that distinction. This sort of change is not without protests on both sides and a cultural rearticulation of who 'we' are when 'we' make a public memorial."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Cecil Rhodes was the namesake for the Rhodes scholarship at Oxford University and the colonial names of Zambia (Northern Rhodesia) and Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia).  He was deeply connected to British colonialism and was one of the most ambitious colonizers that expanded the British Empire.  This week a statue of Cecil Rhodes on the University of Cape Town campus was removed.  See the BBC article, Yahoo News!, and PRI podcastfor more details


Questions to Ponder: Why do you think this monument to Cecil Rhodes was established in 1934?  Why was it removed in 2015?  What does this say about South African politics and culture?  How might we characterize the supporters and opponents of the statue?


Tags: South Africa, Africa, historical, colonialism, political, landscape.

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Rob Duke's curator insight, April 14, 2015 9:41 PM

There's a lesson here in the symbols of conflict resolution....what symbolic monuments do we have to move to solve social conflicts?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 6:50 AM

The removal of an historical statue, is a broader reflection of what the population of a particular place is thinking. Who a people choose to honor, is a statement of the ideals they hope to espier to. For many people in South Africa, Cecil Rhodes is a symbol of racist colonial tendencies. You can not separate Rhodes from the age of western imperialism. He was one of the leading figures in the scramble for Africa in the late 19th century. In the United States we have seen a similar push to remove statues of historical figures with connections to slavery and racism. Many have called for the removal of statues honoring confederate leaders such as Jefferson Davis or Robert E Lee. The push has even spread to figures beyond those directly connected to the confederacy. The democratic party has removed the names of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from there annual party dinners. There connections with slavery and Native American treatment are just too much for some outraged democrats to handle. I am uneasy about the removals of these statues. History can never be erased. It is futile, to even attempt to do such a thing. Historical figures should be judged by the context of the times in which they lived. It is unfair to judge Thomas Jefferson by the standards of our modern age  society. The overt political correctness is troubling to say the least. It is a whitewash of history.