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Gender and Mobility in the Middle East

Gender and Mobility in the Middle East | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The adult daughter of Dubai’s ruler tried to escape a life of stultifying restrictions. She was captured at sea, forcibly taken back, and has not been heard from since. For all its megamalls, haute cuisine and dizzying skyscrapers, Dubai can flip at speed from international playground to repressive police state."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Both of these particular case studies are incredibly interesting but I want to talk about how this is connected to a larger cultural and political issue: that of female mobility in Persian Gulf countries.  The ability to move freely without familial supervision or approval is something that adults in most countries take for granted, but that is not the case in some countries in the Middle East.  How we experience place is dependent of our mobility—this is why there is no one singular geography or story of any given place, but there are many geographies that help to explain a place.  The story of the ‘vanished princess’ of Dubai and the woman seeking a divorce but trapped by her family cast a different light on the glamorous and glitzy reputation of the United Arab Emirates.    

 

GeoEd Tags: culture, cultural norms, gender, mobility, UAE, MiddleEast, political.

Scoop.it Tagsculture, cultural norms, gender, mobility, UAE, MiddleEast, political.

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Every Culture Appropriates

Every Culture Appropriates | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The question is less whether a dress or an idea is borrowed, than the uses to which it’s then put.
Seth Dixon's insight:

A while back a prom dress causes an uproar, and a backlash to the uproar (as you can imagine political leanings heavily influence the cultural perspectives as demonstrated by the difference between the New York Times , Fox News and the social media reactions on the same topic).  This article pulls pack from the immediate issues that fan the fans, but asks some of the broader questions about cultural diffusion and cultural appropriation.  

 

Tags: popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms.

 

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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, July 29, 2018 3:31 PM

After reading this, how many examples of "cultural appropriation" can you identify from different cultures?

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Too Many Men

Too Many Men | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Nothing like this has happened in human history. A combination of cultural preferences, government decree and modern medical technology in the world’s two largest countries has created a gender imbalance on a continental scale. Men outnumber women by 70 million in China and India."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are far-reaching consequences to the gender imbalances in India and China.  The fantastically rich article covers four major impacts: 

Village life and mental health. Among men, loneliness and depression are widespread. Villages are emptying out. Men are learning to cook and perform other chores long relegated to women.

Housing prices and savings rates. Bachelors are furiously building houses in China to attract wives, and prices are soaring. But otherwise they are not spending, and that in turn fuels China’s huge trade surplus. In India, there is the opposite effect: Because brides are scarce, families are under less pressure to save for expensive dowries. 

Human trafficking. Trafficking of brides is on the rise. Foreign women are being recruited and lured to China, effectively creating similar imbalances in China’s neighbors.

Public safety. With the increase in men has come a surge in sexual crime in India and concerns about a rise in other crimes in both countries. Harassment of schoolgirls in India has in some towns sparked an effort to push back — but at a cost of restricting them to more protected lives.

 

Tags: gender, ChinaIndia, culture, population.

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Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 1:19 PM
population

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 2, 2018 5:20 AM
Population
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 2:59 PM
This is interesting, and brings up an issue that is new to many countries. In past it would be rare for a nation to have to many men (though it did happen more often the problem was lack of men due to death in war or death at grueling careers). Today in India and especially China the men are drastically outnumber the women. This has with modern medicine and better access to resources enabling a higher birthrate, and cultural reasons. In the case of China especially this also has to do with government policy and control over the population during the one child time period, making people have only one child led to mostly males being born for cultural reasons.   
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Korean Baseball 101: Way Beyond the Bat Flips

Baseball in South Korea is more than a game. It’s akin to a religion. American missionaries first brought the sport to the peninsula in 1905, and the country absolutely loved it. Today, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) features 10 teams and a unique sporting culture all its own. The city of Busan and its hometown Lotte Giants have a particularly passionate fan base. From the hitters’ flashy bat flips, to the team’s famous “cheermaster” and its unlikely American super fan, consider this is your crash course on the joyful madness that is Lotte Giants fandom.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If a sport (or other cultural practice) diffuses to a new place, is it going to look exactly the same as it does in the original cultural hearth? Maybe, or like baseball in South Korea, it can have a culture all its own. This is an interesting story that shows how the diffusion of cultural traits around the globe doesn't have to lead to a more bland cultural mosaic. As cultural traits are reterritorialized into new places, they add vibrancy to the cultural fabric of the institution/sub-culture that they've adopted.

 

 

Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, South Korea, East Asia.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 12, 2018 1:28 PM
I don’t know if I subconsciously usually pick scoops that focus on negative situations, but this was one of the few scoops I can remember watching and feeling happy afterwards.  It is so cool that two countries can share a love for the same sport and watch the sport in such different ways.  The Korean fans seem to have much more enthusiasm while watching the game and the atmosphere seems really fun.  I have always enjoyed watching baseball and when I ask other people why they don’t watch, they always say they find it to be too boring.  But watching a Lotte Giants game seems to be anything but boring.  I think one of the biggest cultural differences that I saw between American baseball fans and Korean baseball fans is the ways in which they cheer.  I think that Americans use a lot more smack talk and taunting when they are at baseball games, but the Koreans seem to only be positive.  This is ironic because the Koreans are much more showy with how they cheer, but it’s not obnoxious or unsportsmanlike, it’s just peppy.  I also think it’s unique that the Lotte Giants have a cheer master, who’s job is to get the fans hyped.  American baseball doesn’t have anything close to this with the exception of mascots.  The American equivalent to the cheer master would probably be football or basketball cheerleaders, but they never get the crowd to be so in sync.  I also saw a lot of American influences still present in Korea, even though their experience is so different.  The most obvious is that the team name is in English and happens to also be an MLB team.  I also noticed that many advertisements had English and Korean on them.  It’s interesting that even though the sport is the same, the ways in which the fans celebrate are so different.
Mike curta's curator insight, April 26, 2018 8:41 AM
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Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 11:26 PM
Baseball in South Korea resembles that of baseball in America however they have there cultural differences. Baseball fans in Korean stadiums resemble that of soccer in Europe there fans are legendary. The bat flips are also much different than that in America. In South Korea they chuck the bat because that is culturally acceptable there. In America if you pimp a homerun your mostly likely going to get nailed by a 90 mph fastball during your next at bat because its seen as disrespectful.
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Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy

Whose Heritage? Public Symbols of the Confederacy | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In [recent years], the South’s 150-year reverence for the Confederacy was shaken. Public officials responded to the national mourning and outcry by removing prominent public displays of its most recognizable symbol [the flag]. It became a moment of deep reflection for a region where the Confederate flag is viewed by many white Southerners as an emblem of their heritage and regional pride despite its association with slavery, Jim Crow and the violent resistance to the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Just a few more links that I've added to the article, Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments.  Right now, many people are calling for the removal of all memorials that honor the Confederacy and the call for the removal of all Confederate monuments is in full swing.  

 

Tags: monuments, the South, architectureracecultural norms, landscape.

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Treathyl Fox's comment, August 17, 2017 10:22 AM
Nobody in Iraq is debating the pulling down of the statue of Saddam Hussein. It's about what his statue "represented" to a people. It's the same thing with the Confederate symbols. America has an “80%” minority population. (The 80% is a joke.) From the Native Americans to anybody else in that percentage, you won't hear any of them arguing to defend the Confederacy as their “history” and “heritage”. Get real!
Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 8:57 PM

Just a few more links that I've added to the article, Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments.  Right now, many people are calling for the removal of all memorials that honor the Confederacy and the call for the removal of all Confederate monuments is in full swing.  

 

Tags: monuments, the South, architectureracecultural norms, landscape.

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Jordanian parliament repeals rape law

Jordanian parliament repeals rape law | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Jordanian parliament voted on Tuesday to abolish a provision in the penal code that allows rapists to escape punishment if they marry their victims - a move that is being hailed as 'historic' by activists and locals. Article 308 permit[ed] pardoning rape perpetrators if they marry their victims and stay with them for at least three years.  The controversial provision has for decades divided Jordan between those who believe the law is necessary to protect women's 'honour', and others who see it as a violation of basic human rights."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural norms and political practices are so often intertwined that understanding local laws means that one has to understand the cultural context within which they were created, and in this case, the cultural processes that led to a political will to change them.  

 

Tagsculture, cultural norms, gender, MiddleEast, Jordan, political.

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Treathyl Fox's curator insight, August 3, 2017 9:57 AM
This is major for womens' rights.
David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 22, 2018 12:54 PM
It's amazing how these laws can even exist in today's global society. The law itself is a violation of human rights by making someone who is harmed to before attached to the person that harmed them. It's also shocking some of the countries that have abolished similar laws only within the last 30 years. Countries like Italy, Romania, France, and Peru to name a few. This is not just a continuing issue in the middle east but also in areas in Latin America and in Asia. Hopefully, countries will follow suit, which will take a major change in culture and thought. It will also take a major amount of energy from the people in those countries to change these laws.
 
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 27, 2018 11:39 AM
The original reason that this law was put into practice was the most interesting part of the article.  The law stated that men who raped women would not be punished if they married their victim.  It was said that the law protected women from the stigma surrounding rape, especially if they became pregnant.  It’s hard to tell if lawmakers were genuinely concerned with women’s well-beings or if they were just looking for a way to prevent men from being punished and just disguising it as beneficial to women.  The law was in place for about 60 years and was approved to repeal by a very slim majority.  This is a step in making Jordan a more progressive country that respects human rights, however they are still far from having gender equality.  It was upsetting to me that I had never heard of this law before it was introduced to me in class because it shows that the U.S. and media don’t pay attention to such violations of human rights.  It was also crazy to me that it took until 2017 for the law to be repealed, but even more shocking that it was put into place just 60 years ago.  If I didn’t know the history of it, I would have assumed it was some ancient law.
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Entomophagy: Bugs in the system

Entomophagy: Bugs in the system | Geography Education | Scoop.it
IT WOULD once have been scandalous to suggest the merits of eating insects; these days, it has become old hat. Western-educated entrepreneurs will sell you protein bars made from cricket flour. TED talks extol entomophagy's virtue. Top-end restaurants in the West's largest cities tout insect-based dishes.
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 ingrained 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?    

 

Tagsfoodculturediffusion, economic, agriculture.

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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, February 19, 2018 1:48 PM
What is your take on this?  What are the positives?  Negatives?
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Hijab: Veiled in Controversy

Hijab: Veiled in Controversy | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Hijab is an Islamic concept of modesty and privacy, most notably expressed in women’s clothing that covers most of the body.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is the geography of the hijab?  Covering one's head pre-dates Islam in the Middle East but many associate this practice strictly with Islam and only for women. Read this article (with teaching tips and supplemental resources) for more context on this cultural and religious practice.  

 

Tags: Islam, perspective, religion, culture, National Geographic.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, March 23, 2018 12:42 PM
This article is about Hijabs and it talks about the religious aspect of Hijabs versus the cultural aspect. It states that the hijab is a sign of modesty, which is not a strictly Muslim ideology, but is addressed in many religions. It also talks about how the hijab is not directly mentioned in the Quran. It states that the hijab is almost as much a cultural symbol instead of a religious one and talks about countries with laws about hijabs and how women should dress. 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 24, 2018 9:19 PM
Hijab is the expression of a concept of modesty.  It is not specific to one religion, nor is it specific to one region.  This expression of modesty is encouraged, but not clearly defined, in Islam's holy texts; rather, it is informed by personal or cultural notions of what it means to be modest.  Hijab's association with extreme or radical Islam has led to heated debates in Western nations about whether or not it is acceptable for people to express hijab, with many people citing "national/public security" as a reason to ban certain coverings.
David Stiger's curator insight, October 31, 2018 11:29 AM
The geography of the hijab is important for Westerners to understand. Only two countries, Iran and Saudi Arabia, require women to dress by the strict standards of hijab. The vast majority of Middle Eastern, North African, and Muslim countries around the world do not have a legal dress code for women. Some laws and cultural traditions encourage women to dress modestly. Other countries like Tunisia, Turkey, and Syria (all predominantly Muslim) had laws to restrict women from wearing the hijab in order to be more secular and modern. Many other countries, like Pakistan and Jordan, do not have any laws on the book concerning if women should or should not wear a hijab. These countries understand that it is a personal choice regarding privacy, reputation, and personal faith. Like many religious precepts, the concept of hijab is open to interpretation. As a result, a Westerner can safely assume that having a large Muslim population, or a significant number of Muslims operating in a government, will not lead to a takeover of Sharia law or oppressive fundamentalist codes of behavior. Instead of being afraid of the unknown and making assumptions about entire societies, Westerners should find out more and be exposed to how diverse and broad differing cultures and societies can be. 
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5 American Habits I Kicked in Finland

5 American Habits I Kicked in Finland | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From to-go mugs to small talk
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm not trying to disparage one culture group over another, but to point out that some cultural traits and norms only make sense in a certain place within a particular cultural context.  Sometimes its hard to see our own culture until we go somewhere else with a different cultural background. 

 

Questions to Ponder: What is a cultural trait that you realized was distinct only after being in contact with those from places/cultural settings?  Why are some traits perceived as strange outside of their cultural context but perfectly normal within them?     

 

Tags: Finland, culturecultural norms.

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Ruth Reynolds's curator insight, December 10, 2016 2:15 AM
Some simple cultural differences between American and Finns. Now how do these apply to Australians.? Good conversation starter for intercultural  understanding.
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Getting Japanese Citizenship

Getting Japanese Citizenship | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"To become a Japanese citizen, a foreigner must display 'good conduct', among other things. The rules do not specify what that means, and make no mention of living wafu (Japanese-style). But for one candidate, at least, it involved officials looking in his fridge and inspecting his children’s toys to see if he was Japanese enough (he was). Bureaucratic discretion is the main reason why it is hard to get Japanese nationality. The ministry of justice, which handles the process, says officials may visit applicants’ homes and talk to their neighbors."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Japan has a remarkably homogeneous population, in large part because they have very tight immigration laws (here is a more extended list of the requirements to obtain a Japanese citizenship).

 

Questions to Ponder: How is the notion of Japanese citizenship different from American citizenship?  As Japan's population continues to decline, how might that change Japan's migration/citizenship policies?   

 

Tags: JapanEast Asia, place, perspective, cultural norms, culture.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:51 AM
Interesting to see how the Japanese handle citizenship differently than most of world and America. Japan is mostly a homogeneous culture and from seeing there citizenship laws one can tell why. A foreigner must live there for 10 years  and display "good conduct" which no one really knows what it is and also prove to be Japanese enough in culture. It will be interesting to see how this continues today in a world that keeps becoming more and more global. All over the news we see constant backlash about countries that do not want to accept more immigrants or give certain rights to citizens, however you never really hear of the Japanese. The Japanese have many cultures that they can keep alive with mostly a homogeneous population and most likely helps cause less violence and less arguments among its politics. Imagine if here in America they searched your house to see if you were American enough? I think that might be headline news by the night. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 2018 10:35 PM
If you want to move and live in Japan and attain a citizenship be ready to give up your current citizenship and go on one heck of a rollercoaster.  Japan is one of the toughest places to get a citizenship.  For one you have to live there for at least 10 years.  Then the government can and will come to your home to inspect it from the types of pens you have there to the kid of pictures you hang on your wall.  The main thing is the Japanese government wants you to really adapt to their culture.  Very few are naturalized, out of 12446 that applied only 9400 were accepted.  But the good news is, is it is free compared to 550 in the US and 1200 in the U.k.
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More young adults are living with their parents

More young adults are living with their parents | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Across much of the developed world, researchers have found that more young adults are living at their parents' home for longer periods of time.

 

Across the European Union’s 28 member nations, nearly half (48.1%) of 18- to 34-year-olds were living with their parents in 2014, according to the EU statistical agency Eurostat.  The Scandinavian countries have the lowest rates, with Denmark coming in at 18.6%. Southern and eastern European countries tend to have higher rates, led by the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia: 72.5% of 18- to 34-year-olds reportedly were living with their parents.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This isn't news because this trend gradually became a new part of the economic and cultural norms of the developed world--but the impact is enormous.  In the United States, more young adults live with parents than partners (for the first time in the 130 years that the statistic has been collected).  The world isn't what it was in 1880.  

32.1% of young adults in the U.S live with parents, and 48.1% of young adults in the European Union Union live with parents.   

 

Questions to Ponder: What are some contributing factors to this trend in the United States and Europe?  What does this say about housing costs, economic, and cultural conditions? 

 

Tags: socioeconomic, housingstatisticspopulation, cultural norms, culture.

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The Buried Catchphrase of Classic Hollywood

“The phrase 'Free, white, and 21' appeared in dozens of movies in the ‘30s and ‘40s, a proud assertion that positioned white privilege as the ultimate argument-stopper. It was a catchphrase of the decade, as blandly ubiquitous as any modern meme: a way for white America to check its own privilege and feel exhilarated rather than finding fault.  Read more about the history of the phrase here."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I found this glimpse into the American past as startling, even if it shouldn't be.  It jarred me because today many in America bristle or are startled at the notion that 'white privilege' exists today even if there are countless examples that we do not live in a post-racial society.  This glimpse of old-school Hollywood shows how asserting white privilege was common place in the lexicon--equally fascinating is how we've pretended that it never was.  White privilege is no longer flouted in polite company like it once was, but that doesn't mean that it isn't real.    

 

Tags: racecultural normslanguage, racism, culture, unit 3 culture.

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Doreen Massey on Space

Doreen Massey on Space | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In honor of the late Doreen Massey, an eminent geographer who died Friday at age 72, we repost her Social Science Bites podcast, which has long been one of our most popular. In this interview, Massey asked us to rethink our assumptions about space -- and explained why.
Seth Dixon's insight:

If you've wanted to see how an academic geographer approaches space, politics, and power, this podcast is a good entry point.  It is also a nice intellectual tribute to a giant social theorist who contribute greatly within the discipline and beyond (see also the AAG's tribute).

 

Tagsspace, spatial, political, governance, culture, cultural norms, perspective.

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Michele Fitts Barnaby's curator insight, March 16, 2016 12:14 PM

If you've wanted to see how an academic geographer approaches space, politics, and power, this podcast is a good entry point.  It is also a nice intellectual tribute to a giant social theorist who contribute greatly within the discipline and beyond.

 

Tags: space, spatial, political, governance, culture, cultural norms, perspective.

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, March 19, 2016 8:38 PM

If you've wanted to see how an academic geographer approaches space, politics, and power, this podcast is a good entry point.  It is also a nice intellectual tribute to a giant social theorist who contribute greatly within the discipline and beyond (see also the AAG's tribute).

 

Tags: space, spatial, political, governance, culture, cultural norms, perspective.

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The Japanese art of (not) sleeping

The Japanese art of (not) sleeping | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Japanese don’t sleep. This is what everyone – the Japanese above all – say. I first encountered these intriguing attitudes to sleep during my first stay in Japan in the late 1980s. Daily life was hectic; people filled their schedules with work and leisure appointments, and had hardly any time to sleep. Many voiced the complaint: 'We Japanese are crazy to work so much!' But in these complaints one detected a sense of pride at being more diligent and therefore morally superior to the rest of humanity. Yet, at the same time, I observed countless people dozing on underground trains during my daily commute. Some even slept while standing up, and no one appeared to be at all surprised by this.

The positive image of the worker bee, who cuts back on sleep at night and frowns on sleeping late in the morning, seemed to be accompanied by an extensive tolerance of so-called ‘inemuri’ – napping on public transportation and during work meetings, classes and lectures. Women, men and children apparently had little inhibition about falling asleep when and wherever they felt like doing so."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you subscribe to Edward Hall's Cultural Iceberg model (video), we can readily see, touch, or experience many parts of a society's culture; what they wear, the ways the communicate, the food they eat, etc.  Beneath the surface, though, are the less obvious cultural traits that aren't so easily observed.  These aspects of culture, such as the beliefs, values, and thought patterns of a society, are critical to understanding differing cultural traits.

 

Questions to Ponder: In this article about sleep in Japan, what elements of external culture (above the surface) are present?  What elements of internal culture (beneath the surface) are present?  How do the cultural traits beneath the surface shape the cultural traits that are above the surface?    

Scoop.it Tags: culturecultural norms, labor, JapanEast Asia.

WordPress TAGS: cultural norms, culture, labor, Japan, East Asia.

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At Seattle Mariners games, grasshoppers are a favorite snack

At Seattle Mariners games, grasshoppers are a favorite snack | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Chapulines [grasshoppers] have become a snack favorite among baseball fans in Seattle. Follow their path from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Safeco Field. To many, the insect might be a novelty - a quirky highlight for an Instagram story from a day at the ballpark. To those in Mexico consuming them for centuries, they are a building block of nutrition."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Eating insects is incredibly nutritious; raising them is cost effective and environmentally sustainable. And yet, the cultural taboos against entomophagy in the West are barriers to the cultural diffusion of the practice.  At some baseball games and high-end restaurants, grasshoppers are sold as a novelty item.  What I especially enjoy about this ESPN article is that it covers the cultural production of the chapulines in Mexico and follows the story to the consumption of the grasshoppers in the United States.  

 

Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, foodMexico, economic, agriculture.

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ricoh's comment, June 13, 2018 6:34 AM
good
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Looking for Love in Small Religion

Looking for Love in Small Religion | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Think modern dating is tough? Try hunting for a husband or wife in the Druze community—adherents are forbidden from marrying outside of the faith. This desire to marry someone within the faith is not just a preference—the religion prohibits exogamy. If a Druze marries a non-Druze, it will not be a Druze wedding, nor can the couple’s children be Druze—the religion can only be passed on through birth to two Druze parents. There are no conversions into the Druze faith."

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Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement

Pakistan's traditional third gender isn't happy with the trans movement | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For centuries, South Asia has had its own Khawaja Sira or third gender culture. Now, some third gender people in Pakistan say the modern transgender identity is threatening their ancient culture.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Sometimes our assumptions about a society, and how they might react to cultural issues are just that...assumptions.  I for one was very surprised to learn that Pakistan had a traditional third gender. 

 

Tags: culture, developmentpodcast, genderPakistansexuality, South Asia, religion.

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David Stiger's curator insight, November 11, 2018 5:11 PM
From an outsider's perspective, cultures are often hard to pin down. This became clear again when trying to comprehend Pakistan's third gender community. Not to be confused with the more modern transgender community, the third gender - or Khawaja Sira - is manifested in the traditional roots of Islam. It seems like a religiously accepted mode of existing to transcend gender. Because Khawaja Sira falls under the precepts of Islam, it is therefore tolerated but not necessarily embraced. What is interesting is that because there are rules and traditional codes outlining how a Muslim can be Khawaja Sira, there a good deal of hostility towards the modern Western notion of transgender - referring more to a person who "transitions" from the gender of their birth to a gender they more strongly identify with. One would think that Pakistan's third gender community would be more open and understanding of the West's transgender movement. This is not the case. When a Westerner is traveling in Pakistan and notices a third gender option, the person should not assume Pakistan is a bastion for liberal-minded progressives. Instead, Pakistan is just being Pakistan. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 1:55 PM
A topic to discuss. People who don't agree with the beliefs or rights of people in the LGBTQ community will talk about how this is a new issue. That it is the new generation that is creating these ideas.  But multiple genders and sexualities have been around for hundreds of years in many different ways. There are Native American tribes whose people had "two-spirits". Those people fulfilled the third gender ceremonial roles for their communities. In this story, they discuss Khawaja siras are "God's chosen people", the third gender people who can bless or curse anyone. But "God's chosen people" are also greatly discriminated against in society. You see the contradictions that society puts on people who don't conform to what is supposedly right.
 
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Cultural Meaning in Moving Monuments

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

The protests in Charlottesville, VA in August 2017 were all about Confederate statues, and they were never about monuments all at the same time.  This video from HBO’s Vice news has some f-bombs, but frankly, that isn’t the most disturbing content of this unflinching look into the Alt-Right/White nationalist protests and the subsequent counter-protests.  Despite the graphic display of violence, overt racism, and coarse language, I find the video incredibly illuminating and insightful.  It is hard to sanitize and sugar-coat the facts and still give an accurate portrayal of these events.

As I said, it’s about the statues, but not truly.  At stake is the control over public space and the normative messages within the cultural landscape.  Who decides what history gets etched into our public squares?  What are the meanings within this landscape?  Even 20 years ago, the thought of marshalling political power in Southern cities and states to remove Confederate statues was unthinkable what these symbols meant is different then what they were mean today.  Modern southern politicians are seeing that supporting them vigorously is the new lost cause. Could we have a cultural landscape that has no public memorials to the Confederacy in 25 years?  What would that say about the society that restructured the landscape?  The cultural landscape isn’t just a reflection of society; it also shows political, ethnic, cultural and economic struggles to as “who were are” and what our communal values are continually get remade.

The symbols of the Confederacy have long been venerated by some as symbols of southern heritage, but implicitly a white heritage.  Today, many are seeking to create public spaces that foster an sense of inclusion of African Americans into that definition of “who we are” in the public places.  In May 2017, New Orleans removed some of their Confederate statues, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu gave a powerful speech that contextualizes (one perspective on the) historical meanings embedded in these statues.  I find his perspective to be the most appropriate for a South that respects all of its citizens and honors its past.

FURTHER READING:  Geographer Jonathan Leib gives a fantastic analysis of the competing politics of the juxtaposition of Confederate statues and Arthur Ashe in Richmond, VA.  Some geographers (Derek Alderman and Joshua Inwood) in an op-ed argue that this is the time for the Trump administration to explicitly repudiate white nationalism.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I added some links to this old article to include a fifth example, that of Charlottesville, VA. 

 

Tags: monuments, architecturerace, racism, landscape.

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Matthew Austin's curator insight, September 18, 2017 1:03 AM
This article talks about the cultural significance behind certain monuments, among those being the Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, VA. It provides an interesting context for discussion of the alt right.
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Why 80% of Singaporeans live in government-built flats

Why 80% of Singaporeans live in government-built flats | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Lots of countries show off their public-housing projects, but few are quite as devoted to them as Singapore, where four-fifths of the permanent population live in subsidised units built by the government, most of them as owner-occupiers. The city-state’s suburbs bristle with HDB towers, painted calming pastel hues. This vast national housing system surprises visitors who think of Singapore as a low-tax hub for expatriate bankers and big multinationals. But HDB is a linchpin of economic and social policy and an anchor for the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP), which has led Singapore since independence. It is also a tantalising but tricky model for Singapore’s fast-urbanising neighbours to follow.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Singapore is such a fascinating case study.  Over 90% of the Singapore’s land is owned by the government and the American ideal of independent home ownership is seen as antithetical to cultural norms.  The government heavily subsidies young couples to live near their parents and create tight-knit communities with homelessness was eradicated (that’s the optimists’ perspective).  This is all well and good for young, straight couples that choose to support the ruling political party, but critics often point out that the housing focus has also created a paternalistic component to the government that is much stronger in Singapore than in other countries.  This article nicely goes with the 2017 APHG reading professional development talk entitled “The Geographies of Home” that focused on Singaporean and Japanese examples.    

 

Tag: Singapore, urban, neighborhood, economicplanning, housing, cultural norms.

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Mr Mac's curator insight, July 24, 2017 9:26 AM
Unit 4 - Political, Government; Unit 7 - Urban Spaces, housing, Urban Planning
Cherise Chng's comment, August 27, 2017 9:50 AM
As a young Singaporean, I am really proud of such an unique architecture that is representable of Singapore. These flats, or what we call HDB, provides us with many Singaporeans with a roof over their head despite land scarcity in Singapore. Some HDB flats has a sky garden while majority of the others has a gathering area on the ground floor to provide an opportunity to mingle with our neighbours. It is truly a Singaporean memory to be living in a HDB flat.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 4:10 PM
The amount of people that dont mind living in government homes, or even actually prefer it is  ind blowing to me as an America. The mix of a heavily capitalistic economy but heavily socially involved government is also very  different then the rest of the world. The economic boom in Singapore found around city centers calls for this mass need of compact housing. The Urban growth in Singapore continues to grow at rapid rates. 
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Why do women live longer than men?

Why do women live longer than men? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Despite the social inequality women experience, they live longer than men. This is the case without a single exception, in all countries.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The question “why do women live longer than men?” is both biological and cultural.  This means that 1) gender as a cultural construct that influences behavior is a mitigating factor and 2) sex, as a biochemical issue, is a separate set of determining factors.  Estrogen benefits women because it lowers “bad” cholesterol) and “good” cholesterol, but testosterone does the opposite.  Women are more likely to have chronic diseases, but non-fatal chronic disease, but men are more prone to the more fatal chronic illnesses.  For the cultural reasons, men are less likely to seek treatment, adhere to the prescribed treatment, commit suicide, and engage in more risky behavior.  While these may read like a list of gendered stereotypes that don’t apply to all, when looking at the global data sets, these trends hold  and are more likely to be true.  How masculinity and femininity is constructed certainly shapes many of these factors and deserves some discussion. 

 

Tags: culture, population, mortality, development, cultural norms, statisticsgender

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Why Eating Chinese Food on Christmas Is a Sacred Tradition for American Jews

Why Eating Chinese Food on Christmas Is a Sacred Tradition for American Jews | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"[Jews] will not go to Mile End on Christmas because [they] happened to feel like fried rice; they will go to proudly proclaim their Jewish-American identity. They may or may not enjoy General Tso’s Chicken, but if they are eating it on Christmas, their prime motivation is not the general’s sweet, spicy deliciousness, but rather the knowledge that they are doing something that in some adapted way reinforces their Jewishness."

 

Tags: Judaism, culturecultural norms, food, seasonal.

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The great Korean bat flip mystery

The great Korean bat flip mystery | Geography Education | Scoop.it
MLB's code is clear: Flip your bat and you'll pay. But in South Korea, flips are an art. How does this alternate world exist? And what does it say about us? Writer Mina Kimes trekked across South Korea with illustrator Mickey Duzyj to unravel the mystery.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are unwritten rules in Major League Baseball, or in geographic terms, there are are cultural norms that are informally enforced to maintain homogeneity and to prevent  cultural drift.  Jose Bautista's repuation as a villain has much to do with his rejection of a key MLB unwritten rule--Never 'show up' the pitcher by flipping the bat.  In South Korea, typically a country much more associated with cultural traditions of honor and respect than the United States, bat flipping is much more accepted and common (diffusion plays a role in the story--baseball came to South Korea via Japan).  This is an interesting story about South Korean baseball's cultural norms that might intrigue some sports fans. 

 

Tags: sport, popular culturediffusion, culturecultural norms, South Korea, East Asia.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:39 AM
Baseball is America's pastime. It comes with a long history. If you are a baseball fan you have probably been lectured by an older family member about the history of this great game.  An there is no doubt you have heard about baseball's "unwritten" rules. One of these "rules" is to not show up the pitcher as a batter. One way in which we have seen this the past few seasons and especially a couple of years ago in the playoffs is the bat flip. The bat flip is a major no-no when it comes to baseball in America. However, in Korea it is commonplace. It is very strange to see how the Korean's play the game in such a contrast to the Americans. Korea and East Asia is usually known here in the West a quiet place that holds respect has an utter most importance. However, on the field they like to have fun. The Koreans learned the game from the Japanese when Japan's military held Korea. They learned the game and played the game with passion. The bat flip and other traditions became commonplace and have carried over just like baseball traditions here in America.  Baseball here in America has long look to regain its popularity with the youth and there seems to be  a push by younger players to bring more flare to the game. It has caused arguments among many of its older fans or players. So maybe we will see this Korean tradition used more in America soon, but for now it will remain controversial. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 20, 2018 12:11 PM
The unwritten rules of baseball are not static. They change from country to country and are influenced by the values and norm of the society in which the game is played. In South Korea, bat flips are seen as a way to celebrate your success at the plate. Also, it lends a feeling of individuality that rarely presents itself in a culture that values conformity over individuality. This mentality is totally different than in America where a bat flip is seen as disrespectful and showing up the opposing pitcher. In American baseball, the team is valued more than the individual, so if you act out to celebrate individual success, then you will face consequences the next time you come to the plate.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 4:05 PM
First off who thinks of baseball in South Korea? I am not a huge baseball fan, but I do know that if you flip the bat in the MLB next time you're up to bat the pitcher will remember and you'll have a new baseball-sized bruise. Interestingly in the individualistic U.S. it is for all intents and purposes prohibited,  while in a very collective and respectful society such as South Korea you are expected to make a spectacle out of it. Cultures do many things differently and some subvert expectations. 
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What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter

What assimilation means to the 'taco trucks on every corner' Trump supporter | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Marco Gutierrez, founder of Latinos for Trump, explains his view of immigration and assimilation to the US.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm NOT trying to use this platform to advance any partisan political agenda, but I think this brings up some very interesting narratives that are used when discussing migration and culture, which becomes a political 'hot-button' topic.  There is often cultural pressure on the migrant to assimilate into the host culture (or at least acculturate to a certain degree).  This larger national discussion centers on whether cultural assimilation should be expected of migrants and how much cultural diffusion the host culture will be receiving from the migrants.

 

Questions to Ponder: How are cultural norms placed on migrants?  What are some recent examples of migrants not wanting to assimilate that have led to political tension?    

 

Tags: culture migration, political.

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For First Time In 130 Years, More Young Adults Live With Parents Than With Partners

For First Time In 130 Years, More Young Adults Live With Parents Than With Partners | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For the first time in more than 130 years, Americans ages 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than in any other living situation, according to a new analysis by the Pew Research Center.  Less educated young adults are also more likely to live with their parents than are their college-educated counterparts — no surprise, Pew notes, given the financial prospects in today's economy.  Black and Hispanic young people, compared with white people, are in the same situation.  But the overall trend is the same for every demographic group — living with parents is increasingly common.  Still, young Americans are still less likely to live with their parents than their European counterparts, Pew says.

Seth Dixon's insight:

I find that the best statistics have great explanatory power, make sense when placed in the right context, and STILL manage to leave you amazed.  These stats fit that bill for me and as the school year is ending, it's a milestone that doesn't mean what it did for generations past.  32.1% of young adults in the U.S live with parents, and 48.1% of young adults in the European Union Union live with parents.   

 

Questions to Ponder: What are some contributing factors to this trend in the United States and Europe?  What does this say about housing costs, economic, and cultural conditions? 

 

Tags: socioeconomic, housingstatisticspopulation, cultural norms, culture.

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Photos capture hermits who have escaped society to live peacefully in the wild

Photos capture hermits who have escaped society to live peacefully in the wild | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At certain moments we all feel the desire to escape from it all. Even if it’s only a brief walk or a long drive through the countryside, there is truly no greater companion than ourselves.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the past, those that didn't 'fit' the normative regulations of society or didn't want to fit them could withdraw from society to the margins. Modern society (taxation requirements, documentation, increased population density, private land ownership, urbanization, etc.) makes retreat from society much more difficult today. Some retreat while among us; homelessness has a great distance from social networks, even if not a spatial distance from city centers. I’m not trying to romanticize the past, because I am sure that retreating from society hundreds of years ago would certainly be fraught with peril and layered with tremendous difficulties. 

Collectively, we have especially demonized women that pull back for societal connections (the idea of the lone ‘witch’ is loaded with negative cultural connotations). Many of these individuals seek a different human and environmental interaction, and feel a stronger connection to the land and animals than they do human society.  Some with mental health issues find that societal interactions exacerbate their problems while can solitude and a more physical landscape can offer peace of mind and happiness.  I don’t have any answers, but wanted to think about individualistic and isolationist geographies of those that don’t feel at odds in large groups and contemporary society.  

 

Tags: mobility, housing, cultural normsenvironment, culture.

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