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People and Places

Cultural Geography

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Reading List
AP prep

Language...Religion...Ethnicity

Understanding the components and regional variations of cultural patterns and processes is critical to human geography. 
In examining culture we learn how geographers assess the spatial and place dimensions of cultural groups as defined by language, religion, race, ethnicity, and gender, in the present as well as the past.

A central concern is to comprehend how culture patterns are repre­sented at a variety of geographic scales from local to global. Diffusion is a key concept in understanding how cultural trails (for example, agricultural practices and language) move through time and space to new locations. The concept of region is central to the spatial distribution of cultural attributes,

We also explore cultural differences at various scales according to language, religion, ethnicity, and gender. The geographies of language and religion are studied to illustrate processes of cultural diffusion and cultural differences. For example, we learn to distinguish between languages and dialects; ethnic and universalizing religions; and popular and folk cultures, and to understand why each has a different geographic pattern.

An important emphasis of the course is the way culture shapes human—environment relationships. For example, religion can influence environmental perception and modification. The differential impact on environment of traditional folk cultures versus popular cultures is studied, as is the significance of environment in relation to social customs and cultural landscapes.

We also come to understand how culture is expressed in land­scapes, and how landscapes in turn represent cultural identity. Built environments enable the geographer to interpret cultural values, tastes, and sets of beliefs. For example, both folk and contemporary architecture are rich and readily available means of comprehending cultures and changes in landscapes

Ethnicity

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Ethnicity Facts
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World Religions
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Lapierre, Dominique. City of Joy. Doubleday, October 1985.

This book deals with the culture of the poor in India. Likewise, it gives a clear picture of agricultural life and the impact of religion on day-to-day life in India.

Religion Facts
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Languages Around the World

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French Language Learning Sites
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Language Facts
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