Ch 1-11.docx - 1 Geography An Exploration of Connections...

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1 Geography: An Exploration of Connections GEOGRAPHIC THEMES After you read this chapter, you will be able to discuss the following geographic themes as they relate to the five thematic concepts: 1. 1. Environment: Humans are altering the planet at an unprecedented rate, causing sometimes drastic effects on ecosystems and the climate. Multiple environmental factors often interact to influence the vulnerability of a location to the impacts of climate change. These vulnerabilities have a spatial pattern. 2. 2. Globalization and Development: Global flows of information, goods, and people are transforming patterns of economic development. Local self-sufficiency is giving way to global interdependence as people and places are increasingly becoming connected, sometimes across vast distances. 3. 3. Power and Politics: There are major differences across the world in the ways that power is wielded in societies. Modes of governing that are more authoritarian are based on the power of the state or community leaders. Modes that are based on notions of political freedom and democracy give the general public greater power over themselves and more of a role in deciding how policies are developed and governments are run. There are also many other ways of managing political power. 4. 4. Urbanization: The development of manufacturing and service economies has taken place largely in cities, drawing people from the countryside into urban areas. Many of these new urbanites were displaced by the mechanization of agriculture in rural areas, which drastically reduced the need for agricultural labor and left people with no means of support and a reduced access to food. 5. 5. Population and Gender: Population growth is slowing across the world for a number of reasons. Chief among these are urbanization and the lifestyle changes that it brings; the contraction of agricultural labor as a result of the mechanization of farming; and perhaps most important, the increasing numbers of women who are delaying childbearing as they pursue educational and work opportunities outside the home. The availability of birth control is an important contributing factor in determining success in family planning. FIGURE 1.1 Regions of the world. WHERE IS IT? WHY IS IT THERE? WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Where are you? You may be in a house or a library or sitting under a tree on a fine fall afternoon. You are probably in a community (perhaps a college or university), and you are in a country (perhaps the United States) and a region of the world (perhaps North America, Southeast Asia, or the Pacific). Why are you where you are? Some answers are immediate, such as “I have an assignment to read.” Other explanations are more complex, such as your belief in the value of an education, your career plans, and your or someone’s willingness to sacrifice to pay your tuition.

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