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Unformatted text preview: Week 4.3 Thinking about the relationship between people and the environment Environmental Determinism Definition: A doctrine holding that human activities are controlled by the environment Explanation: Physical attributes of geographical settings are the root not simply of peoples physical differences but also the cause of economic, social and cultural differentiation The environment, not social conditions determines culture Nature causes cultural difference by providing varying conditions under which cultures grow Used to support theories of natural superiority Example: tropical inertia: The belief that tropical climates cause laziness, relaxed attitudes and promiscuity What is Nature? How would you define it? Please take a few minutes to think about your view of nature. Feel free to discuss your ideas with your peers. What is Nature? Textbook definitions: (a) is a social creation as much as it is the physical universe that includes human beings (b) not only an object, it is a reflection of society in that philosophies, belief systems, and ideologies shape the way people think about and use nature Different Views of Nature (Cronon) 1. nature as a nave reality 2. nature as a moral imperative a pastoral landscape? a pristine wilderness? a swamp? 3. Nature as Eden 4. nature as virtual reality 5. nature as artifice, nature as self conscious cultural construction 6. nature as a commodity 7. nature as a demonic other, nature as avenging angel, and nature as the return of the repressed 8. contested terrain Week 5.1 Thinking about culture Definitions ..Culture: ..the body of customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits that together constitute a group of peoples distinct tradition ..A shared set of meanings that are lived through the material and symbolic practices of everyday life ..Cultural hearths: ..The geographic origins or sources of innovation, ideas, or ideologies ..Cultural trait: ..A single aspect of the complex routine practices that constitute a particular cultural group ..Cultural Complex: ..Combination of traits characteristic of a particular group ..Cultural System: ..a collection of interacting elements that taken together shape a groups collective identity Cultural region: . The areas within which a particular cultural system prevails . Cultural Landscape: . a characteristic and tangible outcome of the complex interactions between a human group and a natural environment . Cultural Geography: . how space, place, and landscape shape culture at the same time that culture shapes space, place, and landscape An interest in origins and diffusion Differences between Folk and Popular Culture Folk traditionally practiced primarily bysmall, homogeneous groups living in isolated rural areas (immobile) Self-sufficiency Heavy emphasis on family or clan structure and highly developed rituals Face-to-Face Simple technology Division of labor is slight Tradition is paramount change...
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2008 for the course HIST 3715 taught by Professor Dwmurphree during the Fall '07 term at Virginia Tech.
- Fall '07