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Cultural geography is a subfield within
human geography Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of that is associated and deals with humans and their relationships with communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across loca ...
. Though the first traces of the study of different nations and cultures on
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
can be dated back to ancient geographers such as
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
or
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, cultural geography as academic study firstly emerged as an alternative to the environmental determinist theories of the early 20th century, which had believed that people and societies are controlled by the
environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism or ...

environment
in which they develop.Peet, Richard; 1990; Modern Geographical Thought; Blackwell Rather than studying pre-determined regions based upon environmental classifications, cultural geography became interested in
cultural landscape Cultural landscape is a term used in the fields of geography, ecology, and heritage studies, to describe a symbiosis of human activity and environment. As defined by the World Heritage Site, World Heritage Committee, it is the "cultural properti ...
s. This was led by the "father of cultural geography"
Carl O. Sauer Carl Ortwin Sauer (December 24, 1889 – July 18, 1975) was an American geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist and humanist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human soc ...
of the
University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or California) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the University of California ...

University of California, Berkeley
. As a result, cultural geography was long dominated by
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
writers. Geographers drawing on this tradition see cultures and societies as developing out of their local landscapes but also shaping those landscapes.Sauer, Carl; 1925; The Morphology of Landscape This interaction between the
natural landscape A natural landscape is the original landscape that exists before it is acted upon by human culture. The natural landscape and the cultural landscape are separate parts of the landscape. However, in the 21st century, landscapes that are totally u ...

natural landscape
and humans creates the
cultural landscape Cultural landscape is a term used in the fields of geography, ecology, and heritage studies, to describe a symbiosis of human activity and environment. As defined by the World Heritage Site, World Heritage Committee, it is the "cultural properti ...
. This understanding is a foundation of cultural geography but has been augmented over the past forty years with more nuanced and complex concepts of culture, drawn from a wide range of disciplines including
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the scie ...
, literary theory, and
feminism Feminism is a range of s and that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social . Feminism incorporates the position that societies prioritize the male point of view, and that women are treated unjustly within ...

feminism
. No single definition of culture dominates within cultural geography. Regardless of their particular interpretation of culture, however, geographers wholeheartedly reject theories that treat culture as if it took place "on the head of a pin".


Overview

Some of the topics within the field of study are
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which ha ...

globalization
has been theorised as an explanation for cultural convergence. This geography studies the geography of culture * Theories of
cultural hegemony In Marxist philosophy, cultural hegemony is the Dominance hierarchy, dominance of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society—the beliefs and explanations, perceptions, Value system, values, and mor ...
or
cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer in numbers than the main gro ...
via
cultural imperialism Cultural imperialism, also called cultural colonialism, comprises the cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs ...
* Cultural areal differentiation, as a study of differences in way of life encompassing ideas, attitudes, languages, practices, institutions and structures of power and whole range of cultural practices in geographical areas. * Study of
cultural landscape Cultural landscape is a term used in the fields of geography, ecology, and heritage studies, to describe a symbiosis of human activity and environment. As defined by the World Heritage Site, World Heritage Committee, it is the "cultural properti ...
s and
cultural ecology Cultural ecology is the study of human adaptations to social and physical environments. Human adaptation refers to both biological and cultural processes that enable a population to survive and reproduce within a given or changing environment. This ...
. * Other topics include
sense of place The term sense of place has been used in many different ways. It is a multidimensional, complex construct used to characterize the relationship between people and spatial settings. It is a characteristic that some geographic places Place may ref ...
,
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
,
post-colonialism Postcolonialism is the critical Critical or Critically may refer to: *Critical, or critical but stable, medical state Medical state is a term used to describe a hospital A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with ...
, internationalism,
immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...

immigration
,
emigration Emigration is the act of leaving a resident country or place of residence with the intent to settle elsewhere (to permanently leave a country). Conversely, immigration Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination ...
and
ecotourism Ecotourism is a form of tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, ...
.


History

Though the first traces of the study of different nations and cultures on
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
can be dated back to ancient geographers such as
Ptolemy Claudius Ptolemy (; grc-koi, Κλαύδιος Πτολεμαῖος, , ; la, Claudius Ptolemaeus; AD) was a mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes ...
or
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, cultural geography as academic study firstly emerged as an alternative to the environmental determinist theories of the early Twentieth century, which had believed that people and societies are controlled by the
environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism or ...

environment
in which they develop. Rather than studying pre-determined regions based upon environmental classifications, cultural geography became interested in
cultural landscape Cultural landscape is a term used in the fields of geography, ecology, and heritage studies, to describe a symbiosis of human activity and environment. As defined by the World Heritage Site, World Heritage Committee, it is the "cultural properti ...
s. This was led by
Carl O. Sauer Carl Ortwin Sauer (December 24, 1889 – July 18, 1975) was an American geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist and humanist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human soc ...
(called the father of cultural geography), at the
University of California, Berkeley The University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal, or California) is a public university, public land-grant university, land-grant research university in Berkeley, California. Established in 1868 as the University of California ...

University of California, Berkeley
. As a result, cultural geography was long dominated by
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...

American
writers. Sauer defined the landscape as the defining unit of geographic study. He saw that cultures and societies both developed out of their landscape, but also shaped them too. This interaction between the
natural landscape A natural landscape is the original landscape that exists before it is acted upon by human culture. The natural landscape and the cultural landscape are separate parts of the landscape. However, in the 21st century, landscapes that are totally u ...

natural landscape
and humans creates the
cultural landscape Cultural landscape is a term used in the fields of geography, ecology, and heritage studies, to describe a symbiosis of human activity and environment. As defined by the World Heritage Site, World Heritage Committee, it is the "cultural properti ...
. Sauer's work was highly qualitative and descriptive and was challenged in the 1930s by the
regional geography Regional geography is a major branch of geography. It focuses on the interaction of different cultural and natural geofactors in a specific land or landscape, while its counterpart, systematic geography, concentrates on a specific geofactor at the ...
of Richard Hartshorne. Hartshorne called for systematic analysis of the elements that varied from place to place, a project taken up by the
quantitative revolution The quantitative revolution (QR) .html" ;"title="/sup>">/sup> was a paradigm shift that sought to develop a more rigorous and systematic methodology for the discipline of geography. It came as a response to the inadequacy of regional geography to ...
. Cultural geography was sidelined by the positivist tendencies of this effort to make geography into a
hard science Hard science and soft science are colloquial Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in con ...
although writers such as
David Lowenthal David Lowenthal (26 April 1923 – 15 September 2018) was an American historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies an ...
continued to write about the more subjective, qualitative aspects of landscape. In the 1970s, new kind of critique of positivism in geography directly challenged the deterministic and abstract ideas of quantitative geography. A revitalized cultural geography manifested itself in the engagement of geographers such as
Yi-Fu Tuan Yi-Fu Tuan (Traditional Chinese: 段義孚, born December 5, 1930) is a Chinese-American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United ...
and
Edward Relph Edward "Ted" Relph is a Canadian geographer, best known for the book ''Place and Placelessness''. Career Relph grew up in Wales in the Wye Valley and studied at the Joint School of Geography at the University of London and at the University of T ...
and Anne Buttimer with
humanism Humanism is a philosophical stance that emphasizes the value and agency of human beings, individually and collectively. The meaning of the term ''humanism'' has fluctuated according to the successive intellectual movements which have ident ...

humanism
,
phenomenology Phenomenology may refer to: * Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences * An empirical relationship or phenomenological model * Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and the ...
, and
hermeneutics Hermeneutics () is the theory and methodology Methodology is the study of research methods, or, more formally, "'a contextual framework' for research, a coherent and logical scheme based on views, beliefs, and values, that guides the choi ...
. This break initiated a strong trend in human geography toward Post-positivism that developed under the label "new cultural geography" while deriving methods of systematic social and cultural critique from
critical geography Critical geography is theoretically informed geographical scholarship that promotes social justice, Emancipation, liberation, and Left-wing politics, leftist politics. Critical geography is also used as an umbrella term for Marxist ...
.


Ongoing evolution of cultural geography

Since the 1980s, a "new cultural geography" has emerged, drawing on a diverse set of theoretical traditions, including
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
political-economic models,
feminist theory Feminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical, fictional, or Philosophy, philosophical discourse. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women's and men's Gender role, social roles, experiences, intere ...
,
post-colonial theory Postcolonialism is the critical academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the a ...
,
post-structuralism Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical, theoretical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism In sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns o ...
and
psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis (from Greek language, Greek: + ) is a set of Theory, theories and Therapy, therapeutic techniques"What is psychoanalysis? Of course, one is supposed to answer that it is many things — a theory, a research method, a therapy, a bo ...

psychoanalysis
. Drawing particularly from the theories of
Michel Foucault Paul-Michel Foucault (, ; ; 15 October 192625 June 1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas Intellectual history (also the history of ideas) is the study of the history of human thought and of intellectual An intellectual is a ...

Michel Foucault
and
performativity Performativity is the concept that language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing system comp ...
in western academia, and the more diverse influences of
postcolonial theory Postcolonialism is the critical academic study of the cultural legacy of colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the a ...
, there has been a concerted effort to the cultural in order to reveal that power relations are fundamental to spatial processes and
sense of place The term sense of place has been used in many different ways. It is a multidimensional, complex construct used to characterize the relationship between people and spatial settings. It is a characteristic that some geographic places Place may ref ...
. Particular areas of interest are how
identity politics Identity politics is a political approach wherein people of a particular gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of at ...
are organized in space and the construction of subjectivity in particular places. Examples of areas of study include: * Feminist geography * Children's geographies * Some parts of
tourism geography Tourism geography is the study of travel Travel is the movement of people between distant geographical locations. Travel can be done by foot, bicycle, automobile A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportatio ...
*
Behavioral geography Behavioral geography is an approach to human geography Image:Snow-cholera-map-1.jpg, upright=1.2, Original map by John Snow showing the Cluster (epidemiology), clusters of cholera cases in the London epidemic of 1854, which is a classical case of u ...
* Sexuality and space * Some more recent developments in
political geography Political geography is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms o ...
* Music geography Some within the ''new cultural geography'' have turned their attention to critiquing some of its ideas, seeing its views on identity and space as static. It has followed the critiques of Foucault made by other '
poststructuralist Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical, theoretical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism, the intellectual project that preceded it. Though post-structuralists all present differe ...
' theorists such as
Michel de Certeau * Fred Michel - 1898 - 1967 Composer of traditional South African folk song “ Suikerbossie “ Translated to English ( Sugarbush )by Josef Marais. Eve Boswell in 1955 and sang to the Queen of UK Michel may refer to: * Michel (name), a given name ...
and
Gilles Deleuze Gilles Deleuze (; ; 18 January 1925 – 4 November 1995) was a French philosopher who, from the early 1950s until his death in 1995, wrote on philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such a ...

Gilles Deleuze
. In this area, non-representational geography and
population mobilityGeographic mobility is the measure of how populations and goods move over time. Geographic mobility, population mobility, or more simply mobility is also a statistic that measures migration within a population. Commonly used in demography and human ...
research have dominated. Others have attempted to incorporate these and other critiques back into the new cultural geography. Groups within the geography community have differing views on the role of culture and how to analyze it in the context of geography. It is commonly thought that physical geography simply dictates aspects of culture such as shelter, clothing and cuisine. However, systematic development of this idea is generally discredited as
environmental determinism Environmental determinism (also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism) is the study of how the physical environment predisposes societies and states towards particular development trajectories. Many scholars underscore that thi ...
. Geographers are now more likely to understand culture as a set of symbolic resources that help people make sense of the world around them, as well as a manifestation of the power relations between various groups and the structure through which
social change Social change involves alteration of the social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntingt ...
is constrained and enabled. There are many ways to look at what culture means in light of various geographical insights, but in general geographers study how cultural processes involve spatial patterns and processes while requiring the existence and maintenance of particular kinds of places.


Journals

Academic
peer review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may r ...
ed journals which are primarily focused on cultural geography or which contain articles that contribute to the area. *
Journal of Cultural Geography
' *
Antipode
' *
Area
' *
cultural geographies
' *

' *
Geography Compass (Cultural Geography Section)
' *
Social & Cultural Geography
' *
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
'


Learned societies and groups


Social and Cultural Geography Research Group
of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Cultural Geography Specialty Group
of the
Association of American Geographers The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a non-profit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collec ...

Cultural Geography Study Group
of the Institute of Australian Geographers.


See also

*
Cultural area In anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including norms and values. studies how language in ...
*
Environmental determinism Environmental determinism (also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism) is the study of how the physical environment predisposes societies and states towards particular development trajectories. Many scholars underscore that thi ...
* Possibilism (geography)


References


Further reading

* Carter, George F. ''Man and the Land. A Cultural Geography''. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1964. * Tuan, Yi-Fu. 2004. "Centennial Forum: Cultural Geography: Glances Backward and Forward". Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 94 (4): 729-733. {{DEFAULTSORT:Cultural Geography