Culture is the total way of life that characterizes a group of people. There are thousands of cultures on Earth today and each contributes to global diversity. There are so many ways that Earth’s billions of people can be culturally different. Specifically, a culture consists of numerous cultural components that vary from one culture group to the next.
Some Cultural Parameters
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CONCEPTS OF CULTURAL GEOGRAPHY
Because of the innumerable cultural differences that characterize people and land the world over, there is a subfield of geography devoted to the study of culture— named cultural geography.
A culture region is a portion of Earth’s surface that has common cultural elements and has distinct cultural authority from other regions.
Culture regions, like cultures themselves, display considerable variety. For starters, any number of cultural components may be used to define culture regions. A map of world religions, for example, includes a shaded area in South Asia where Hinduism is dominant .
When someone see the words Hindu culture region, he or she may logically infer that only Hindus live there. But that is not true. The region also is home to millions of Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, and other non-Hindus. Culture regions exhibit a certain diversity—their titles identify a dominant characteristic but do not necessarily mean that everybody who lives there shares that characteristic. One should understand that diversity typically exists within a culture region through the use of specific examples, to avoid making logical assumptions that are nevertheless wrong.
Culture regions differ greatly in size. Some are exceedingly large, like the Islamic culture region that encompasses millions of square miles of North Africa and Southwest Asia. Some are very small, like Spanish Harlem, which encompasses about two square miles of Manhattan. Many others are of intermediate size, like the Corn Belt, which occupies a portion of the midwestern United States.
Culture regions can be found in urban, suburban, or rural settings. Many cities contain ethnic neighborhoods. Basically, these are urban culture regions whose borders are defined by the locations of specific cultural communities. Different cities around the world have ethnic mixes.Urban fringes the world over also exhibit cultural differences.
Rural parts of the world may differ on the basis of language, religion, or some other cultural component as agriculture type or dominant crop. Rural culture regions may be dominated by cattle ranches, rice fields, banana plantations, or some other form of agriculture.
Cultural diffusion is the spread of culture and the factors that account for it, such as migration, communications, trade, and commerce Generally, culture traits originate in a particular area and spread outward, ultimately to characterize a larger expanse of territory. Culture region describes the location of culture traits or cultural communities; cultural diffusion helps explain how they got there.
Cultural Landscapes have been defined by the World Heritage Committee as “cultural properties … representing]the combined works of nature and of man”.
The World Heritage Committee has identified and adopted three categories of cultural landscape, ranging from (i) those landscapes most deliberately ‘shaped’ by people, through (ii) full range of ‘combined’ works, to (iii) those least evidently ‘shaped’ by people (yet highly valued). The three categories extracted from the Committee’s Operational Guidelines, are as follows:
(i) “a landscape designed and created intentionally by man”;
(ii) an “organically evolved landscape” which may be a “relict (or fossil) landscape” or a “continuing landscape”;
(iii) an “associative cultural landscape” which may be valued because of the “religious, artistic or cultural associations of the natural element”
Cultural interaction focuses on the relationships that often exist between cultural components that characterize a given community. When geographers seek to explain why a particular culture trait is found in a particular area, they often discover that the answer lies in another trait possessed by that same cultural community. This demonstrates that cultural components may be interrelated.
Cultural interaction focuses on the relationships that often exist between cultural components that characterize a given community. Different factors interact with each other and give rise to prevalent trait.When we geographers ask why a particular culture trait is found in a particular area, it is often discovered that the answer lies in another trait possessed by that same community.
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