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The Concept of Cultural Geography

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To come to the conclusion whether or not San Antonio is a good city, we must first look at what a good city truly means to us. We all have separate beliefs and values, but of course we must all have a few similar essential rules when it comes to determining good cities from the bad. We must indefinitely feel safe in the place we are located, as well as for the most part comfortable. We should be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while also having access to multitudes of shops, restaurants, emergency services, outlets and other common places that can be found in the world wherever we live (although that could be a personal belief as well).Another important aspect of the places people live in is the culture. We must be aware of the demographics of the area and what influences could possibly be there. Culture is the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. The study of the relationship between place and culture is Cultural Geography. This study examines cultural values, practices, cultural diversity, how cultures are distributed across space, how people make sense of places, how people produce and communicate knowledge, and much more. According to the Introduction, Cultural Geography “Raises questions about how we live in, experience, and shape a particular environment, about what living in and reshaping the environment means to us, and about how that environment (and thus our relationship to it) is changing in various ways.”

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Cultural Geography also has to do with how the many cultures connect and originate throughout the world and other smaller communities. It is a subfield of Human Geography. The geographic landscape can shape a culture in many different ways. One way could be the materials that are accessible in that area. For example, Hawaii and other islands in Polynesia formed from volcanoes and therefore had no metals to build weapons or advanced technologies. So, they lived off of what they had and made weapons out of wood and teeth of animals. Food can also be influenced through cultural geography in cases such as many indigenous fruits and trees in certain countries or areas of the world. Corn grown in the Americas was not always accessible to those countries out of the western world and that affected the ways that the Native Americans farmed and planted crops. Weather is another gigantic influence on cultural geography, like the hot weather and sun in Egypt influenced their religion and the certain gods they praised, or what types of houses they built, while in other places the sun really has no value since it is not seen as such a necessity because the temperatures are not as harsh as the climate in Egypt. Another example is the importance of religion in some areas versus others. Say an immigrant moved here in Texas from a Middle Eastern country where they practiced a different religion, which requires them to pray quite often or wear certain clothes. It would be harder for them to fit time in for everything and be viewed like us, for we do not have the same norms they have in the Middle East. Texans could also interfere with comfort and safeness of the individual and possibly discriminate the immigrant. This shows us why some people choose to stay where they are from and how cultures can be so different and may have a hard time interacting with each other. The introduction supports this claim with the quote, “Cultural Geographies can be highly contested, for the very simple reason that what makes a good city for one group of people can in turn make that city alienating or dangerous for another.”

Cultural Geography not only studies how the physical world interacts with and determines cultures, but it also shows us why we interact in certain ways and how other cultures can affect and influence our own. The importance of Cultural Geography is immense and can answer the questions we may have for ourselves and the entirely for the world.

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