Cultural Geography
WG.3c, 10b-c
Cultural Characteristics
 Cultural characteristics are
parts of a groups everyday life.
They are the ideas and themes
which the group will teach to all
members. These same
characteristics can also link or
divide a region.
 Examples of cultural
characteristics would be
language, religion, and
ethnic heritage
Examples of cultural
characteristics
 Language
Arabic unites the Arab world
Spanish unites the Hispanic
world
Brazil is the only South
American nation which
does not speak Spanish.
It speaks Portuguese.
Canada is a bilingual
nation. French and
English is its official
language.
Examples of cultural
characteristics
Switzerland has multiple
languages but very little
conflict between the groups
English is now considered the
world language and is used
for most business
transactions around the world
Examples of cultural
characteristics
 Ethnic Heritage
In Yugoslavia, many ethnic
groups were made into one
country (Serbs, Croats,
Bosnians, Albanians).
When strong leadership
died out, the different
groups fought a very
bloody civil war and now
they all have separate
countries
Examples of cultural
characteristics
In the countries of Rwanda
and Burundi in Africa, Two
ethnic groups are dominate,
the Tutsis and the Hutus.
 The Hutus are dominate in
one and they persecute the
Tutsis, and the Tutsis are
dominate in the other
and they persecute the
Hutus. It has led to
almost constant war
between the groups.
Examples of cultural
characteristics
The United States and
Switzerland have peacefully
merged multiple ethnic groups
in their countries.
Korea and Japan have
primarily one ethnic group
On the island of Cyprus,
the Greeks and the Turks
try to gain control
Examples of cultural
characteristics
 Religion can be both a unifying
force.
 There are five major religions in
the world today--Hinduism,
Buddhism, Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam.
 They have millions of
followers all believing the
same thing.
Examples of cultural
characteristics
 Religion can also be a dividing
force around the world.
Hindus and Muslims fight in
India (Hindu) and Pakistan
(Muslim)
There are conflicts
between Catholics and
Protestants (two forms of
Christianity) in Northern
Ireland
Jews, Christians and Muslims all
claim Jerusalem as their
religions holy site. They are
constantly fighting over the land
Spatial divisions
 Spatial divisions are how we
divide the livable space found
on the earth by establishing
social, economic, and political
control.
 You can be a member of
more than one spatial
group.
 Spatial divisions can also
cause conflicts or
cooperation
Spatial divisions
 Examples of Spatial
Divisions-Countries
Economic alliances
European Union (EU)
Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Examples of Spatial Divisions
Economic Alliances cont.
North America Free
Trade Agreement
(NAFTA)
Association of
Southeast Asian Nations
Spatial divisions
 Examples of Spatial
Divisions
Political alliances
North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO)
Commonwealth of Nations
Organization of American
States (OAS)
Examples of Spatial
Divisions
Political alliances cont.
League of Arab States
African Union (AU)
Spatial divisions
 Reasons for spatial divisions
differences in culture,
language, or religion
keeping of historical
boundaries
imperial conquest and control
economic similarities and
differences
Reasons for spatial division
conflicts
Boundary and territorial
disputes--Syria/Israel,
Western Sahara/Morocco,
China/Taiwan, India/Pakistan,
Iraq/Kuwait
Reasons for spatial division
conflicts
Cultural differences
(language and religion)-Indonesia, Canada
(Quebec), Ireland, Sudan
Nationalism--(the belief that
your nation is superior to all
others)
Reasons for spatial division
conflicts
Economic differences-fertile land, access to fresh
water, access to the coast,
fishing rights, natural
resources, different
economic philosophies
Reasons for spatial division
conflicts
Ethnic differences--Balkans
(Europe), Cyprus (Europe),
Rwanda and Burundi (Africa),
Kashmir (India)
Examples of Cooperation
Humanitarian--Red Cross,
Red Crescent
Economic Alliances-NAFTA, Law of the Sea,
multinational corporations,
OPEC
Examples of Cooperation
 Cultural Alliances--French
speaking world,
Commonwealth of Nations
 Military Alliances--NATO
 Problem-solving Alliances-United Nations (UN), Antarctica
Treaty
Examples of Cooperation
 Programs to promote
international understanding-Peace Corps
Foreign Aid
Alliances for environmental
preservation
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Cultural Geography