Human Geography

human geography
study of spatial organization of human activity and of peoples relationships with their environments
world regions
large scale geographic divisions based on continental and physiographic settings that contain major groupings of peoples with broadly similar cultural attributes
supranational organizations

collections of individual states with common goal that may be economic and/or political in nature and that dimish individual state sovereignty in favor of the group interests of the membership..NAFTA

** help to diminish state sovereignty in favor of group interests**

increasing interconnectedness of different parts of the world through common processes of economic, environmental, political, and cultural change
hyperglobalist view
open markets and free trade will promote democracy and human rights, end nation-state and denationalization of economies, decrease national gov’t influence and increase liberalism
neoliberal policies
economic policies that are predicated on a minimalist role for the state; free markets
skeptical view
nat’l gov’t is essential to regulation of int’l economic activity; regionalization instead of globalization world less integrated than it was b/c europe, n.a, japan, rule world economy and limit others involvment
transformationalist view
globalization is leading to increasing social stratification, 3 tiered system “elites, embattled, marginalizted”, increase wealth disparities, believe in interconnectivity
a form of economic and social organization characterized by the profit motive and the control of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of goods by private ownership
spatial analysis
studying geographic phenomena in terms of their arrangement as points, lines, areas, or surfaces on a map
geographic information systems (GIS)
organized set of computer hardware, software, and spatially coded data that is designed to capture, store, update, manipulate, and display geographically referenced information

often nominal, expressed in terms of the names given to regions and places; can also be an absolute concept

latitude…parallel to equator

longitude…east/west from prime meridian

site..physical attributes

situation…location in realation to other places

cognitive…mental maps


absolute: physical measure (miles)

relative: terms of time, effort, cost

formal region

groups of areal units that have a high degree of homogeneity

ex. religion, income

functional region
(nodal region) while there may be some variety in attributes, there is an overall coherance to the structure and dynamic of economy, politics, and social
sense of place
feelings evoked among people resulting from the experiences/memories they associate with the place and to the symbolism they attach to it
symbolic landscapes
represent particular values or aspirations that the builders and financers of those landscapes want to portray
ordinary landscapes
“vernacular landscapes”..everyday landscapes that people create in lives together, influence and change perceptions, values, behaviors of those living in it

taken for granted pattern/context for everyday living that people do unconsciously

ex. vocab, dress, gestures…helps everyday sense of place

shared meanings that are derived from the lived experience of everyday practices
geographical imagination
allows us to understand changing patterns, processes, and relationships among people, places, regions

economic/political strategies by which powerful states indirectly manifest/extend influence over other areas of people

*transnational corporations

environmental determinism

belief that social/cultural differences between human groups can ultimately be traced to differences in physical environment

land shapes hot climate = lazy people

idea that ones own race/culture superior to otheres
deliberate exercise of military power and economic influence by powerful states in order to advance/secure nat’l interests..control over foreign places
Berlin Conference-1885

Scramble for Africa…carve up continent of Africa and disperse among countries to avoid war

*capitalism drives colonialism in Africa

*redrew map of Africa while disregarding human geography of it already existing

Core Regions

regions that dominate trade, control the most advanced technology, highly productive/diverse economy

*dominance depends on exploiting other regions

*wealthy countries…US, W. Euro, Japan

Peripheral Regions

dependant/disadvantageous trade relationships, obsolete technology, undeveloped or narrowly specialized economy

*most of world

*domianted by core region via neo-colonialism/imperialism

semi-peripheral regions

regions that are able to exploit peripheral regions but are themselves dominated and exploited by core regions

ex. Mexico

society with single cultural base and reciprocal social economy — specialization and freely giving leftober to to others who reciprocate
world system
interdependant set of countries linked by political and economic competition
physical settlement in new territory of people from colonizing state
law of diminishing returns
productivity decrease with  increase of capital/labor
system of practical and theoretical knowledge about making distinctive visual representations of Earth’s surface in forms of maps
deliberate exercise of military power and economic influence by powerful states in order to advance and secure their national interests
establishment and maintenence of political and legal domination by a state over a seperate and alien society..economic exploitation
commodity chain

network of labor and production processes where end result = commodity

*often entirely internal to global operations of transnational corps.



environmental determinism
human activity controlled by environment, physical attributes of geographical settings are the root of physical differences (skin color, stature) and peoples economic vitality, cultural activity, and social structure
dual colonialism
2 levels..Belgians = colonial rulers of Nation BUT Tutsi’s = superior to Hutu, racial heirarchy
identity card

census when Belgians came to power

*earned card based on ethnicity/RACE

*saw Tutsi as superior -“more white”

*social construction

Hutu Manifesto

Rwanda needs to become democratic, majority rule

preparing their supporters for a future political conflict to be conducted entirely on ethnic lines

April 6, 1994

Plane carrying Hutu President shot down

*started genocide


Hutu extremist militia

*training camps for 3 weeks on how to mass kill

Tutsi Militia

85% population, come from S&W, farmers..crops

under Tutsi from dual colonialism

12% population, come from N&E, “upper class” cattle farmers
1% population, “pigme”, natives, hunters/gatherers
study of characteristics of human populations
straightforward count of # of people in country, region, city…developed by ancient Romans to obtain info for tax collection
age-sex pyramids
representation of population based on its composition according to age/sex
Amartya Sen
research on famine in India, survied the famine, got Nobel Prize in economics for work
Thomas Malthus

theory of population related to food supply

An Essay on the Principal of Population

*food is necessary to the existance of human beings

*the passion between the sexes is necessary/constant


people today who share Malthus’ thoughts

predict population doomsday

*believe growing population is going to exhaust Earth’s supply of resources

baby boom

(1945-1965) massive birth rate increase

*economy booming, GI Bill = soldiers buy homes, education

*technology increase, able to have more kids

*largest portion of population

forced migration

people forced to migrate against their own will

ex. 9/11 bombings

move to particular location
internally displaced persons (IDPs)

people who are uprooted within the boundaries of their own country because of conflict or human rights abuse


push factors

events/conditions that lead individual to leave location

ex. war, decrease economy

pull factors

forces of attraction that influence migrants to move to that location

ex. personal interests

job opportunity

individuals who cross nat’l boundaries to seek safety and asylum

remove most barriers to trade and investion among US, Canada, and Mexico

*cheap agribusinesses ..but mexi farmers out of business

*decrease immigration by stimulating mexieconomy


export assembled products back to original country

*aimed to stop immigration but increased turnover rate but of high manual labor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *