Human Geography: Culture

Human Geography: Culture
What is Culture?
Culture: the beliefs, customs, and behaviors of a
particular society, group, place, or time
Culture is learned
through teaching and
imitation of others in
that culture.
Components of Culture
•Family Life
Race: a biological classification- based on a
person’s physical appearance such as skin, eye,
and hair color, as well as bone structure (Black,
White, Asian, Hispanic, etc.). Race is how you’re
perceived by others. You cannot choose your race.
Ethnicity: a person’s cultural identity and ancestrya person can learn things to become a part of an
ethnic group. (Italian, Irish, Arab, French,
American, Swedish, Japanese, etc.)
Ethnocentrism: the belief that one’s own
culture is superior to another culture.
Example: Nazi Germany against the Jews. “The
Jew: Inciter of war, prolonger of war.”
Polytheism: The belief in multiple gods.
(Hinduism, Buddhism)
Four most practiced religions of the world:
Christianity: about 2 billion practicing world
Islam: about one billion practicing- mostly in
Middle East, Indonesia, Pakistan, Africa, China,
and Eastern Europe.
Hinduism: Almost one billion
practicing- India, Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, South Asia Region
Buddhism: More than 300 million
Dialect: a version of a language that includes changes
related to class, region, and other cultural changes.
Describes both a person’s accent and the grammatical
features of the way a person talks.
Most spoken
languages of
the world
1. Chinese (Mandarin)
Approx. number
of speakers
2. Spanish
3. English
4. Hindi1
5. Arabic
6. Portuguese
7. Bengali
8. Russian
9. Japanese
10. Javanese
Subculture: a
group that has
beliefs and
behaviors that
are different
from the main
groups within a
culture or
Material Culture: the physical evidence
created by a culture. Ex: technology,
clothing, architecture, weaponry.
Acculturation: when a culture adopts some
aspects of another culture, while keeping
many aspects of their original culture.
when members
of a certain
culture adapt
completely to
the ways of
another culture.
Example of assimilation:
“kill the Indian to
save the man.”
1882 Assimilation
Carlisle Indian School
Cultural diffusion: the spreading and
borrowing of ideas, customs, and material
goods from one culture to another.
Taboo: different behaviors that are frowned upon
in society.
These would be taboos in
our society, but are
acceptable behaviors in
other cultures.
American Taboos
•Public Nudity
•Devil Worship
•Drug Use
•Child Abuse
Chinese Taboos
•Opening gifts in front of giver
•Waving people towards you
with an upturned hand
Switzerland Taboos
•Talking loudly in public
•Giving expensive gifts
•Asking personal
Japanese Taboos
•Burping in public
•Touching nose or any
bodily fluids
•Not wearing a mask if
you’re ill

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