What is Cultural Geography? Video
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Video:What is Cultural Geography?

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Cultural geography studies the human characteristics of a location. Learn how these traits in turn relate and are affected by the natural world.See Transcript

Transcript:What is Cultural Geography?

What is Cultural Geography?

Geography is the study of the physical and cultural components of the world. While physical geography pertains to the natural forces and landscapes of the world, cultural geography, also called human geography, studies the human characteristics of a location and how these in turn relate and are affected by the natural world.

There are Different Fields

First divided from the total field of Geography by Berkeley professor Carl Saver, it has since been divided into three branches: the Traditional Berkeley School, new cultural geography, and "more-than-representational" geographies.

Traditional Cultural Geography also known as Berkeley School is rooted in the belief that societies and cultures grow out of a landscape and also reshape the landscape.  Those following this school of thought focus mainly on the physical cultural world, such as buildings, parks, and architecture, in non-modern and rural communities.

New Cultural Geography came about in the 1980’s and focuses on contemporary and urban cultures, examining non-physical elements such as gender, language, and identity.

"More-than-Representational" Geography focuses on understanding a cultural landscape by physically witnessing the practices, focusing on how the human cultures are actually performed.


One field of study impacting all cultural geography is globalization, cultural integration that occurs as culture in the form of physical and non-physical ideas and practices is exchanged throughout the world.  This can occur in four forms:

  • Trade and transaction
  • Capital and investment movements
  • Migration of people
  • The spread of knowledge and ideas.

This is interesting because as culture created in one space and environment moves to new places, it adapts and integrates alongside the area's native culture.

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