In Class Questions and Answers to Cultural Coherence and Diversity

1. In figure 1.34 do you see cultural tensions amongst the pictures?
Which culture di you resonate with?
2. Can you give examples of cultural imperialism?
Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting a more powerful culture over a least known or
desirable culture. It is usually the case that the former belongs to a large, economically or militarily
powerful nation and the latter belongs to a smaller, less powerful one. Cultural imperialism can
take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude. A metaphor of colonialism is
employed: the cultural products of the first world "invade" the third-world and "conquer" local

3. Can you give examples of cultural syncretism
Cultural syncretism is a concept that refers to the social processes by which the beliefs and practices of
two unique cultures mix and create new cultural characteristics. These cultural beliefs and practices
are exchanged through indirect and direct contact.
Mediated imagery, such as television programs, radio podcasts and Internet blogs, carry the beliefs and
customs of the culture within which they originate with them. International travel and advanced
communications technology encourage cultural syncretism as well. One positive impacts of cultural
syncretism is the discovery of new cultural characteristics. Critics of culture syncretism fear it leads to
the disappearance of unique cultural beliefs and assets. Some even suggest it is not mixing at all, but
one culture dominating and erasing the existence of the other culture. A contemporary example of
cultural syncretism is the popularity of hip-hop, which was originated in the Bronx in the early 1980s

4. How is language and culture interconnected?

Language evolves due to the changing needs and trends in culture. New words or expressions may be
needed to adequately express a new concept that has just been invented or discovered. On the other
hand, some words and expressions become antiquated and die out due to them being unnecessary to
everyday life.

For example, as we moved from farming societies to more industrialized cities, the words we used
changed. More words were established to describe the big city life and culture, while other words fell into
disuse because less people, if any, needed the rural farming vocabulary (including outdated technology

Similarly, some words go through degradation or elevation. Degradation means that a word that once had
a positive connotation evolved to have a more negative connotation, and elevation means that a words
that once had a negative connotation evolved to have a more positive connotation. These changes in
connotation are due to the changes in culture.

5. What is the difference between universalizing religions and ethnic religion?

All religions are universal at birth, but become ethnic when practiced by certain social groups who
understand and apply it in a specific manner. All religions have some universal and eternal spiritual
teaching which are not subject to change, and some social aspects, dogmas and traditions that are
secondary and subject to change in a different day and age and settings.

As communications have reduced distances between cultures, humanity will have to abandon social laws
that are no longer relevant to modern life before the universal aspects of each religion become once more

Ethnic religions are based on supremacy along with greed for wealth and power. Most religions that
are built around Kings and leaders are oppressive and tyrannical. Those that are built on righteousness,
equity and humility are the only ones capable of unification.

6. Provide examples of religious landscape

7. What are the positive and negatives points to having a “caste system”?
 people always know their place in the society
 government is more easy to manage because limited parties have a say in how things are run
 the majority of people are excluded from major choices regarding economic, military, and basic
decisions though they are the ones who bear the most burden. This leads to civil unrest.
 It is impossible or nearly so to better yourself from your birth status
 Creativity and ingenuity are often squashed utterly or stolen which gives an environment that
maintains the status quo
- The caste system is often portrayed as the ultimate horror. Inborn inequality is indeed
unacceptable to us moderns, but this does not preclude that the system has also had its merits.
Caste is perceived as an "exclusion-from," but first of all it is a form of "belonging-to," a natural
structure of solidarity. For this reason, Christian and Muslim missionaries found it very difficult to
lure Hindus away from their communities

8. Knowing the following words and concepts
A. Ethnic tensions – Ethnic hatred, inter-ethnic hatred, racial hatred, or ethnic tension refers to
feelings and acts of prejudice and hostility towards an ethnic group in various degrees.
B. Folk culture - Folk culture refers to the unifying expressive components of everyday life as
enacted by localized, tradition-bound group
C. Popular culture
Popular culture is the accumulated store of cultural products such as music, art, literature,
fashion, dance, film, television, and radio that are consumed primarily by non-elite groups such
as the working, lower, and middle class. There are two opposing sociological arguments in
relation to popular culture. One argument is that popular culture is used by the elites (who tend
to control the mass media and popular culture outlets) to control those below them because it
dulls people’s minds, making them passive and easy to control. A second argument is just the
opposite, that popular culture is a vehicle for rebellion against the culture of dominant groups.
D. Global culture
Culture is defined as our overall way of life, including language, customs, beliefs, and the use of
material things. This definition includes something called "material culture."

Because of instantaneous global communications, especially television, a global culture is
developing. Just as French was once the language of trade, English is now becoming the
language of the information age. Western customs are spreading to other cultures around the
world. This can easily be seen in the western style clothes that are worn almost universally.
What is less well known and more subtle is the fact that Fijian women are now dieting. (In
traditional Fijian culture, it was considered fashionable for women to weigh 200 or more
pounds. However, since TV has come to the Fiji Islands, women now see that the rest of the
world equates slimness with attractiveness, and they've joined the dieting craze.)

For several decades, it has been accepted that there is a single global economic system. That,
too, is part of culture. Years ago, some societies experimented with centrally planned socialist
systems. Although socialist systems still exist, they exist within a free-market environment. A
free market system is, by nature, capitalistic. The expansion of the G-7 (the countries with the
largest economic systems) has recently expanded to the G-20. And, there are many economies
that want to join the group.

Insecurity about the national debt of Greece caused a near panic last week in Wall Street when
the stock market crashed by 1000 points in just a few minutes. The same concern exists for
Italy, Spain, and even the United States. We are tied together in a global system.

Finally, food is part of a culture. Today, it is virtually impossible to travel to any economically
developed country and NOT find a McDonald's. Fifty years ago, tiny villages in places like the
Philippines or Honduras had a goodly supply of Coca Cola.

Many people fear that the growth of a global culture will result in a single world government.
However, there has been no evidence of that ever happening.

E. Culture imperialism
Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting a more powerful culture over a least known or
desirable culture.

F. Cultural nationalism- Cultural nationalism is a form of nationalism in which the nation is defined
by a shared culture. Cultural nationalism will thus focus on a national identity shaped by
cultural traditions and by language, but not on the concepts of common ancestry or race
G. Cultural hybridization - the term cultural hybridization stands for the process by which cultures
around the world adopt a certain degree of homogenized global culture while clinging to
aspects of their own traditional culture. The result is a mixture, or hybrid. Imagine a U.S.
teenager who's passionate about pop singers from the U.S. but loves anime, and you get the
H. Lingua franca- a language that is adopted as a common language between speakers whose
native languages are different.

I. Universalizing religions- In the study of human geography, a universalizing religion is a religion
that attempts to operate on a global scale and to appeal to all people wherever they reside,
compared to an ethnic religion which primarily attracts one group of people living in one place

J. Ethnic religions - In the study of human geography, an ethnic religion is one that appeals
primarily to a specific group of people from a specific place

K. Cultural coherence
Coherence- logical interconnection, overall sense or understandability
Cultural - relating to the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society
So cultural coherence is a the logical connection sets pf ideas, customs and social behaviour of

L. Diversity
Diversity refers to all of the characteristics that make individuals different from each other --
age, ethnicity, gender, language, having a disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, parental
status, marital status, thinking styles and more.

In Class Questions and Answers to Mapping Cultural Identities

1. What was Carl Sauer interested in?

 he became famous for developing the"Berkeley School" of geographic thought which focused on
regional geography organized around culture, landscapes, and history.
 This area of study was important for Sauer because it further enhanced his opposition to
environmental determinism in that it placed an emphasis on how humans interact with and change
their physical environment. In addition, he brought up the importance of history when studying
geography and he aligned U.C. Berkeley's geography department with its history and anthropology
2. Explain Fig 5.4
 Concept map

3. What is the difference between cultural traits and cultural complex?
 Geographers often study aspects of culture, placing particular emphasis upon any spatial (mappable)
patterns that may be involved.
 A single element of culture is known as a culture trait. An example might be the use of chopsticks as
eating utensils. If we were to map this particular trait we would find that it is prevalent across a
number of cultures found over a wide area. The trait's distribution could be mapped.
 A combination of many culture traits forms what is known as a culture complex. One might identify
and map the distribution of a Chinese culture complex, including the written Chinese language,
traditional Chinese teachings, and other individual traits that are part of Chinese culture.
 Getting more specific, one could identify and map more detailed cultural complexes within the larger
Chinese culture region. These subregions might be based upon specific traits such as the spoken
language used by people at home (Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, Wu, Min, etc.), culinary preferences
(sweet-and-sour rice-based dishes or spicy wheat-based foods, for example), and other differences
that might occur from one province to the next.