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Human geography

a branch of geography that focuses on the study of patterns and processes that shape human interaction with the built environment, with particular reference to the causes and consequences of the spatial distribution of human activity on the Earth's surface

Physical geography

the study of physical features of the earth's surface

Absolute location

The exact position of a place on the earth's surface.

Relative location

the location of something in relation to something else

Spatial perspective

they way geographers look at everything-- in relation to space


a 2D model of the earth or a portion of its surface

Mental map

A map which represents the perceptions and knowledge a person has of an area


the frequency or occurrence of something


a consistent or characteristic arrangement

Formal region

a region marked by uniformity

Functional (nodal) region

a group of places linked together by some function's influence on them

Perceptual (vernacular) region

a region defined by people's beliefs

Remote sensing

technique of obtaining information about objects through the study of data collected by special instruments that are not in physical contact with the objects being analyzed

Geographic Information Systems

a computer program that stores geographic data and produces maps to show those data


the spread of a culture element or some other phenomena

Expansion diffusion

a form of diffusion in which the cultural component spreads outward to new places while remaining strong in its original hearth

Relocation diffusion

a form of diffusion that involves the actual movement of the original adopters from their point of origin to a new place


occurs when the "weaker" of two cultures adopts traits from the more dominant culture


in cultural convergence, this occurs when the original traits of the weaker culuter are completely erased and replaced by the traits of the more dominant culture


occurs when two cultures of just about equal power or influence meet and exchange ideas or traits without the domination seen in acculturation and assimilation

Contagious diffusion

a form of expansion diffusion in which numerous places or people near the point of origin become adopters

Hierarchical diffusion

occurs when the diffusion innovation or concept spreads from a place or person of power or high susceptibility to another ina leveled pattern

Independent invention

in which many hearths invent similar innovations without knowing about each other

Environmental determinism

the idea that human behavior is controlled by the physical environment


the idea that the natural environment places limits on the set of choices available to people


the sum total of the knowledge, attitudes, and habitual behavior patterns shared and transmitted by the members of society

Cultural diffusion

the spread of culture

Cultural landscape

tangible result of a human group's interaction with its environment

Culture hearth

area where innovations in culture began and from which such cultural elements spread

Culture trait

a single piece of a culture's traditions and practices

Culture complex

a unique combination of culture traits for a particular culture group

Culture realm

A cluster of regions in which related culture systems prevail.

Culture region

A region within which common culture charecteristics prevail

Culture system

collection of culture complexes that shaper a group's common identity

Sequent occupance

theory that a place is occupied by different groups of people, each group leaving an imprint on the place from which the next group learns

Folk culture

isolated group that has had long-lasting culture traits that have not changed substantially over time

Popular culture

mass culture that diffuses rapidly


the process though which something is given monetary value

Stimulus diffusion

expansion diffusion in which the innovative idea diffuses from its hearth outward, but the original idea is changed by the new adopters

adaptive strategies

the unique way in which each culture uses its particular physical environment

architectural form

the look of housing, effected by the available materials, the environment the house is in, and the popular culture of the time


the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions; the quality of being authentic

cultural appropriation

the process by which cultures adopt customs and knowledge from other cultures and use them for their own benefit

folk culture

cultural traits such as dress modes, dwellings, traditions, and institutions of usually small, traditional communities

folk ways

any informal norms, virtues, or values characterized by being followed through imitation and mild social pressure but not strictly enforced or put into law


consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, and customs that are the traditions of that culture, subculture, or group

maladapted diffusion

diffusion in which image takes precedence over practicality

material culture

the art, housing, clothing, sports, dances, foods, and other similar items constructed or created by a group of people

non material culture

the beliefs, practices, aesthetics, and values , of a group of people


the loss of uniqueness of place in the cultural landscape so that one place looks like the next

popular culture

cultural traits such as dress, diet, and music that identify and are part of today's changeable, urban-based, media-influenced, western societies

survey systems

systems that are used to collect data

traditional architecture

traditional building styles of different cultures, religions, and places


the commonly spoken language or dialect of a particular people or place


the exchange of cultural features that results when groups come into continuous first-hand contact


adjusting to a translation based on the cultural environment of the target language


the process through which people lose originally differentiating traits, such as dress, speech, particularities, or mannerisms when they come into contact with another society or culture

cultural convergence

contact and interaction of one culture and another

cultural divergence

the separation of cultures through less and less contact and interaction between them; restriction of a culture from outside influences

cultural integration

the process of combining cultures together into one

core / periphery / semi-periphery

the core-periphery idea that the core houses the main economic power of the region and the outlying region and that the periphery houses the lesser economic ties with the semi-periphery in-between the two

cultural identity

the way people categorize their culture, sometimes by the way they dress and what they eat

cultural realm

the entire region that displays the characteristics of a culture

cultural regions

a portion of earth's surface occupied by a population sharing recognizable and distinctive cultural characteristics

global-local continuum

the notion that what happens at the global scale has a direct effect on what happens at the local scale, and vice-versa


the process by which people in a local place mediate and alter regional, national, and global processes

innovation adoption

the diffusion of new ideas

bario / favala

a shantytown in or near a city; slum area

cultural adaptation

adjusting to a translation based on the cultural environment of the target language

cultural shatter belt

an area of instability between regions with opposing political and cultural values

ethnic cleansing

the systematic killing or extermination of an entire people or nation

ethnic conflict

a struggle that happened because of ethnicities interacting

ethnic conclave

a gathering of an ethnic group

ethnic group

people of the same race or nationality who share a distinctive culture

ethnic homeland

a sizable area inhabited by an ethnic majority that exhibits a strong sense of attachment to the region

ethnic neighborhood

a neighborhood, typically situated in a larger metropolitan city and constructed by or comprised of a local culture, in which a local culture can practice its customs


affiliation or identity within a group of people bound by common ancestry and culture


conviction of the evident superiority of one's own ethnic group


a forced or voluntarily segregated residential area housing a racial, ethnic, or religious minority

plural society

a society that contains various cultural groups


a categorization of humans based on skin color and other physical characteristics


a measure of the degree to which members of a minority group are non-uniformly distributed among the total population


a language that began as a pidgin language but was later adopted as the mother tongue by a people in a place of the mother tongue


local or regional characteristics of a language

indo-european language

a family of several hundred related languages and dialects


a geographic boundary within which a particular linguistic feature occurs

language family

group of languages with a shared but fairly distant origin

language group

set of languages with a relatively recent common origin and many similar characteristics

lingua franca

a language used among speakers of different languages for the purposes of trade and commerce

linguistic diversity

the amount of variation of languages a place has


only one language spoken


more than one language spoken

official language

in multilingual countries the language selected to promote internal cohesion; usually the language of the courts and government


when two or more languages are combined in a simplified structure and vocabulary

proto language

an assumed, reconstructed, or recorded ancestral language


the study of place names of a region, or toponyms

dowry death

in the context of arranged marriages in India, disputes over the price to be paid by the family of the bride to the father of the groom (the dowry) have, in some cases, lead to the death of the bride


to admit to citizenship; the rite of voting


social differences between men and women, rather than the anatomical, biological differences between the sexes

gender gap

a measurable difference between the behaviors of men and women


the murder of infants

longevity gap

the difference of average expected life spans between different groups of people, nations, races, etc.

maternal mortality rate

annual number of deaths of women from pregnancy-related causes per 100,000 live births


the belief that inanimate objects, such as trees, rocks, and rivers, posses souls


religion; belief that enlightenment will come through knowledge, especially self knowledge, elimination of greed, craving, and desire, complete honesty, and never hurting another person or animal


religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus


a philosophy of ethnics, education, and public service based on the writings of Confucius

ethnic religion

a religion that is particular to one culturally distinct group of people


a territory legally or politically attached to another territory with which is not physically contiguous


a territory whose geographical boundaries lie entirely within the boundaries of another territory


the interpretation of every word in the sacred text as literal truth

geomancy (feng shui)

the Chinese art and science of the placement and orientation of tombs, dwellings, buildings, and cities


the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Muhammad


religion; unique in that it does not have a single founder, a single theology, or agreement on its origins

interfaith boundaries

boundaries between the world's major faiths


religion; based on the teachings of Muhammad


an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living things


religion; roots in the teachings of Abraham, who is credited with uniting his people to worship only one god

landscapes of the dead

landscapes such as cemeteries that are only there because of the dead


the belief in a single god


belief in multiple gods


comprises the religious, institutional, and cultural elements of the most populace branch of the Latte Day Saint movement

muslim pilgrimage


proselytic religion

a universalizing religion, which is an attempt to be global, to appeal to all people, wherever they may live in the world, not just those of one culture or location


the idea that after this life you will come back in another life either as a plant, animal, or a human

religious fundamentalism

religious movement whose objectives are to return to the foundations of the faith and to influence state policy

religious extremism

religious fundamentalism carried to the point of violence

religious toponyms

the origin and meaning of the names of religions

sacred space

place or space people infuse with religious meaning


community faith in traditional societies in which people follow their shaman


the idea that ethical and moral standards should be formulated and adhered to for life on earth not to accommodate the prescriptions of a deity and promises of a comfortable afterlife

sharia law

the system of Islamic law, based on varying degrees of interpretation of the Qu'ran


religion; located in japan and related to Buddhism; focuses particularly on nature and ancestor worship


religion; began in northern Inda; the principal belief is that faith in Vahiguru emphasizes faith in god


branch of Islam; orthodox/traditionalist; believe in the effectiveness of family and community in the solution of life's problems; accept traditions of Muhammad as authoritative

shia (shi'ite)

branch of Islam; Persian variation; believe in the infallibility and divine right to authority of the Imams, descendants of Ali


the development of a new form of culture trait by the fusion of two or more distinct parental elements


religion; based upon Tao-te-ching, a book by Lao-Tsu which focuses on the proper form of political rule and on the oneness of humanity and nature


a state whose government is under the control of a ruler who is deemed to be divinely guided, or of a group of religious leaders


belief system that espouses the idea that there is one true religion that is universal in scope


religion; based on the teachings of the prophet Zoroaster; founded in the eartly part of the 5th century BCE


a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects a very high proportion of the population

Physiological density

The number of people per unit of area of arable land, which is land suitable for agriculture.

Population pyramid

shows percentage of population in 5-year age groups, with the youngest group at the base of the pyramid and the oldest group at the top. The length of the bar represents the percentage of the total population in that group. Males are usually on the left and females on the right

Sex ratio

The number of males per 100 females in the population.

Total fertility rate (TFR)

The average number of children a woman will have throughout her childbearing years.

Medical Revolution

Medical technology invented in Europe and North America that is diffused to the poorer countries of Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Improved medical practices have eliminated many of the traditional causes of death in poorer countries and enabled more people to live longer and healthier lives.

Natural Increase Rate

The percentage growth of a population in a year, computed as the crude birth rate minus the crude death rate.


The number of a people in an area exceeds the capacity of the environment to support life at a decent standard of living.

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