Session 5: Nature and Culture

Cultural diffusionism The belief that cultural traits may be traced back to a common source. This view opposes cultural polygenesis, or the belief that cultural traits are commonly invented multiple times over in cultures with no connection to each other.
Cultural geography An approach to geography that focuses on the nexus between physical landscape and human society and culture. In Bonnemaison’s definition (17), it concerns itself with territory (political structures mapped onto physical space), geographical setting (ecology + geography, including human as well as nonhuman elements), and geosymbolosm (the signification of a geographical setting).
Geosymbol “A sign in space that mirrors and shapes identity”, such as a sacred or culturally significant place (roadside crosses; the White House) (Bonnemaison 45)
Humanistic geography An approach to cultural space claiming that cultural space only exists as representation, and that this representation is therefore more important than the physical space itself