Chapter 1: The Human Mosaic Book. Please can you summarize the whole chapter 1.

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The preface and first chapter introduce five themes of human geography: region, mobility, globalization, nature-culture and cultural landscape. The first, region, refers to a group of places with similar characteristics. The collection of all the different regions creates a mosaic (a combination or pattern of different elements).

This book is about human geography; therefore, it concerns the interaction of humans and the physical geography of the Earth. This study is as much about the physical topography of a region as it is the cultures that inhabit each region. One example is about the distribution of wheat crops across the globe. This is determined by the physical geography of certain regions but also depends on cultural wants and needs. "Where wheat bread is preferred, people are willing to overcome physical surroundings hostile to growing wheat." 

The authors break down "region." There are formal regions, places where people share one or more traits in common: such as language and religion. As you move out from the center of the formal region, the occurrence of the two traits decreases. This is called the core-periphery pattern. "Functional regions" are more rigidly defined, usually by a governing or owning authority: examples are a capital city, government building, church parishes. "Vernacular regions" can be defined by physical terrain and/or cultural homogeneity. An example is an area locals might refer to as "the valley" - referring to living in an actual valley and also implying that a certain kind of people live in that valley (i.e., maybe typified by a blue-collar, coal mining, catholic culture). 

Regions are always changing. This is where the second theme of mobility comes in. There are different types of "diffusion": how and why people move (mobility) from one region to another. There is "relocation diffusion" (one group brings a practice from one place to another). An example: European settlers bringing Christianity to America. With "expansion diffusion," a practice is spread out to a larger population. There are different ways this is accomplished: by authority (hierarchical diffusion); via chain reaction, like a contagious disease (contagious diffusion); and stimulus diffusion. One can see how political barriers affect how mobile and openness to outside knowledge certain regions are. The theme of mobility also concerns migration. 

The third theme is globalization and this covers how different regions, cultures, and nations interact and link. The telephone, internet, and high speed travel are huge parts of this. With globalization, international borders place less of a role. This has led to more cultural interaction and has led some to be more aware of distant places of the world. 

The fourth theme deals mainly with the two-way interaction between humans and their physical environment: "nature-culture." The term "nature-culture" is used to emphasize the broad and complex interactions between a group of people and the land they inhabit. This leads to theories on how much nature affects culture and vice versa. "Environmental determinism" is the theory that the environment determines much or all of a group's cultural behaviors. "Possibilism" states that there are multiple possible ways that an environment can affect a culture, but it is ultimately the people who choose how to live. Climate change is a result of human-earth interaction, thus part of the nature-culture study. 

The fifth and final theme is cultural landscape; concerns humanity's constructions: roads, buildings, cities, houses, etc. Not just a visual landscape, these constructions can symbolize a certain way of life or ideology (recall the "valley" example). Or, consider the suburban landscape; it brings to mind a certain style of living. A log cabin in the woods offers a different idea of regional life. The cultural landscape is a complex configuration, often affected by economics, physical geography, government policy, and so on. Consider the changes you see in the cultural landscape as you move out from the center of the city. This is called "urban sprawl." 

capima | Student

The Human Mosaic Book: A cultural approach to human Geography 12 edition. Please summary chapter 1.

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