What is cultural geography?

We explain what cultural geography is, its history, object of study and auxiliary sciences. In addition, other branches of geography.

  1. What is cultural geography?

Cultural geography is a geographical discipline that studies the phenomena and cultural products of different human populations  and their link with space as populations migrate , move or settle for a certain period of time.

The approach of cultural geography is similar and complementary to that of general geography , that is, to the understanding of the world based on the distribution and structuring of its different regions, each endowed with natural aspects and human works. It is the latter that interest cultural geography.

For that reason, in some academies it is assumed that cultural geography is an equivalent of human geography , that is, a different name for the same, while in others it is thought of as a much more specific division of it.

  1. History of cultural geography

cultural geography history
The human being has always had an impact and was affected by his environment.

The term “cultural geography” arises in the United States at the beginning of the twentieth century , as more or less synonymous with human geography, that is, as opposed to the geographical description of natural accidents.

This use is maintained in many Anglo-Saxon academies. In that context, some of their great local names emerged, in the 20s and 30s, especially Carl O. Sauer (1889-1975), author of Cultural Geography , where the foundations for the discipline were laid. After World War II , cultural geography was assumed as a discipline more naturally.

This diffusion occurs in the middle of a true explosion of European representatives such as Schultze, Bobek, Biasutti, Sestini, Max Sorre and Paul Claval, among others. Sorre, in particular, considered the perspective of cultural geography very limited and was in favor of the emergence of human geography instead.

  1. Object of study of cultural geography

Cultural geography studies, said by Carl Oscar Sauer in his Cultural Geography , “… human works that are inscribed on the earth’s surface and give it a characteristic expression.”

This phrase means that its object of study is, in principle, the way in which different human cultures interact and modify their natural geographical environment . Put more simply, it studies from a geographical point of view the footprint of the human being on the planet.

  1. Auxiliary sciences of cultural geography

economic cultural geography
Cultural geography uses other disciplines, such as economic geography.

Cultural geography has a necessary contact with the other branches of geography , such as physical geography or economic geography . It also relates to humanistic disciplines and social sciences that are also interested in the human being and his way of building society , such as anthropology , sociology , history or linguistics .

  1. Other branches of geography

Geography is a science that includes other branches of renown, such as:

  • Physical Geography . That one that is interested in the relief , the formation of the terrestrial surface and other geographical aspects that have to do with nature .
  • Human geography . That which, contrary to the previous one, focuses its attention on the geographical presence of the human being, that is, on their societies and the way in which they interact with their environment.
  • Economic geography . A branch of human geography that focuses on the economically relevant aspects of the planet, that is, the location of its exploitable resources and the way in which thehuman economy is distributed on the globe.
  • Linguistic geography . Another branch of the human geography, although perhaps also of the cultural one, that contemplates the distribution of languages ​​on the planet, as well as its historical paths and its points of contact.
  • Social geography . A highly specialized branch of human geography that studies the reciprocal relationships between the geographical environment and the different human societies, emphasizing how one determines the other throughout history.

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