Human Geography: Our Global Identity

Course Overview

Units at a glance

When you think of geography, you may think of maps and countries. Although geography does include these things, there’s more to the field of geography than just maps. In fact, geography is such a broad category that it has subfields, including physical geography and human geography. This unit will introduce you to the field of human geography. How is human geography different from other forms of geography? This unit will discuss some of those differences. You will also learn the history behind human geography and the relevance of human geography in today’s world.

Human geography studies population by analyzing density and distribution; that is, geographers look at how many people live in specific areas and why they live there. Geographers also look at the consequences of various distributions and densities. They look the effect of the land on its population and at the effect of the people on the land. Those studying human geography also examine population growth and decline over time and place.

This unit explains how human geography studies the cultural patterns and processes of a region or place. Human geographers study concepts of culture as well as cultural differences. These cultural attitudes and practices have an environmental impact but also provide a cultural identity or cultural landscape to a particular region.

Language is an important component of Human Geography. Language can unite a culture group or divide itlanguage can be a unifying force or a dividing force. Language geography looks at the distribution of language throughout history. Language can give us clues about the culture of a region, such as the structure of the culture or its social status.

This unit explains the nature, role, and effects of religion on human geography. Human geographers study types and patterns of religion. These types and practices often provide a cultural identity or cultural landscape for a particular region. Religion affects facets of daily life as well as overall structures like the government, and it can also be studied by examining its diffusion within a single cultural group and among different cultural groups.

This unit explains the roles of ethnicity, race, and gender in human geography. Once a relatively obscure field of geography, the study of ethnicity and gender has shown geographers a significant amount of information related to population density and dispersion. This unit will explain how ethnicity differs from nationality, and how both play a role in human geography. In addition, we will cover how gender has factored into human geography and how it has helped to shape society.

Political geography is one of the most easily recognized facets of human geography. Human geography began alongside the study of the influence of geography on political and military boundaries. Political geography involves researching the location and shape of a State. It also examines how imperialism and colonization affect cultures. Finally, this branch of human geography studies the relationship of physical geography and the State.

Agriculture is an important concept in human geography because it affects a culture’s food supply. Advancements in agriculture have also enabled societies to advance in an industrial capacity because mechanization means that less of a workforce is needed to sustain the food supply. This enabled people to obtain jobs in other areas, and increased the industrialization of society.

Course Highlights

Investigate how culture, religion, and language influence our lives.
Explore how the world around us shapes who we are.
Analyze how humans have adapted to living in different climates and environments.
Examine the movement and population of people around the world.

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