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AP Human Geography

Chapter Four -
Folk and Pop Culture
Seth Adler

Seth Adler
I. Folk and Popular Culture

Material culture deriving from the survival activities of everyones
daily lifefood, clothing, and shelter
Culture involving leisure activitiesthe arts and recreation

a. Habit A repetitive act performed by an individual
b. Custom - The frequent repetition of an act, to the extent that it becomes
characteristic of the group of people performing the act
c. A custom is a habit that is widely adopted
d. Folk Culture - Culture traditionally practiced by a small, homogeneous, rural
group living in relative isolation from other groups
e. Popular Culture - Culture found in a large, heterogeneous society that shares
certain habits despite differences in other personal characteristics
f. Popular culture is more wide spread
g. Rapid diffusion frequently changes popular culture
h. Popular culture caries on time based on location

II. Where Do Folk and Popular Culture Originate and Diffuse?

A. Origin of Folk and Popular Cultures
a. Folk customs often have anonymous or multiple hearths

1. Origin of Folk Music
a. Tells a story about daily activities (farming), life-cycle events
(birth, death, marriage), or mysterious events (storms)
b. According to a Chinese legend, music was invented in 2697 BC when
the Emperor Huang Ti sent Ling Lun to cut bamboo poles that would
produce a sound matching the call of the phoenix bird


Seth Adler
2. Origin of Popular Music
a. Written to be sold
b. Originated around 1900
c. Music Hall in UK and Vaudeville in US
d. Tin Pan Alley made the music and tried to sell printed song sheets
e. The diffusion of American music stared during WWII
f. Hip-Hop is a local form of music

B. Diffusion of Folk and Popular Cultures
a. The spread of popular culture typically follows the process of
hierarchical diffusion from hearths or nodes of innovation (i.e.
Hollywood, California)
b. Folk culture is transferred slowly by migration instead of electronic
communication (relocation diffusion)

1. The Amish: Relocation Diffusion of Folk Culture
a. The Amish have distinctive clothing, farming, religious practices
and other customs
b. In the 1600s, a Swiss Mennonite bishop named Jakob Ammann
gathered a group of followers
c. The Amish originated in Bern, Switzerland; Alsace in northeastern
France; and the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany
d. Settled in Pennsylvania in the early 1700s
e. Sell farm land in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and buy in
Kentucky

2. Sports: Hierarchical Diffusion of Popular Culture

- Folk Culture Origin of Soccer
a. Worlds most popular sport
b. First documented in England in the eleventh century. After the
Danish invasion, workers excavating a building found a Danish
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soldiers head and they began to kick it. It was then imitated
by boys who used an inflated cow bladder
c. Early football games involved two villages kicking the ball into
the center of the rival village. Because this disturbed village
life, King Henry II banned it from England and was later
legalized in 1603 by King James I.

- Globalization of Soccer
a. Transformation to popular culture in the 1800s
b. Because of the increase in leisure time, people came to see
sports so clubs started hiring professional players.
c. When British football clubs organized an association in 1863 to
make rules, it marked the change from folk to popular culture.
d. The game was diffused to other countries through contact with
English players

- Sports in Popular Culture
a. Cricket is popular in Britain
b. Ice Hockey is popular in Canada, Northern Europe, and Russia
c. Martial Arts is popular in China
d. Baseball is popular in Japan
e. Lacrosse came from the Iroquois Confederation of Six Nations
(Cayugas, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Senecas, and
Tuscaroras)
f. The common element in professional sports is the willingness of
people throughout the world to pay for the privilege of viewing,
in person or on TV, events played by professional athletes.




III. Why is Folk Culture Clustered?

Seth Adler
A. Influence of the Physical Environment

1. Food Preservatives and the Environment
a. Bostans are small gardens in Istanbul, Turkey that supply the city
with food.
b. Rice and soybeans are grown in Asia because of the dry climate
c. Quick-frying food in preferred in Italy because of fuel shortages
d. People refuse to eat particular plants or animals that are thought
to embody negative forces in the environment
e. Taboo - A restriction on behavior imposed by social custom
f. Hebrews were prohibited for eating animals
g. that do not chew their cud or that have cloven feet and fish
lacking fins or scales
h. Muslims do not eat pork because pigs would then compete with
humans for land and resources
i. Hindus have taboos against cows because they are used as plows on
farms
j. Terroir - The contribution of a locations distinctive physical
features to the way food tastes

2. Folk Housing and the Environment
a. French geographer Jean Brunhes views the house as being an
essential fact of human geography.
b. American geographer Fred Kniffen says a house is a reflection of
cultural heritage, current fashion, functional needs, and the impact
of environment
c. The materials used in folk homes are based on the available
resources
d. Wood and brick are the most common
e. R. W. McColl compared house types in four villages situated in the
dry lands of northern and western China
f. Pitched roofs facilitate rain runoff, windows face South for heat,
can be smaller for not a much heat
Seth Adler

B. Isolation Promotes Cultural Diversity

1. Himalayan Art
a. geographers P. Karan and Cotton Mather demonstrated that
distinctive views of the physical environment emerge among
neighboring cultural groups that are isolated
b. Through their choices of subjects of paintings, each group reveals
how their folk culture mirrors their religions and individual views
of their environment

Buddhists
a. Northern
b. Paintings reflect bizarre and terrifying
c. Inhospitable environment
Hindus
a. Southern
b. Everyday life
c. Regions extreme climatic conditions
Muslims
a. Islamic
b. Beautiful plants and flowers
c. Not harsh conditions
Animists
a. Burma
b. Symbols and designs
c. From religion instead of environment




2. Beliefs and Folk House Forms
Seth Adler
a. The distinctive form of folk houses may derive primarily from
religious values and other customary beliefs rather than from
environmental factors.
b. Some compass directions may be more important than other
directions.

- Sacred Spaces
a. In Java, the front door faces South (direction of the Sea
goddess)
b. In Fiji and China, the East wall is sacred
c. In Madagascar, the front door is facing West, the most
important direction. The NE corner is most important. The
North wall in for honoring ancestors, important guests enter
from the North and are seated against the North wall. The bed
is placed against the East wall facing North.
d. The Laos arrange their beds perpendicular to the center
ridgepole. People sleep with their heads and feet opposite of
one another. However, a child sleeps with his head towards the
parents feet.
e. The Yuan and Shan (Thailand) sleep with heads towards the
East, which is the most auspicious direction. Staircases do not
face West, the least auspicious direction and the direction of
the devil.

- U.S. Folk Housing
a. Geographer Fred Kniffen identified three major hearths or
nodes of folk house forms in the United States: New England,
Middle Atlantic, and Lower Chesapeake

The Lower Chesapeake (Tidewater)
a. One story, steep roof, two chimneys, one room deep
b. Tidewater, Virginia, and Southeast coast
The Middle Atlantic (I-House)
Seth Adler
a. Two stories high, gables to the sides, two rooms wide, one
room deep
b. Ohio Valley and Appalachian trails, Eastern half of US
New England
a. Upper New England and Southern Great Lakes region, far
west as Wisconsin
b. Various forms over time

IV. Why Is Popular Culture Widely Distributed?
a. Popular culture varies more in time than in place

A. Diffusion of Popular Housing, Clothing, and Food

1. Popular Food Customs
a. People in MDCs are likely to have the income, time, and inclination
to facilitate greater adoption of popular culture.

- Regional Variations
a. Bourbon consumption is higher in the Upper South, where it is
produced
b. Tequila consumption is high on the border with Mexico
c. Canadian Whiskey is preferred in states contiguous to Canada
d. Southerners may prefer pork rinds because more hogs are
raised there, and northerners may prefer popcorn and potato
chips because more corn and potatoes are grown there.
e. The Southeast has a low rate of alcohol consumption because of
Baptists. Nevada has a high rate because of gambling
f. Texans prefer tortilla chips while Westerners prefer grain
chips



- Wine
Seth Adler
a. The distinctive character of a wine derives from a unique
combination of soil, climate, and other physical characteristics
at the place where the grapes are grown.
b. Vineyards are best cultivated in temperate climates of
moderately cold, rainy winters and long, hot summers. On a
hillside near a lake.
c. The distinctive character of each regions wine is especially
influenced by the unique combination of trace elements, such as
boron, manganese, and zinc, in the rock or soil.
d. Wines are identified by their place of growth, region, year, and
type of grapes
e. Wine consumption declined after the fall of Rome, and many
vineyards were destroyed.

2. Rapid Diffusion of Clothing Styles
a. In MDCs, clothing reflects occupation and wealth

- Jeans
a. Jeans became popular in the 1960s to show youthful
independence
b. Communist governments could not make them because the
factories make tanks, not clothing

3. Popular Housing Styles
a. Changed in the 1940s
b. In the years immediately after World War II, which ended in
1945, most U.S. houses were built in a modern style. Since the
1960s, styles that architects call neo-eclectic have predominated.




- Modern Housing Styles (1945-1960)
Seth Adler

Minimal Traditional
a. Late 1940s-1950s
b. Similar to the Tudor-style house
c. One story, small and modest
d. For returning veterans from WWII
Ranch House
a. 1950s-1960s
b. Similar to minimal traditional houses
c. One story, long side parallel to street
d. Took more room
Split-Level
a. 1950s-1970s
b. Similar to the ranch house
c. Two stories
d. New family room on first floor, bedrooms on second floor
Contemporary
a. 1950s-1970s
b. Architect-designed, flat or low roofs
Shed
a. Late 1960s
b. High-pitched roofs
c. Geometric forms

- Neo-Eclectic (Since 1960)
a. In the late 1960s, neo-eclectic styles became popular, and by
the 1970s had surpassed modern styles in vogue:

Mansard
a. First popular in 1960s to early 1970s
b. Two stories

Neo-Tudor
Seth Adler
a. 1970s
b. Steep-pitched front-facing gables
Neo-French
a. Popular in early 1980s
b. Most fashionable
c. Dormer windows, round tops, high-hipped roofs
Neo-Colonial
a. Popular since 1950s
b. Similar to English colonial houses
c. Large central great room

B. Electronic Diffusion of Popular Culture
a. Television is important because it provides leisure time and spreads
the knowledge of popular culture, such as sports

1. Diffusion of Television
a. In the early years of broadcasting, the US was a monopoly
b. In 1954, the US had 86% of televisions
c. In 1970, the US had more televisions per capita except for Canada
d. By 2005, international differences in television ownership
diminished

2. Diffusion of the Internet
a. Diffused like the television but more rapid
b. In 1995, the US has 25 million users
c. In 2000, internet usage in the US increased from 9% to 44%. The
US % share of the worlds internet declined from 62% to 31%
d. In 2008, 74% or the US population had internet. But, the US % of
worlds internet declined to 14%



3. Diffusion of Facebook
Seth Adler
a. Founded in 2004 by Harvard University students
b. In 2009, it had over 200 million users

V. Why Does Globalization of Popular Culture Cause Problems?
a. Threatens survival of folk culture and may generate environmental
impacts

A. Threat to Folk Culture

1. Loss of Traditional Values
a. Leaders of African and Asian countries traveled to MDCs and
experienced the social status attached to cloths. Back home,
they may wear Western business suits.
b. Wearing cloths typical of MDCs is controversial in some Middle
Eastern countries. Muslims oppose them.
c. Threatens the subservience of women to men that is embedded in
some folk customs
d. Prostitution has increased in some LDCs to serve men from MDCs
traveling on sex tours. (Japan, Northern Europe)

2. Threat of Foreign Media Imperialism

- Western Control of Media
a. Three MDCsthe United States, the United Kingdom, and
Japandominate the television industry in LDCs. Japanese
operate in South and East Asia. US corporations provide for
Latin America. British companies invest in African countries.
b. Leaders of LCDs view the spread of television as MDCs
controlling the world. They are teaching the wrong message.
Seth Adler

c. In many regions of the world, the
only reliable and unbiased news
accounts come from the BBC World
Service shortwave and satellite
radio newscasts.
d. The Associated Press (AP) and
Reuters dominate the diffusion of
information to newspapers around
the world.

- Satellites
a. George Orwells novel 1984,
published in 1949 said that TVs
would play a major role in peoples
everyday lives.
b. Satellite dishes enable people to choose
from a wide variety of programs produced in other countries,
not just the local government-controlled station.
c. Some countries banned the use of
satellite dishes (Chinese, Singapore, Saudi Arabia)

B. Environmental Impacts of Popular Culture

1. Modifying Nature

- Distribution of Golf
a. Golf courses, because of their size, provide a prominent
example of imposing popular culture on the environment.
b. Geographer John Rooney attributes the increase of golf
courses to increased income and leisure time.
c. The number of golf courses are higher in northern states
d. More limited in the south because of lack of land

Seth Adler
2. Uniform Landscapes
a. The diffusion of fast-food restaurants is a good example of such
uniformity (McDonalds). People who travel or moves to another
city immediately recognize a familiar place.




3. Negative Environmental Impact

- Increased Demand For Natural Resources
a. Popular culture may demand a large supply of certain animals,
resulting in depletion or even extinction of some species.
b. Animal consumption is an inefficient way for people to acquire
calories90 percent less efficient than if people simply ate
grain directly. To produce 1 kilogram of beef sold in the
supermarket, nearly 10 kilograms of grain are consumed by the
animal. For every kilogram of chicken, nearly 3 kilograms of
grain are consumed by the fowl. This grain could be fed to
people directly, bypassing the inefficient meat step

- Pollution
a. Cans, bottles, old cars, paper, and plastics
Seth Adler
b. Very high rates of soil erosion have been documented in Central
America from the practice of folk culture.