ERIC Number: ED202770
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr-21
Culture Theory and American Cultural Geography.
Hickey, John J.
This paper addresses three questions related to cultural geography--(1) do cultural geographers have a serious interest in culture theory? (2) is there some indication in the ways in which cultural geographers have traditionally approached their subject which has given rise to an apparent lack of concern with the implications of culture theory? and (3) are there approaches to traditional geographic concerns which involve the discussion of culture theory as a central issue? Regarding the first question, a review of literature indicated that fewer than a half dozen cultural geography books and articles deal with cultural theory. Further, the impression gained from a review of more general literature on cultural geography is that geographers entering into discussions of culture theory feel that they are entering uncertain territory. The second question is answered by noting the increased emphasis on empirical geographic methodology rather than theoretical concerns and by reviewing traditional approaches used by cultural geographers. Traditional approaches have been based on five themes--culture, culture area, cultural landscape, cultural history, and cultural ecology. These approaches have been broadened somewhat in recent years to include personal preferences and orientations of cultural geographers, but most geographers still maintain that culture (as opposed to the expression of culture) is not of direct interest to the geographer. With regard to the third question (i.e., whether culture theory can play a more central role in cultural geography) the author suggests that cultural geographers should concentrate on determining the understandings which culture theory can contribute to an analogous methodology useful to the elucidation of geographic concerns rather than on what culture theory can bring to an intact empirical cultural geography. (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers (Los Angeles, CA, April 19-22, 1981).