THE ECOLOGICAL APPROACH
Cultural geography is a human geography sub-field that looks at the spatial functioning of human beings. It examines products that are considered cultural as well as norms and it primarily seeks to describe languages and their ways as well as government economy as well as other cultural issues. In this text, I carry out a detailed discussion of the assertion that cultural geographers will continue their fascination with ecological approach and that conceptual revisions and additions will be accompanied by increasing numbers of empirical analyses.
In the recent past, the ecological approach as a focus for geography research has been receiving enhanced attention. In that regard, the ecological approach has been widely seen as an approach which is basically methodological ad as Duncan et al. (2004) argues, its significance to cultural geographers has been informed mainly by its enhanced application when it comes to geographic research. Mitchel (2000) notes that to come up with an appropriate definition of ecology’s position as the methodological approach’s substantive field, there is a great need for the basic concepts to be considered and how they relate to the organizing framework.
It is important to note here that the main concern of geographers lies in the explanation as well as identification of the earth’s phenomena spatial partnering. To conduct useful and relevant geographical investigations, there is great need to emphasize on interaction networks, functions as well as structure as relates to the ecosystem concept. According to Anderson (2003), the increasing interest to the ecological approach which cultural geographers have recently shown has got something to do with their genuine concern when it comes to the national character. This concern can be attributed to their desire to have people relate mutually wit their land.
In every society, the habitat perception is viewed in the light of the prevailing circumstances and hence at the societal level, people will always relater with the land according to their specific tastes and needs. This is probably what Duncan et al. (2004) means when he states that individual’s at the societal level will always view their habitat through their cultural lens. In that light, cultural geographers will always relate the people’s character to their cultural landscape.
It is also important to note that the fascination of cultural geographers with the ecological approach may also be informed by the inadequacy of the regional approach as regards a number of pertinent issues. For instance, it cannot be used to map how the national character relates to or is affected by the physical environment.
However, the regional technique may be helpful when it comes to the meaningful disclosure or examination of patterns which can be taken to be localized. The other problem with the regional approach lies with the increased weakening of provincialism. This is as a direct consequence of modern civilization. In this regard, the cultural geographers will continue to show interest in the ecological approach.
It can also be note that the ecological approach is expected to shed light into the shifting significance of behaviors which can be considered individualistic across the various cultures. Also, as cultural geographers seek to understand landscape morphology so as to expound more on how human beings adapt to the environment, the ecological approach is expected to come in handy.
Previously, the ecological approach was widely utilized by the cultural geographers to understand the energy and materials flow while examining the role of institutions as well as beliefs in the natural ecology within the cultural framework. This approach took human beings just like a wide range of other organisms to be constituents of the ecology.
Cultural geographers may also need to apply the ecological approach when it comes to coming up with a more detailed understanding of how individuals come up with decisions that relate to the use of the natural environment.
Mitchell (2000) also notes that there are many questions which the ecological approach may help cultural geographers to answer. For instance it is largely unknown whether the national character can be taken top be the dominant region’s value style as well as system. If this is the case, then it may be expected that once there is a shift in the action centers, then there will be a change in the national character.
There has been a popular belief from the ancient times that the national character is largely influenced as well determined by the physical environmental effects. This as Mitchell (2000) notes provides a problem that seems elusive but all the more fascinating to cultural geographers. With that in mind, we may conclude that the ecological approach may prove greatly helpful when it comes to bringing to light fresh insights in this.
It is important to note that though the ecological approach has taken a beating previously chiefly from political ecology. However its ideas today continue to be used widely and it remains to be seen what role it will play going forward given the fascination of cultural geographers with this approach.
Anderson, K. (2003). Handbook of cultural geography. SAGE
Duncan, J.S., Johnson, N.C., & Schein, R.H. (2004). A companion to cultural geography. Wiley-Blackwell
Mitchell, D. (2000). Cultural geography: a critical introduction. Wiley-Blackwell
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