Cultural Aspect of Geographical Studies: The Mediterranean Region
Author: Orlowska, Elzbieta
Source: Natural Environment and Culture in the Mediterranean Region, Issue data not provided , pp. 457-472(16)
Abstract:Geographically-specific human culture is the most important factor that differentiates people from other living things and shapes the way we live. Culture serves as a guide for how we act and interpret the world around us. This paper focuses on cultural aspects of the Mediterranean Region and its modern multicultural space, a space which is constantly undergoing transformation due to globalization. The effects of this transformation are most evident in the regions which form the frontiers of cultural boundaries. In the process of widening the Mediterranean ecumene, particular human communities have developed different lifestyles. In addition, there have been active forms of human adaptation to the environment through the hereditary transfer of knowledge and models of behaviour suited to specific cultural levels and specific existential conditions in particular locations. These are components of culture, which in turn are products of individual societies creating and shaping images of their own regions.
When studying how cultural characteristics of place develop, geographers often focus on the region as the key concept of classification and analysis. In fact, the “region” is the basic building block of geographic analysis. In every geographic region, we discover certain patterns which are related to culture and serve as a reflection of culture. To understand these patterns, it is first necessary to understand their cultural context. Indeed, questions about the essence of human geography are also questions about human life and cultural identity in the multicultural space of Earth.
The Mediterranean Region is defined as the region that includes countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea (plus Portugal) between about 27° N to 47° N and 10° W to 37° E.
The term Mediterranean derives from the Latin mediterraneus (“medius” or “middle” plus “terra,” which means “land,” or “earth”). To the ancient Romans, the Mediterranean was the center of the Earth as they knew it.
Document Type: Research Article
- Natural Environment and Culture in the Mediterranean Region
The Mediterranean Basin is located at the intersection of two major landmasses, Eurasia and Africa, which contributes to its cultural and high biodiversity. The greatest impacts have been deforestation, habitat fragmentation, intensive grazing and fires, and infrastructure development, especially on the coast, which have distinctly altered the landscape. In view of the valuable natural heritage there is a great need for weighing our ecological impact in order to achieve a balance between biodiversity conservation and human development and above all, how to maintain traditional rural livelihoods in a way that benefits biodiversity. This book synthesizes knowledge from many disciplines to throw some light on the unpredictability of forthcoming changes.
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