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This Author: Nathan F. Sayre
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World Regions, Peoples, and States by Nathan F. Sayre

World Regions, Peoples, and States

webcast.berkeley Course - Geo 10

by Nathan F. Sayre


Title Details


The world is comprised of regions—this basic contention, as old as Western civilization, is at once commonsensical and problematic. To be sure, one can draw lines on a map that divide the world into areas with distinctive patterns of culture and language, climate and vegetation, economy and society. But lines on a map never match reality perfectly: There are always moments or places where lines blur, and countless other ways one might plausibly classify the earth’s surface and peoples. Moreover, the lines need to move as time passes and realities change.

Regions, then, are not fixed or timeless, natural or neutral. If they are objectively grounded it can only be because the natural and social processes that create regional patterns are objective processes. Regions are the geographical byproduct of geology, ecology and history.

This course approaches the world’s regions, peoples and states in terms of processes rather than lines on a map. We will look at the world, and we will attempt to absorb and understand some of its social and natural diversity. The emphasis, however, will be on how these patterns have been produced over time and space. We will also consider the strengths and weaknesses of thinking about the world in terms of regions.

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