5 Themes of Geography: Place
What is culture?
Culture – in geography –
is the way of life of a
group of people who share
similar beliefs and
The same language,
religion, dress
It can also include
government, music,
literature and ways the
people make a living
Early Cultures
Around 4,000 to
5,000 years ago, at
least four cultures
arose in Asia and
One developed in
China along a river
called the Huang He
Another developed
near the Indus River
in South Asia
A third between the
Tigris and Euphrates
And, the fourth along
the Nile River
Early Cultures
All four river-valley
cultures developed
agriculture and ways
of irrigating (bringing
water to land)
Why was irrigation
People learned how
to adapt to the land
They also learned
trades, built cities and
made laws
Early Cultures
These cultures
eventually became
civilizations, or
highly developed
These cultures
spread their
knowledge and
skills from one area
to another
This is also called
cultural diffusion
Culture Regions Today
Geographers divide the world into areas called culture
Based on government, social groups, economic systems, languages
or religions
The kind of government, or
political system, a society
has reflects its culture
Most countries had
authoritarian systems
One person ruled with
unlimited power
When people hold the power,
we call this a “democracy”
Citizens choose their leaders
The leaders are then expected
to obey the laws of the land
and other traditions
Language allows people to share ideas
One of the strongest unifying forces for culture
Languages spoken in a culture region often belong
to the same language family
Language family = languages start the same way
Example: Romance languages came from Latin –
Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian
Major world
religions include:
Hinduism, Islam
and Judaism
Social Groups
A country may have
different groups of
people living within its
The differences are
sometimes based on
income (how much
money someone earns)
How are they living?
Are their needs being
met? Can they read?
(Or, are they literate?)
All societies have economic systems
How do people produce goods? What goods do
they produce? How are the goods bought and
In most democratic societies, a market economy
prevails = private businesses with very little
interference from the government
Another economic system is socialism = the
government sets goals, run some businesses and
has a central role in the government