Welcome to the website of GEO 106 Human Geography at Front Range College in Longmont, Colorado. This site is a collection of writings on geographical topics from our fall term of 2013. Please use the “Topics” box on the right to navigate through the writings, or just scroll down. Hope you enjoy!
Push and pull factors – the story of my family the refugees
Push and pull factors play huge roles in the motivation to migrate. Push factors are negative reasons for migrating from the homeland, and pull factors are positive influences in the new location that appeal to immigrants. These push and pull factors vary from political, environmental, and economical reasons (Rubenstein, 92).
Political push factors vary from slavery, to religious persecution. In the case of environmental factors, the geography of a location can be a push factor for one individual and a pull for another. Finally, the most common, economical factors persuade migrants to move to different locations. Many over-seas immigrants find themselves pulled into developed countries like the United States and Canada, hoping for better economic conditions (Rubenstein, 92-94).
Being of Pakistani, Chinese, and Vietnamese descent, I come from immigrants. My mother’s side of the family immigrated to the United States from Vietnam 35 years ago. Being the third generation, my grandmother loves to reminisce with me about the crazy journey immigrating to the U.S.
My grandmother left Vietnam because of communist oppression, terrible economic conditions, and hope for the American Dream. Being a woman, my grandmother was only allowed to attend school until the age of 12. She walked three miles through undeveloped terrain every day to get to school, drank river water and ate meager amounts of rice for lunch, and then trekked back through the Vietnamese jungles to come home to chores. In Vietnam my grandmother was considered somewhat wealthy, but by American standards she faced extreme poverty. On her birthday she received one egg as a present. My mother similarly dealt with the same economic circumstances, injustice of education, and third-world conditions of Vietnam. As a child, my mother was subjected to chores in a local marketplace to support my family. As a result, she was attacked by a wild turkey who pushed a vat of boiling water onto her legs, leaving her with third degree burns at the age of eight. When going to school my mother had to cross a dangerous river. Due to the unstable nature of her makeshift canoe, she fell in and almost drowned. Luckily, she caught onto a rock. Along with these push factors, the communist government in Vietnam was also a huge reason for my family’s immigration to America. My grandfather had fought alongside Americans in the Vietnam War. He found himself envying the freedom Americans had, the opportunities they spoke of, and soon my grandfather made it a goal of his to leave the country. My family as a whole realized that Vietnam was no longer a safe place and looked for a way to escape the communist country.
To make things short, after Americans gave up their occupation of Vietnam my family began to save gold in the walls of their house. They used the gold to build a boat. However, the boat could only be worked on at night due to fear of communist rule. Within a few months, goodbyes were said and 30 of my family members set sail with only moonlight to guide them. Once they had reached the middle of the ocean and were comfortably on their way to Freedom Land, the boat broke down due to a hole. Before the boat completely sank a Japanese oil tanker came to their rescue and picked them up. The Japanese brought my family to the nearest refugee camp in Indonesia. The Red Cross refugee camp hosted my family for two years until they were sponsored over by a small church in Chicago.
Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2014. Print.
December 2, 2013
Life on the Border
The border of Mexico is quite different from more distant states from Mexico, since the border towns are “connected” to one another. The border stretches between the United States and Mexico. It is an “invisible” line on maps, a physical wall in person. The separation between two countries does not prevent an exchange of popular culture: food, lifestyle, and language are all cultural characteristics that diffuse from place to place; a connection that is impossible to deny.
The United States and Mexico border is nearly 2,000 miles long (International Borders of the USA). I grew up in Mexico, right on the border, in Agua Prieta, Sonora and Douglas, Arizona. Growing up I notice that the wall that divided the USA and Mexico were always changing. Never paid attention on how the people from my both towns was influenced by the popular culture, until I visit my family from Gomez Palacio, Durango Mexico; I was ten years old, talking to my cousin and I asked her to pass me the “tape” and she looked at me with this blank expression on her face, and replied: “el que?” (the what?) I repeated: El tape, pasame el tape (The tape, give me the tape) and still my cousin did not move. I grabbed it and said well how do you call this, she said, cinta adhesiva. It was the first time I have ever heard that name, and of course that is the correct name in spanish.
When I went back to Agua Prieta, I noticed the spanglish. Words like
pushale- to push, raite- give a ride, parquear- to park, quitear- to quit, lonche- lunch, and many more. Although many people from that live in Douglas, have not really adopted spanish words but they understand them, and the their accent is different as well.
Food is also influence by the two borders. In Agua Prieta we eat a lot of hamburgers and hot dogs, but with a Mexican twist. For example hot dogs that are typically in my home town are wrapped in bacon and with pinto bean, and salsa. There is also many American restaurants in Mexico, like McDonald, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, Applebee’s. In Douglas, AZ there were small business selling Mexican food or Tex-Mex food.
Lifestyle personally I believe that the Mexican side of the border have more popular culture than the American side. When I live in Agua Prieta my parents will buy some of the groceries on Douglas. It is common to buy clothes sell in American stores, since in a way there were cheaper than some of the stores of Mexico. The American side will buy more furniture, decoration, and sometimes pets. Food was not allowed to go through the border back in the states. Monetary also is used in both border, in some stores in Douglas one can pay with Mexican money, and in Agua Prieta one can use American money everywhere in town.
Living in the border I can conclude that the Mexican side of the border has higher influence in some of the American popular culture, but still keeping their own folklore culture. It is a mixture that was easily seen when I visited my family in Gomez Palacio. The border is a different way of living that I would recommend to visit the border and experience the exchange.
Gigi. “Do You Want It in English, Spanish, or Spanglish? :-D.” A Better Me Day By Day. N.p., 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2013
“International Border of the United States and the Defense of These Borders.” Border Control. Numbers USA, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013
N.d. Photograph. God’s World Photography. Web. 2 Dec. 2013
Rubenstein, James M. “Folk and Popular Culture.” Cultural Landscape. Harlow:Pearson Education Limited, 2014. N. pag. 108. Print.
Ways of Development
There are different key elements of human culture distributed across the globe. Some can because migration. Leading to a new development the key can be language and culture. These key elements will help us understand that by combining them they will create distribution around the word by the movement of people to different parts of the world, by communicating different ideas and ultimately by combining ideas it creates development. Migration is an important element that helps define the motives behind the distribution of languages.
People all over the world need modes of production, distribution, and consumption in order to provide food and other commodities needed on a daily basis. It might be that some places in the world some basic needs are not provided, hard to afford or obtain. People might be looking for the basic needs that maybe denied in their place of origin. These people will look for better opportunities and places where that opportunity to grow is available, and may also to immigrate to a land of greater opportunity. In fig. 2, it show depending on the economy doing in a place and how are people are also doing , they will go to a place where the progress is better, in this example is showing America. Fig. 2
By creating a way of distribution by migrating, the people will take their culture with them and integrate it in their new place of residency. In the article “About Human Development”, the writer Fernando Rojas states “Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live”. People should have the freedom to migrate to new ways of living.
When taking culture from one place to another. Language is also linked with culture. Language is distributed around the globe by migration. Back then a way of distributing language was distributed around the world was by war or by the conquest of a new land, this imposed a new language, but many people kept their native language. Now a day it is very helpful to know another language. Most of the big companies will look for people that can speak a language that can connect them to a part of the world where they are interested in making business; leading to the distribution of ideas and new developments. According to John W. Berry, in his journal called Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures he states that:
“Acculturation comprehends those phenomena which result when groups of
Individuals having different cultures come into continuous first-hand contact, with
subsequent changes in the original culture patterns of either or both groups under
this definition, acculturation is to be distinguished from culture change, of which it is
but one aspect, and assimilation, which is at times a phase of acculturation”
With culture and language the development of new ways of living will increase in different regions. Developments in different parts of the world are not always even. In some places poverty is extreme, and others are wealthy. Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live. The level of development is the process of improving the material conditions of people through diffusion of knowledge.
In conclusion elements of human distribution go hand in hand with culture, language; distribution of these is a combination of knowledge and trying to work together to create a better way of living in our world. We all have adopted, we are all immigrants in a country that haves help us develop as a person and a community where we all have developed acculturation.
Acculturation.” Ray-Ban. It’s Not Deciphering the GREek!, 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 15 Oct. 2013
Berry, John W. “Acculturation: Living Successfully in Two Cultures.” N.p., 10 July 2005. Web. 15 Oct. 2013.
“Identity Designed.” MyCall. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Rojas, Fernando. “About Human Development.” Human Development Project RSS. Measure of America American, n.d. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Human culture has always been distributed across the globe in different ways. A new element of human culture that seems to be having a great impact on human society at a now global scale is network marketing. Network marketing is a fairly new type of industry that has been said to be the business of the twenty-first century.
The concept is that a product gets recognized and sold due to word of mouth from ordinary people in every day life versus utilizing celebrities, adds, and in store sales. By using this method average people are able to create residual income based on how many individuals they recruit to buy, utilize, and promote the product themselves. Many motivational speakers such as Robert Kiyosaki back this industry one hundred percent!
It has, in fact, been proven to create more millionaires than any other industry out there! Different cultures have different perspectives on this concept of network marketing. When promotion for making money in this way is passed on to many of the eastern cultures- people of that area is not as consumed with financial issues as those of the western world. Value to them lies more so in family assets and traditional culture than becoming the next billionaire. As a result this service is not as popular. Also it does take money to start up in this industry so it would not be able to work in the more poverty stricken areas of the world. With any industry great risk is involved, but especially with network marketing because not all companies involved in this industry are ethical. Whatever business people choose to enter I can only hope that they have done their research, know that it is the right choice for them, and always continue to remain passionate!
- . N.p.. Web. 9 Dec 2013. <http://richdadmanila.com/is-network-marketing-the-business-of-the-future/>.
- . N.p.. Web. 9 Dec 2013. <http://mlmattorney.com/blog/2012/06/21/network-marketing-a-growing-industry-hard-facts-and-the-future/>.
Jacob Standafer, Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist
The novel Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup is an excellent rendition of slavery in antebellum society and greatly exemplifies how politics effected views on African Americans, as well as how it dictated their religion and literacy.
This novel tells the story of one free mans true account of his being captured and sold into slavery, subjected to its brutality for over a decade of his life. The propaganda and explanation for holding the slave population captive was directly the result of political influence. It was for the best of the southern economy and was successful in convincing much of the white population that African Americans in fact enjoyed their lifestyle and were unable to comprehend the idea of what it was to be a free man. The religious stories told to the slave population were those of obedience and reform. The way religion was utilized was political itself, although still providing a form of salvation, was not spoken of or taught in much of the same way that it would be exercised it today. The novel not only depicts this usage but also the difference in literacy of that of the free man and the slave. Human beings born into slavery were purposefully not taught to be literate specifically for a political agenda. The difference between communication among those born to slavery and those who were not depicted in the novel is truly great.
- Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years A Slave . Dover Ed. Auburn, NY: Dover Publications, 2000. Print.
- Rubenstein, James. The Cultural Landscape. 11th ed. Pearson Education, Print.
Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist, Jacob Standofer
Egypt greatly exemplifies a country that bases its political movements around language, ethnicity, and religion. Among many other Middle Eastern countries Egypt is at a crossroads between tying its political policies with strong Islamist values and religion or moving forward to having a more westernized influence, yet still identifying strongly with Arabic culture. Khairat El-Shater’s candidacy for president of Egypt became a conflict that clearly shows this constant battle between religion and ethnicity.
Khairat El-Shater is the chief strategist and financier for an organization called The Muslim Brotherhood. By definition The Muslim Brotherhood is, “ A religious and political group founded on the belief that Islam is not simply a religion, but a way of life. It advocates a move away from secularism, and a return to the rules of the Quran as a basis for healthy families, communities, and states.” (Jones). This organization holds most of the power in Congress and if Shater were to gain presidency it would therefor result in The Muslim Brotherhood obtaining a complete political monopoly over Egyptian politics fixed on the basis of Islamic religion.
Hosni Mubarak- Egypt’s former president- outlawed The Muslim Brotherhood. The majority of the educated youth of Egypt are against holding traditional Islamic values as the basis of their political influence. They fight for a more westernized and liberal society. Although they fight for westernization and democracy they do not want any outside help. They still view non-Arabic people who are trying to speed up the process for westernization as intruders. So they essentially still hold ethnicity to a high degree of importance. Whatever the result may be of Egypt’s political dilemma both hold influence centered around concept that unify how people identify themselves in the Middle East- either religious value or ethnicity and language. Hopefully one day Egypt, along with the rest of the Middle East may become societies of peace, correlating their political movements with that of which are best for all their people.
1) Kirkpatrick, David. “Islamist Group Breaks Pledge to Stay Out of Race in Egypt.” New York Times [New York] 31 03 2012, n. pag. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/world/middleeast/brotherhood-chooses-a-candidate-in-egypt.html>.
2) Kirkpatrick, David. “Keeper of Islamic Flame Rises as Egypt’s New Decisive Voice .” New York Times [New York ] 12 03 2012, n. pag. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/world/middleeast/muslim-brotherhood-leader-rises-as-egypts-decisive-voice.html?_r=0>.
3) Jones, Bryony, dir. What is the Muslim Brotherhood. Writ. Susanna Cullinane. CNN.Com, 2013. Web. 5 Nov 2013. <http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/03/world/africa/egypt-muslim-brotherhood-explainer/>.
Jacob Standofer, Oren Paisner, Jessica Silvestri
Water distribution is a clear example of physical environments affecting political processes. The city of Boulder is very fortunate to have the water supply that it does. Based on the bodies of water that it owns, Boulder has made it so that it will have clean drinking water for its residents for decades to come!
The surrounding areas, however, do not seem to be as fortunate. Due to the striking amount of water available to be utilized for drinking this resource has become political. Boulder County rests on a location that makes companies that bottle water view it as having both positive situation and site factors. This makes it liked by companies that hold proximity to markets, along with the fact that tap water is essentially free therefor companies that bottle it and keep it close to their consumers are able to make a huge profit!
The city of Boulder owns the Silver Lake/ Lakewood watershed and the Arapaho Glacier- that is actually more like a permanent snowfield.
Boulder city also has senior water rights on middle boulder creek. Aside from these it also is capable of obtaining some water from the Colorado River after it is pumped through a funnel from Grand County. Boulder receives 40% of its drinking water from Barker reservoir on middle boulder creek, another 40% from the Silver Lake/ Lakewood watershed on North Boulder Creek, and then just 20% from the piece of the Boulder reservoir that is filled by the Colorado River. This puts the city of Boulders residents in a very favorable place when it comes to them having access to drinking water for decades to come. Other towns in Boulder County rely much more heavily on the Colorado River, nor do they have plans to meet water demands in coming decades.
Something for Boulder residents to consider-especially those residents that just reside in Boulder County, not city- is the fact that they live in and area with such a positive situation factor. The Boulder location makes it so that costs of transportation of goods- in this case water- is very minimal. Profits are high and there is plenty of water to go around! At least for now- if residents keep allowing big name companies to deplete their water source than it may not be so plentiful in the future. This positive situation factor allows for a positive site factor as well. Ultimately resulting in companies being capable of having proximity to markets. Meaning they are able to be as close to the consumer as possible without it costing them and money or inconvenience. Typically this results in the inconvenience of the residents whose resource is being depleted being of no concern, nor is it ever dealt with.
Boulder city holds ownership for many plentiful surrounding resources that provide large water supply, and this is not something to be taken fro granted. Hopefully in the decades to come all human beings that reside in Boulder cities surrounding areas as well as in Colorado will realize that their fantastic location is not one that should be taken advantage of by large corporations. Clean drinking water should always be a right and not a privilege. Following is a map of primary water Sources of the Boulder creek watershed. The main sources being numbers: 1- Middle Boulder creek, 2- North Boulder creek, Silver Lake, and finally 6- Main stem.
1) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://biggreenboulder.com/where-we-get-our-water/>.
2) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://bcn.boulder.co.us/basin/waterworks/>.
3) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <. N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. .>.
Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist, Jennah Remain
1) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://biggreenboulder.com/where-we-get-our-water/>.
2) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <http://bcn.boulder.co.us/basin/waterworks/>.
3) . N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. <. N.p.. Web. 13 Nov 2013. .>.
Jessica Silvestri, Ellie Strandquist, Jennah Reiman
In Ireland, there are two main groups of people: the Catholics and the Protestants. For several years there has been a constant battle between these two groups. This battle has gone on long enough that not a single living person in Ireland remembers peace. From the formation of the terrorist group known as the Provisional Irish Republican Army, there are examples of two religious group’s war for independence. A war that extends into the streets and involves everyone in Ireland. The historical political and social climates of Ireland are an example of how a religious group can cause political movements to form.
The IRA was, originally, a group of volunteers that fought for Ireland’s Independence from Britain from 1919-1921. They fought using guerrilla warfare and for a noble goal. When one mentions the IRA, the usual assumption is actually the Provisional IRA. In 1969 the Provisional IRA (aka the Provos IRA or PIRA) emerged from an ideological split with the original IRA. This difference in ideology was due to the PIRA believing in the value of violence. (Bishop pg. 117) They believed that in order for Ireland to become its own nation, the path must be paved in blood. Pictured above is a British soldier apprehending a member of the PIRA during the Bloody Sunday Incident. During this incident the PIRA was fired upon by the British military as well. These events increased the volunteer rate for the PIRA significantly, therefore enabling them to move forward with their agenda. Additionally, Bloody Sunday is considered the initial launch, of Ireland, into chaos. (Weinraub pgr. 1)
The religious ties of the PIRA are slightly abstract. In the interest of simplicity, Protestants of Ireland have historically supported the reign of the United Kingdoms over Ireland, while the Catholics are more Irish Nationalists. Historically speaking, extreme nationalism usually results in war. This example is in accord with that trend. Furthermore, the PIRA is primarily composed, led, and infused with volunteers that are Catholic. Since the Bloody Sunday Incident the PIRA has continued its terrorist form of war in Ireland. It has even lead to other splinter terrorist organizations such as the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA. These groups do not appear to be going away and even started from something noble, such as a religious group’s desire for an independent nation. the Bloody Sunday Incident the PIRA has continued its terrorist form of war in Ireland. It has even lead to other splinter terrorist organizations such as the Real IRA and the Continuity IRA. These groups do not appear to be going away and even started from something noble, such as a religious group’s desire for an independent nation.
Pictured in the map below, is Northern Ireland. This is the home of the IRA and has been for many years. Their headquarters resides in Belfast. Belfast is located on the tip of sea inlet, named Belfast Lough. One possible reason for choosing this location is that Belfast is the administrative capital of Northern Ireland. Another reason may be that the Belfast Lough, lough being the Irish word for sea inlet or lake, provides Belfast with direct access to the North Channel. From there a ship can travel to the North Atlantic Ocean and then to anywhere in the world.
From the noble roots of the IRA, to the split of the PIRA and the subsequent fall of the political climate of Northern Ireland, there are illustrations of a once good idea, turned sour by extremism. While there is no clear proof that this is religious extremism, there is a strong suggestion that the PIRA is a religious group. As with many cases, the truth is intricate and too broad a scope to be distilled into a few paragraphs. However, there is evidence here that suggests a religious movement, when out of control, can turn the tides of a country. Irelands future is uncertain, but for now the news is not filled with stories of tragedy coming from the IRA. Hopefully, this uncertain peace can resolve into a better future, for Northern Ireland, and Ireland as a nation.
Bishop, Patrick, and Eamonn Mallie. The Provisional IRA. London: Corgi, 1988. Print.
Weinraub, Bernard. “Bloody Friday—It Was the Worst Yet.” Terrorism: Essential Primary Sources. Ed. K. Lee Lerner and Brenda Wilmoth Lerner. Detroit: Gale, 2006. 128-131. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 17 Nov. 2013
The global oil supply is vanishing. With this fact not exactly being a secret, it is easy to see why the developed nations of the world are trying to find any source of oil they can. There is an empire of technology and development that relies on it for fuel, and there isn’t a replacement, yet. One method, that has been debated in the USA for years, for obtaining new supplies is offshore drilling. Offshore drilling can create new jobs and cheaper oil, but at the risk of spoiling the ocean habitats where the drilling will take place.
On one side of the argument, there is the matter of the USA relying on oil from other nations. As William Jasper wrote in his article, “No other nation in the world prohibits development of its offshore energy. But, incredibly, federal prohibitions on OCS drilling over the past 25 years have caused the United States to send trillions of dollars to overseas oil producers and have jeopardized our national security by making us dangerously dependent on foreign energy sources,” (Jasper par. 4). Jasper continues with a plan to give each coastal state the power to govern its own waters. This would allow the states to decide for or against offshore drilling. While this may seem logical, the truth is that humanity will eventually have to peel away from its dependence on oil. Any method to acquire oil is simply a stop gap until the day it runs out. With that in mind, it hardly makes sense to drill when it puts ocean habitats at risk.
Conversely, in Alaska, and many other polar regions, oil companies have been allowed to explore whatever options for drilling they can find. With Global Climate change becoming an increasingly pertinent issue, Margaret Williams believes these expeditions into the Arctic are the precursor to a major oil spill (Williams par. 11). Williams refers to a lack in response abilities to spills in these Arctic zones as a major cause for worry. If a large oil corporation were to have a spill, even in Alaska, the damage would most likely be done by the time they had cleared the spill. Earth is already losing species to Global Climate Change, but this increases the odds dramatically.
Offshore drilling would only provide the United States with small benefits, and it would take years for the average person to see them. It is a highly risky practice that involves giving jobs to a large part of Americans, but at the potential cost of the extinction of entire species. The most confusing part about the issue is that it is still being discussed. Offshore drilling is simply not a solution and should not be advertised as one.
Jasper, William F. “Offshore Drilling Will Create Jobs and Help the Economy.” Offshore Drilling. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Lifeblood from the Ocean Floor: The Lame-Duck Congress Has the Opportunity to Tackle U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil and Save Hundreds of Billions of Dollars and Millions of Jobs with a Deep-Ocean Drilling Bill.”The New American (11 Dec. 2006). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.
Williams, Margaret. “Offshore Drilling in Alaska Should Be Limited.”Offshore Drilling. Ed. Margaret Haerens. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from “Offshore Drilling in Alaska: Time to Slow the Rush.” Yale Environment 360. 2008. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 4 Dec. 2013.