ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM vs POSSIBILISM Environmental Determinism Says that

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ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM vs. POSSIBILISM

ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINISM vs. POSSIBILISM

Environmental Determinism • Says that the physical environment is the dominant force in shaping

Environmental Determinism • Says that the physical environment is the dominant force in shaping cultures. • People are passive products of their physical surroundings. • Any problems with this theory?

 • Example: Mountain people would be simple, backward, and conservative because they live

• Example: Mountain people would be simple, backward, and conservative because they live secluded from others.

Tibetans

Tibetans

 • Example: People living in tropical climates would be lazy since they didn’t

• Example: People living in tropical climates would be lazy since they didn’t need to work too hard to get food.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Environmental Determinism • Part of the rationale used in colonialism; the Europeans claimed to

Environmental Determinism • Part of the rationale used in colonialism; the Europeans claimed to be naturally stronger and smarter. • Any problems you see with this theory?

Possibilism • The belief that people and not the environment are the architects of

Possibilism • The belief that people and not the environment are the architects of their own cultures. • Any environment offers a variety of ways that a culture can possibly develop. • The culture is shaped by the choices the people make in interacting with their environments.

And don’t forget Las Vegas-then…. .

And don’t forget Las Vegas-then…. .

And now!

And now!

 • People regard their environments through the lens of their own cultural values,

• People regard their environments through the lens of their own cultural values, as the resources they need: whatever is useful to them. • Some geographers say that the more technologically advanced a society is, the more POSSIBILITIES it has to shape its environment. • But of course we all know--

You can’t control Mother Nature!

You can’t control Mother Nature!

New Orleans

New Orleans