World Regions in Global Context: Peoples, Places, and Environments / Edition 5

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World Regions in Global Context presents a strong global sensibility and an emphasis on current concerns, with models of interdependent development, spatial and social inequality, and questions of spatial justice. The authors maintain that regions are the outcomes of a set of twin forces of globalization and regionalization. Therefore, each regional chapter stresses the global systems of connection that drive unique regional processes, making regions different. By studying regions, students not only learn the critical elements of different places, but also come to understand the fundamental processes that drive change. The Fifth Edition discusses geographies of emerging regions, incorporates cutting-edge data visualizations and infographics, including Quick Response codes linking to online media, features a completely modernized cartography program, and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321821058
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/18/2013
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 528
  • Sales rank: 91,548
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sallie Marston received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She has been a faculty member in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona since 1986. Her teaching focuses on culture, politics, globalization, and methods. She has taught many innovative courses, including a cultural geography course based entirely on HBO’s The Wire. She is the recipient of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award. She is the author of over 70 journal articles, book chapters, and books and serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals. She is co-author of Pearson’s introductory human geography textbook, Places and Regions in Global Context.

Paul Knox received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Sheffield, England. After teaching in the United Kingdom for several years, he moved to the United States to take a position as professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech. His teaching centers on urban and regional development withan emphasis on comparative study. He has written several books on aspects of economic geography, social geography, and urbanization and he serves on the editorial board of several scientific journals. In 1996 he was appointed to the position of University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech, where he currently serves as Senior Fellow for International Advancement, and International Director of the Metropolitan Institute. He is co-author of Pearson’s introductory human geography textbook, Places and Regions in Global Context.

Diana Liv erman received her Ph.D. in Geography from UCLA, and also studied at the University of Toronto, Canada, and University College London, England. Born in Accra, Ghana, she holds a joint appointment between the University of Arizona (where she co-directs the Institute of the Environment) and Oxford University. She has taught geography at Oxford University, the University of Arizona, Penn State, and the University of Wisconsin. Her teaching focuses on global environmental issues, climate and development, and on Latin America. She has served on several national and international advisory committees dealing with environmental issues and climate change and has written recent journal articles and book chapters on such topics as natural disasters, climate change, and environmental policy.

Vincent J. Del Casino Jr. received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Kentucky in 2000. He is currently Professor of Geography and Development and Associate Dean, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is part of the Social and Cultural Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography editorial boards as well as the AAG Membership Committee. He was previously Professor of Geography at California State University, Long Beach. He has held a Visiting Research Fellow post at The Australian National University, and completed NSF supported research in Thailand. His current research reflects his ongoing interests in the areas of social and health geography, with a particular emphasis on HIV transmission, the care of people living with HIV and AIDS, and homelessness. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on his research, and he recently completed an upper division textbook on social geography: A Companion to Social Geography (Wiley-Blackwell). He has served as Chair of the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the AAG. His teaching focuses on social geography, geographic thought, and geographic methodology. He also teaches a number of general education courses in geography, including world regional geography, which he first began teaching as a graduate student in 1995.

Paul Robbins received his Ph.D. in Geography from Clark University in 1996. He is currently Director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Prior to this, he taught at the University of Arizona from 2005-2012, where he was Professor and Director of the School of Geography and Development, Ohio State University, the University of Iowa, and Eastern Connecticut State University. He has served as Chair of the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the AAG. His teaching and research focuses on the relationships between individuals (homeowners, hunters, professional foresters), environmental actors (lawns, elk, mesquite trees), and the institutions that connect them. He and his students seek to explain human environmental practices and knowledge, the influence the environment has on human behavior and organization, and the implications this holds for ecosystem health, local community, and social justice. Past projects have examined chemical use in the suburban United States, elk management in Montana, forest product collection in New England, and wolf conservation in India.

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Table of Contents

1. World Regions in Global Context

2. Europe

3. The Russian Federation, Central Asia, and the Transcaucasus

4. Middle East and North Africa

5. Sub-Saharan Africa

6. The United States and Canada

7. Latin America

8. East Asia

9. South Asia

10. Southeast Asia

11. Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific

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It is not down in any map; true places never are.
Excerpt from Moby Dick; or The Whale Published by Harper & Brothers, New York. Copyright 1851 by Herman Melville.

This line from Herman Melville's classic American novel, Moby Dick, suggests that while places can be identified on a map—located using longitude and latitude coordinates—one can never truly understand a place simply by knowing its geographic location. Places and regions come to life as we learn about them and develop a relationship—sprititual, physical, emotional, psychological—to them. Moby Dick is the story of a voyage of discovery; this book is as well. World Regions in Global Context provides an introduction to world regional geography that will make exotic places, landscapes, and environments accessible and will reveal the familiar in new ways. To study world regional geography, to put it simply, is to study the dynamic and complex relationships between people and the worlds they inhabit. This book gives students the basic geographical tools and concepts needed to understand the complexity of regions and to appreciate the interconnections between their own lives and those of people in different parts of the world.

Objectives and Approach
This book has two primary objectives. The first is to provide a body of knowledge about how natural, social, economic, political, and cultural phenomena come together to produce distinctive territories with distinctive landscapes and cultural attributes: that is, world regions. The second is to emphasize that although there is diversity among world regions, it isimportant for us to understand the increasing interdependencies that exist among and between regions in order to build any real understanding of the modern world.

In an attempt to achieve these objectives, we have taken a fresh approach to world geography, reflecting the major changes that have recently been impressed on the global, regional, and local landscapes. These changes include the global spread of new information technologies such as the World Wide Web, which brings distant people and places to our computer screens; the rise of terrorism and the global geopolitical and geoeconomic impacts that have resulted; and the global spread of new social movements that are pressing for reforms on a whole range of issues from sustainability to human rights. The approach used in World Regions in Global Context provides access not only to the new ideas, concepts, and theories that address these changes and many other changes but also to the fundamentals of geography: the principles, concepts, theoretical frameworks, and basic knowledge that are necessary to build a geographic understanding of today's world.

A distinctive feature of our approach is that it employs the concept of geographic scale and emphasizes the interdependence of places and processes at different scales. In overall terms, this approach is designed to provide an understanding of relationships between the global and the local and the outcomes of these relationships. Moreover, we are not only interested in understanding the internal dynamics of a world region, we are also interested in that region's relationship to other regions around the globe. One of the chief organizing principles of our approach is how globalization frames the social and cultural construction of particular places and regions at various scales.

This approach allows us to emphasize a number of important themes.

  • Globalization and the links between global and local—Throughout the book, we stress the increasing interconnectedness of different parts of the world through common processes of economic, environmental, political, and cultural change. We approach the processes of globalization through a world-systems framework based on ideas about geographic cores, peripheries, and semiperipheries. A world economy has in fact been in existence for several centuries, and it has been reorganized several times. Each time it has been reorganized, there have been major changes not only in world geography but also in the character and fortunes of individual regions. In this book, we look not only at world regions as they exist in modern times but also at how each region has contributed to world history and has been affected by the role that it has played. This approach also helps us to point to the links between the global and the local. Recently there has been a pronounced change in both the pace and the nature of globalization. There has been an intensification of global connectedness, a major reorganization of the world economy, and a radical change in our relationships to other people and other places.
  • The unevenness of political and economic development—We also explicitly recognize the underlying diversity of the world. While there are a range of processes that are likely to be common to most regions—urbanization, industrialization, and population distribution—the way these processes are manifested will vary from region to region and even within regions. In short, there are important variations within places and regions at every scale: For example, social well-being varies and there can be affluent enclaves in poor regions and pockets of poverty in rich regions.
  • The connection between society and nature—Inherent to the basic geographic concepts of landscape, place, and region are the interactions between people and the natural environment that shape landscapes and give places and regions their distinctive characteristics. In this book, we explore the nature-society and human-environment relationships that assist in our understanding of regional geography. We emphasize that human adaptation to Earth's physical environments has gone far beyond responses to natural constraints to produce significant modifications of environments and landscapes and widespread environmental degradation and pollution.
  • The links among and between regions—While the book explores a set of coherent world regions, we also make it clear that regions are not isolated areal units but exist in complex relationships to other regions. The world, in short, is an integrated whole, and the concept of regions allows us to break it up into more manageable units. Yet, it is often the case that some regions have stronger and more long-standing connections to other regions or that some subareas of a region—certain key cities or industrial areas—may actually be more connected to outside regions than to their own. This emphasis on the links among and between regions enables us to demonstrate the interdependence of the world and how that interdependence is unevenly produced.
The Geography of World Regions
In this text we have divided the world into ten major regions—Europe; The Russian Federation, Central Asia, and the Transcaucasus; the United States and Canada; Sub-Saharan Africa; the Middle East and North Africa; Latin America; East Asia; Southeast Asia; South Asia; and Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific. There is no standard way of dividing the world into regions. Textbooks, international organizations, and regional studies groups within universities have chosen a variety of ways to divide up and make sense of the world. Although we review the distinctive characteristics of every region at the beginning of each chapter, the changing and sometimes controversial process of defining world regions merits some discussion here.

Early Greek geographers divided their known world into Europe, Africa, and Asia, with the boundaries defined by the Straits of Gibraltar (dividing Africa and Europe), the Red Sea (dividing Africa and Asia), and the Bosporus Strait (dividing Europe and Asia). As Europeans began to explore the world, new regions were associated with major landmasses or continents, with the Americas usually split into North and South America, and Australia and Antarctica added as the sixth and seventh continents. These divisions lumped together many different landscapes and cultures (especially in Asia) but served, in the minds of Europeans, to differentiate "us" from "them," and to provide a framework for organizing colonial exploration and administration. The colonial period produced many new nations and boundaries and transformed cultures and landscapes in ways that produced more homogeneous regions. For example, 400 years of Spanish and Portuguese colonization of the region that stretches from Mexico to Argentina created a region of shared languages, religion, and political institutions that became known as Latin America. British colonization of what now constitutes Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal interacted with local culture to produce a region frequently known as South Asia. In the Middle East and North Africa, the persistence of Muslim religion and tradition gave these regions an identity that separated them from Asia and from Africa south of the Sahara.

In the 20th century, new configurations of political power and economic alliances produced some reconfigurations of world regions. The most notable was the large block of Asia and eastern Europe associated with the socialist politics of the former Soviet Union centered on Russia, together with eastern European countries ranging from East Germany to Bulgaria.

In response to global conflicts and economic opportunities in the second half of the 20th century, governments and universities established programs and centers that focused on specific world areas and their languages. For example, in the United States, the Department of Education established university centers that focused on apparently coherent regions such as Latin America, the Caribbean, the Pacific, Europe, Africa, the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and East, South, and Southeast Asia.

At the beginning of the 21st century, these traditional divisions of the world into regions have been challenged by events, critics, and the latest phases of globalization. When the Soviet bloc disintegrated in 1989, some states, reoriented toward western Europe and to the economic alliance of the European Union, whereas others remainedL closer to Russia or looked eastward to an identity with countries such as Afghanistan as part of central Asia. As. we note in the relevant chapters, regionalizations have: been criticized for being based on race or religion (for example, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa), for being; remnants of colonial thinking (for example, Latin America or Southeast Asia), or for being grounded only in physical proximity or environmental characteristics rather than on cultural or other human commonalities (for example" Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific islands clusteredl in Oceania). We will also discuss a number of countries" such as Sudan, Cyprus, or Antarctica that do not fit easily into the traditional regions or that fit into more than one region. Some scholars and institutions have proposed a dramatic rethinking of world regions. They suggest, for example, that all Islamic or oilproducing countries be treated together, or that countries be grouped according to their level of economic development or integration into the global economy. For example, the World Bank commonly classifies nations into high-, middle-, and low-income countries, and this book identifies many regions and countries according to their relation to the core or periphery of the world-system.

Our own division of the world tries to take into account some of these changing ideas about world regions without deviating too radically from popular understandings or other texts or course outlines and by trying to create a manageable number and coherent set of chapters. Each chapter includes our rationale for treating the places in the chapter as a distinct region and a review of the limitations and debates about defining each region. In addition, each chapter emphasizes the links .of the region under discussion to other regions and to processes of globalization that might be changing the nature and coherence of world regions.

Chapter Organization
Two of the central challenges to writing a world regional geography text appropriate for the modern world involve balancing an emphasis on globalization and global processes with the traditional and important emphasis on individual places and in striking a balance between broad regional generalizations and overly divisive country-by-country regional descriptions. The internal structure of each of the regional chapters is critically important to achieving this balance. In order to strike such a balance, we divide each regional chapter into five standard categories.

Environment and Society in the Region: We begin each of the chapters with a concise discussion of the physical and environmental context of the region, ending this section with an explanation of the region's environmental history. Our aim here is to demonstrate the links between people and nature and how the environment is shaped by and shapes the region's inhabitants over time.

The Region in the World-System: Consistent with our aim to highlight the enduring interdependence of the world's regions, we then provide a section that places each of the regions within the larger context of global history and geography.

The Peoples of the Region: In this section we discuss, at various different scales, the people who live in the region.

Contemporary Challenges in a Globalizing World: This section outlines the contemporary role of the region in the global context. This material contrasts to the more historical material emphasized in the Region in the WorldSystem section.

Core Regions and Distinctive Landscapes: One of our approaches in the text is to demonstrate the ways in which core, periphery, and semiperiphery are unevenly distributed across geographical scales, in that a specific city or subregion in a peripheral region may share the characteristics of a core region. To illustrate this point, we include a section on core regions that describes the politically and economically central subregions within each of the world regions we discuss. In addition this section devotes coverage to exploring and understanding some of the distinctive regions and landscapes of each of the world's regions.

The organization of the book is pedagogically useful in several ways. First, the conceptual framework of the book is built on two opening chapters: Chapter 1 describes the basics of a regional perspective; Chapter 2 introduces the key concepts that are deployed throughout the remaining regional chapters, highlighting the importance of the globalization approach. Second, the concepts and conceptual framework that are laid out in Chapters 1 and 2 are explored and elaborated upon in the ten regional chapters that follow.

A third important aspect of the book is the distinctive ordering of the chapters. The sequencing of the chapters is a deliberate move to avoid privileging any one region over any other or to cluster the regions according to any economic or political categorization. Rather, because the key conceptual framework of the book is the globalization of the capitalist world-system, we begin with the European region (Chapter 3) because that is where contemporary capitalism and many of the impulses for the contemporary world map have their source. Following the initial appearance of this historically critical core region, however, we deliberately intersperse core, semiperipheral, and peripheral regions in order to signal the interdependence of each.

The final chapter provides a coherent summary of the main points discussed and illustrated in the preceding chapters through an elaboration of the possible futures of the world's regions. This chapter returns students to the conceptual foundations of the book and provides them with a sense of what the future of the globe—and the places and regions within it—might be like.

This book takes a decidedly different approach to understanding world regions, and the features we use help to underscore that difference. The book employs an innovative cartography program, three different boxed features (Geography Matters; Sense of Place; and Geographies of Indulgence, Desire, and Addiction), as well as more familiar pedagogical devices such as end-of-chapter review questions and exercises and a listing of important films, music, and popular literature of each region.

Cartography: The signature projection is Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion projection, which centers the globe on the Arctic Circle and arrays the continents around it. This projection helps illustrate the global theme of the book because no one region or continent commands a central position over and above any other. (The word Dymaxion and the Fuller Projection Dymaxion Map design are trademarks of the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Santa Barbara, CA, © 1938, 1967 & 1992. All rights reserved.) Each chapter includes a large number of regional and subregional maps that illustrate the geographical patterns and issues discussed in the text. While some of these maps are from existing sources, many were developed specifically for this text.

Geography Matters: This feature examines one of the key concepts of the chapter by providing an extended example of its meaning and implications through both visual illustration and text. The Geography Matters feature demonstrates to students that the focus of world regional geography is on real-world problems.

Sense of Place: This feature highlights specific places within the region with the intention of providing students with a more nuanced sense of what it is like to live in such a place. The Sense of Place feature draws students closer to the textures of a specific regional geography.

Geographies of Indulgence, Desire, and Addiction: This feature links people in one world region to people throughout the world through a discussion of the local production and global consumption of one of the region's primary commodities. The Geographies of Indulgence, Desire, and Addiction feature helps students to appreciate the links between producers and consumers around the world, as well as between people and the natural world.

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