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Social Geography And Dowries Essay

2283 words - 10 pages

Within the study of Human Geography, which is defined as the study of ‘how people make places, how we organize space and society, how we interact with each other in places and across space, and how we make sense of others and ourselves in out localities, regions, and the world’ (Fouberg, 8), is the topic of Social Geography. Social Geography is most simply described as the study of people and their environment with a large emphasis on social factors. Within the textbook Human Geography People, Place, and Culture there is only one chapter having to do with Social Geography, Chapter Five Identity: Race, Ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality. Dowry death’s in India is a topic discussed in that chapter, which can be compared to a JSTOR article called Dowry as Female Competition. There are many issues concerned with dowry and Social Geography, on many different scales.
The largest part of Social Geography seems to be identity, which is ‘how we make sense of ourselves’ (Fouberg, 146), a topic that is extremely complex and has a lot of factors involved with it. Our identities are fluid, ever changing, constructed through experiences, emotions, connections, and rejections, defined by ourselves and others. A commonality in identity is identifying against other people, forming an identity around people who are believed to be the enemy or different from other people. The most common idea in this time period for people to identity with is identification with their own personal state. Nationalism defines people but it also allows other identities to exist at the same time, so one may be patriotic while also being a number of other things. People in general have different identity’s at different scales as well so at a national global scale one would identify themselves as with their state, such as saying one is an American, but one can also identify at a regional level by saying they’re Southern or at an even more local area by saying they’re an Orlandonite. All of these examples are things that are a choice though, for example how someone who comes from another country to America will refer to themselves as ‘American’ despite not actually being born in America. That is a personal choice for one’s identity, but sometimes with identity it cannot be chosen so easily.
There is always a choice with one’s identity, such as in the case of identity with race, ethnicity, and gender. Even though no one can change any of those things, at least not easily, there is still a choice that is made by making it into our identity. A person cannot change the color of their skin but they can choose to be proud of it and to form who they are around it. Race is an especially interesting idea of identification, because it has a very interesting geographic context to it. That people have viewed physical attributes, such as skin color and certain physical features such as nose or height, as lines of division and that race is an different, unchangeable category (Fouberg,...

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