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Is It Necessary That the Regions Defined by Geographers Are the Same as the Regions Perceived by the People Who Live in Them?

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Geography is the spatial study of the earth’s surface (from the Greek geo, which means “Earth,” and graphein, which means “to write”). Geographers study the earth’s physical characteristics, its inhabitants and cultures, phenomena such as climate, and the earth’s place within the universe. Geography examines the spatial relationships between all physical and cultural phenomena in the world

Geographers also look at how the earth, its climate, and its landscapes are changing due to cultural intervention.

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The geographically informed person must understand that our own cul­ture and life experiences shape the way we perceive places and regions. Perceptions are the basis for un­derstanding a place’s location, extent, characteristics, and significance. Throughout our lives, culture and experience shape our worldviews, which in turn influence our perceptions of places and regions. Children growing up in the Netherlands, for example, have a much different understanding of the role of water in their lives than their peers in the Sahara Desert. The difference between the abundance and scarcity of water in each of these physical environments affects every aspect of their respective cultures, including the global perceptions they will carry with them throughout their lives.Worldviews, and therefore our cultural identities, reflect multiple factors. Ideology, race, ethnicity, lan­guage, gender, age, religion, history, politics, social class, and economic status influence how we perceive the place where we live and other parts of the world

The significance that an individual or group attaches to a particular place or region may be influenced by feelings of belonging or alienation, a sense of being an insider or outsider, a sense of history and tradition or of novelty and unfamiliarity. Some places and regions hold great significance for some groups of people, but not for others. For example, for Muslims the city of Mecca is the most holy of religious places, whereas for non-Muslims it has only historical and cultural significance.

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In summary, boundaries between regions can be vague. Regions are generally thought of as large areas, such as the Corn Belt in the midwestern United States or sub-Saharan Africa

Overhead transparencies will help the teacher demonstrate that a region can be as small as a classroom learning center, a neighborhood, an industrial park, or a recreational area.

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