Unit 3 KC 1 Terms 1-58

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#AP Human Geography


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58 Terms


All of a group's learned behaviors, actions, beliefs, and objects. Develop through experiences, not merely transmitted through genetics.

Visible Culture

A visible force seen in a group's actions, possessions, and influence on the landscape.

Invisible Culture

An invisible force guiding people through shared belief systems, customs, and traditions.

Cultural Traits

Visible and invisible elements in culture. Units of transmission that permit diffusion and create traditions.

Cultural Complex

A series of interrelated traits. A distinctive pattern of activities, beliefs, rites, and traditions associated with one central feature of life in a particular culture.


Behaviors heavily discouraged by a culture.

Traditional Culture

Encompass all three cultural designations. All three types are the function of passing down long-held beliefs, values, and practices and are generally resistant to rapid changes in their culture. Tribes or other small groups of people that have not been affected by technology or the modern world.

Folk Culture

The beliefs and practices of small, homogenous groups of people, often living in rural areas that are relatively isolated and slow to change.

Indigenous Culture

When members of an ethnic group reside in their ancestral lands, and typically possess unique cultural traits, such as speaking their own exclusive language.


The increased integrations of the world economy since the 1970s. The process of intensified interaction among peoples, governments, and companies of different countries around the globe.

Popular Culture

When cultural traits (clothing, music, movies, types of business) spread quickly over a large area and are adopted by various groups.

Horizontal diversity

Each traditional culture has its own customs and language that makes it distinct from other culture groups. People within each group are usually homogeneous, or very similar to each other.

Vertical diversity

Modern urban societies are usually heterogeneous, or exhibiting differences, within the society and usually contain numerous multiethnic neighborhoods.

Artifacts/Material Culture

Tangible things, or those that can be experienced by senses. (ex: art, clothing, food, music, sports, and housing types)

Mentifact/Nonmaterial Culture

Intangible concepts, or those not having a physical presence. (ex: beliefs, values, practices, and aesthetics).


Ways people organize their society and relate to one another.


Phenomenon in which many modern cultural landscapes exhibit a great deal of homogeneity. Common culture, similar architecture, related socioeconomic status, and other related factors.

Cultural Landscape

The visible reflection of a culture or the built environment.

Traditional Architecture

Style reflects a local culture's history, beliefs, values, and community adaptations to the environment, and typically utilizes locally available materials.

Contemporary Architecture

Style that uses multiple advances to create buildings that rotate, curve, and stretch the limits of size and height.


Membership within a group of people who have common experiences and share similar characteristics such as ancestry, language, customs, and history. Based upon group cultural traits.

Ethnic Enclaves

Clusters of people of the same culture, who are often surrounded by people of the dominant culture in the region.

Gendered Spaces

Certain behaviors have been acceptable for only one gender, and often only in certain spaces. Men have commonly operated more freely than women in public spaces, while certain private spaces have been reserved for women. Clarifies the importance of cultural values on the distribution of power in societies.

Cultural Regions

Regions usually determined based on characteristics such as religion, language, and ethnicity.

Sacred Places

Specific places and natural features that have religious significance.

Christian Landscape

Churches often feature a tall steeple topped with a cross. Believe Jesus was resurrected after dying on a cross. Dome-shaped roofs in the eastern Mediterranean, steep-pitched (snow) in northern Europe. Bury the dead in cemeteries, although types of cemeteries may vary greatly. Most burials are underground except in places where the water table is high.

Hindu Landscape

Temples often have elaborately carved exteriors with multiple manifestations of deities or significant characters. Thousands of shrines and temples. Sacred sites (ex: Ganges River) provide pilgrims a place to bathe for the purpose of purifications. Many shrines and temples are located near rivers and streams. Practice cremation as an act of purification (expensive in some places [shortage of wood]). Ashes often spread in the Ganges river.

Buddhist Landscape

Emphasize meditating and living in harmony with nature. Features represented in stupas, structures to store important relics and memorialize important events and beliefs. Stupas were often built to symbolize the five aspects of nature-earth, water, fire, air, and space. Pagodas (common architectural style). Decision to cremate or bury is a personal choice.

Jewish Landscape

Worship in synagogues or temples. Once concentrated in the Middle East but spread throughout the world because of exile or persecution (the Diaspora). Burial of dead customarily occurs before sundown on the day following the death.


When one group of people is dispersed to various locations.

Islamic Landscape

Mosque is the most prominent structure on the landscape and is usually located in the center of town. Mosques have downs surrounded by a few minarets (beacons) from which daily prayer is called. Burial is as soon as possible in cemeteries.

Shinto Landscape

Cultural hearth is Japan. Emphasized honoring one's ancestors and the relationship between people and nature. Common landscape feature of shrines is an impressive gateway (torii) to mark the transition from the outside world to a sacred place.

Charter Group

The first group to establish cultural and religious customs in a space.

Ethnic Islands (Rural)

Cultural imprints revolve around housing types and agricultural dwellings that reflect their heritage. Maintain a strong and long-lasting sense of cohesion.

Ethnic Neighborhoods (Urban)

Often occupied by migrants who settle in a charter group's former space. The charter group has already shaped much of the landscape, byt new arrivals create their own influence as well.

Sequent Occupancy

Process in which ethnic groups move in and out of neighborhoods and create new cultural imprints on the landscape.


The process of re-embracing the uniqueness and authenticity of a place.

Cultural Patterns

Consist of related sets of cultural traits and complexes that crease similar behaviors across space.

Culture Hearth

Where a religion or ethnicity began, and then track its movement and predict its future direction.

Regional distribution of religions in the US

*Congregationalists are still strong in New England, where their English ancestors settled in the 1600s. *Baptists and Methodists are most common in the Southeast, where these denominations were spread by traveling preachers in the 1800s. *Lutherans live mostly in the Midwest, where their German or Scandinavian ancestors, who immigrated in the late 1800s, could find good farmland. *Many Mormons live in or near Utah, where their founders settled in the mid-1800s after religious persecution drove them out of Missouri and Illinois. *Roman Catholics are most common in urban areas in the Northeast and throughout the Southwest. *Jews, Muslims, and Hindus live most often in urban areas, the traditional home to immigrants.


Based on people's connection to a particular country.

Centripetal Forces

Forces that unify a group of people or a region.

Centrifugal Forces

Forces that divide a group of people or a region.


The legal framework of a country derived from Islamic edicts taken from the holy book (Qur'an).

Blue Laws

Laws that restrict certain activities on a Sunday. Also known as Sunday laws.

Food taboos

Prohibitions against eating and drinking certain items.


An attempt to follow a literal interpretation of a religious faith.


Countries whose governments are run by religious leaders through the use of religious laws.


They believe their own cultural group is more important and superior to other cultures.