Five Themes as Expressed Through “The Power of Place” by Harm de Blij Essay

Five Themes as Expressed Through “The Power of Place” by Harm de Blij Essay

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Five Themes as Expressed Through “The Power of Place”
Harm de Blij and his “The Power of Place: Geography, Destiny, and Globalization’s Rough Landscape” truly describes how geography is displayed in the world today. In particular on of the major themes that he discusses is the idea of globalization. He actually calls these people the “globals.” In the very beginning of his book he describes two different types of peoples: Locals and Globals. The difference between these people is that Locals are the poorer people, not as mobile, and more susceptible to the concept of place. On the other hand the Globals are the fortunate population, and are a small group of people who have experienced globalization firsthand (5). This idea of globalization is a main theme that Blij refers to throughout the book, however he also indirectly references the five themes of cultural geography: culture regions, cultural diffusion, cultural interaction, cultural ecology, and cultural landscapes. Through Blij’s analysis these five themes are revealed in detail and help explain his overall idea of globalization in the world today.
One theme that is evident throughout Blij’s “Power of Place” is the concept of culture regions mainly his analysis of formal, core, and periphery areas. To introduce the idea of culture regions he mentions how the many of the world’s underdeveloped and poor nations are part of the world’s periphery. In particular, referring to Blij’s map on page 14 many of the developed countries are among the world’s core nations: Japan, Australia, United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Blij explains through his diagram that the peripheries are located in Southeast Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East (14). Blij des...


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...nging is through trade and migration (155). Blij makes many references to the cultural landscapes, but the most notable are that of India and Myanmar.
Blij has clearly put this book into historical significance by mentioning the idea of geography and how it plays a role in societies all over the world. However, the five themes of culture regions, cultural diffusion, cultural interaction, cultural ecology, and cultural landscapes are all clearly defined within a specific context to a particular nation. Through reading this intriguing piece of literature I received the underlying notion that Blij firmly believes that landscapes of the world realm are not going to change. De Blij worldview of regions, diffusion, interaction, ecology, and landscapes has allowed him to simultaneously link issues together from the United States all the way to Southeast Asia.

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