Unit VII Research Paper CG Business & Finance homework help
Urban Problems in Puerto Rico, Part 2
SOC 2010, Cultural Geography 1
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VII
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
1. Discuss key concepts in human geography.
2. Discuss the impact of globalization on society.
2.1 Discuss the impact of globalization on Puerto Rico.
3. Evaluate sustainability as an approach to addressing global social problems.
6. Explain human geographic characteristics.
6.1 Describe how geography connects to the urban problems faced in Puerto Rico’s urban areas.
6.2 Discuss statehood versus no statehood for Puerto Rico.
Videos in Unit Lesson
Unit VII Research Paper
Videos in Unit Lesson
Unit VII Research Paper
3 Unit VII Research Paper
6.1 Unit VII Research Paper
6.2 Unit VII Research Paper
Required Unit Resources
Chapter 5: Geographies of Religion
Chapter 7: Political Geographies
Unit VII is about political and religious geographies. This unit will incorporate several concepts learned in
previous units. It will discuss how place, globalization and/or culture impact religious geographies and political
geographies like boundaries, state formation, and political relationships between states.
Political geography is “the study of the spatial aspects of political affairs” (Greiner, 2018 p. 174). One key
spatial aspect of politics is the development of states (countries). In order to be considered a state, a place
needs clearly defined boundaries, a permanent population, recognition by other states as a state, and a
functioning government (Greiner, 2018). The configuration of a state’s territory, its topography, the
characteristics of its boundaries, and its relations with its neighbors are some of the key factors linked to
geography that impact security, economics, and political relations for a state (Greiner, 2018). Two of the
biggest factors that have shaped boundaries and development of today’s countries are imperialism and
UNIT VII STUDY GUIDE
Political Geographies and Religious Geographies
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colonialism. The nations in Africa, for example, were greatly shaped by colonialism. Greiner (2018) noted that
many of the African nation boundaries were decided upon by European political leaders at the Berlin
Conference in the mid-1880s. At the conference, Africa was divided up by European leaders with only the
thought of what benefits their own interests and not what was best for the African people. Even though
colonialization faded and African nations won their independence, there are lasting scars from the nation-
building in Africa by the Europeans. Watch this video segment discussing some of the lasting negative
impacts colonialization has had on Sub-Saharan Africa. The transcript for the video can be found by clicking
the “Transcript” tab to the right of the video in the Films on Demand database.
TVE International (Producer). (2009). Sub-Saharan Africa (Segment 13 of 16) [Video]. In Slums and money: A
socioeconomic analysis. Films on Demand.
While nations operate as sovereign entities, it is important to note that nations are often linked together for
safety and commerce reasons. These official linkages are often through supranational organizations. “A
supranational organization consists of multiple states that agree to work together for a common economic,
military, cultural, or political purpose, or a combination of several of these” (Greiner, 2018, p. 188). Countries
join supranational organizations for the benefits, but there are also costs. Being closely linked together for
security and economics can weaken a nation’s sovereignty. One of the most recognizable examples of a
supranational organization is the United Nations (UN). The UN was founded in 1945 with the goal of
promoting peace and security around the world (Greiner, 2018). The UN has many different global initiatives
to work toward these goals. Visit the UN webpage to view their key initiatives: http://www.un.org/en/index.html
Another prominent supranational organization of today is the European Union (EU). The EU consists of
European countries joined together to help generate greater economic prosperity for all within the
organization. There are currently 28 countries in the EU, and it has a gross domestic product of more than 18
trillion, which makes it the largest economic power in the world (Greiner, 2018). EU nations share a currency
called the Euro, and citizens can move freely between the countries for work. As discussed earlier, there are
pros and cons to these supranational organizations. Some of the negatives came into the spotlight when
Britain citizens voted to leave the EU. This phenomenon was called Brexit. Many British citizens were wary of
losing too much of their sovereignty and did not like having open borders that would allow any citizens from
EU member states to move in. British citizens felt like their jobs were being stolen by immigrants moving in
from these EU member states.
Geopolitics is the focus on how states gain and use power to benefit their country. Countries vary greatly in
their ability to use their power to influence other countries. Their influence is based on their economic reach,
alliances, and historical relationships. One prominent theory in geopolitics is the theory of the organic state
created by German scholar Freidrich Ratzel in the late 1880s. The theory of organic state argues that a
state’s growth is like any other organism in that it needs resources and room to grow (Greiner, 2018). This
theory was utilized by the Nazis to support their expansion. This connection between Nazi Germany and the
geopolitics of Ratzel in combination with the end of colonialization brought into question this geopolitical
strategy (Greiner, 2018). Geopolitics has evolved rapidly in the past 75 years. After World War II, the United
States became a world economic and political leader, and the Soviet Union also began to expand its political
reach. A bi-polar world order was created during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet
Union. The United States exerted its influence during that time to promote democracy, and the Soviet Union
exerted its influence to encourage communism. After the Cold War ended in the 1990s, the United States
retained a great deal of influence and still does today, but globalization and rapid growth in China, India, and
the EU have created a world where many different nations exert their influence regionally and globally. Here
is a short clip discussing how globalization has led to weaker nation states. The transcript for the video can be
found by clicking the “Transcript” tab to the right of the video in the Films on Demand database.
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MacNeil/Lehrer Productions (Producer). (2006). World without borders: Globalization weakens governments
(Segment 13 of 19) [Video]. In Explaining globalization. Films on Demand.
Globalization and Terrorism
“Questions about where and why terrorist attacks occur are fundamentally geographical and geopolitical”
(Greiner, 2018, p. 195). Terrorism can occur at the individual, group, and state level. State-level sponsorship
of terrorism can include activities like providing weapons and other resources, training, providing refuge,
intelligence sharing, or financing (Greiner, 2018). Terrorist groups use fear and justify violent acts to gain their
own influence and to implement their own agendas. The deadliest terror groups are Boko Harma and ISIL
(Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). At the United States Department of State website, the Bureau of
Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism provides information on the terror threats around the
world and how the United States is countering these threats: https://www.state.gov/j/ct/
Geography and place are deeply intertwined with politics. For this section, we will discuss how political
geography applies to the United States’ political system. The United States uses a majority-plurality system.
This means the representative that receives the majority of the votes represents all the voters in an electoral
district. Our presidency is decided using the Electoral College system. A video explaining how the Electoral
College system works can be found in the Suggested Reading. There are many criticisms and debates
surrounding topics like gerrymandering, voter suppression, Russian interference, and using the Electoral
College instead of popular vote to elect our president. Visit the Opposing Viewpoints Database in the CSU
Online Library to learn more about the different views associated with these hot-topic political issues.
Religion, Society, and Globalization
Religion is very linked to place and space. Religion plays a valuable role in society because it offers a strong
foundation for community and both group and individual identity (Greiner, 2018). Groups often form religious
communities in geographic regions to be in a place that shares their faith. Governments can be formally or
informally rooted in the community faith, and there can be one or a variety of faiths represented politically. A
connection between geography and religion is the concept of sacred space. “Sacred space is space that has
special religious meaning that makes it worthy of reverence or devotion” (Greiner, 2018, p. 125). Sacred
space can take many different forms. It can be a prominent, holy location or building or a private space that
you deem sacred because of its link to your spirituality. So why do cultural geographers study sacred space,
and how does it relate to politics? There is often conflict over sacred spaces on who controls them or how
they are to be treated.
As the world continues to rapidly globalize, how will that
impact the power of the state? Will it be weakened? Can
you envision a future with a global government that is an
umbrella over all the nations in the world?
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Oftentimes, both political policy and political relationships can become involved in protecting or disputing
sacred space. The textbook provides an example of how a space can be deemed sacred to more than one
group, which can cause serious conflict like in the case of Jerusalem and the West Bank. Rapid globalization
in modern times has had an impact on all areas of life, including faith. Some argue that globalization and the
sharing of ideas and technology are
weakening the scope and influence of
religion within society. What do you think?
What impact has globalization had on the
role or influence faith has in societies? While
one could argue that faith is weakening due
to consumerism and globalization, one could
also argue that religion is offering
communities support and guidance in this
rapidly changing world. While faith, like every
facet of society, changes, there are groups
that fear changes to their traditions, and this
fear can bolster what Greiner (2018) calls
religious fundamentalism, which deeply
infuses their faith into all public and private
aspects of life. “Religious fundamentalism
raises questions about the extent to which it
permits religious pluralism, including respect
for different religious traditions” (Greiner,
2018, p. 130). We can see how this could
raise political questions. How much
separation should there be between church
Unit VII Research Paper Assignment
In this unit, you will be finishing the second half of your research paper about Puerto Rico. Do you see how
some of this unit’s political geography topics might apply? What impact did colonialization have on Puerto
Rico? How do configuration of the territory, location relative to neighboring states, and being an island impact
Puerto Rico politically, economically, and socially? How has the political relationship between Puerto Rico and
the United States impacted the people of Puerto Rico?
Greiner, A. L. (2018). Visualizing human geography: At home in a diverse world (3rd ed.). Wiley.
VanderWolfImages. (2011). Jerusalem Israel Wailing Wall (ID 97419819) [Image]. Dreamstime.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is considered sacred by both
Jews and Muslims.
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Suggested Unit Resources
In order to access the following resource, click the link below.
The transcript for the video can be found by clicking the “Transcript” tab to the right of the video in the Films
on Demand database.
The following video segment explains how the Electoral College works in the United States.
Educational Video Group (Producer). (2012). Step 5: Electoral College (Segment 15 of 17) [Video]. In Electing
the president: Six steps to the summit. Films on Demand.
Learning Activities (Nongraded)
Nongraded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit
them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information.
1. Answer the Concept Check questions for Chapter 5 on pages 121,125,133, and 137. Answer the
Concept Check Questions for Chapter 7 on pages 181, 188, 191, 195, 199, and 201.
2. Complete the Chapter 5 Self-Test on pages 141 and 142 of the textbook. Complete the Chapter 7
Self-Test on pages 205 and 206. (Answers to the Self-Test for Chapter 5 and 7 are on page 359).