Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2004, Vol. 59 ›› Issue (7s): 162-166.doi: 10.11821/xb20047s022

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Anglo-American Cultural Studies and the New Cultural Geography

ZHOU Shangyi   

  1. Dept. of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2004-03-17 Revised:2004-05-26 Online:2004-12-25 Published:2004-12-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 40371037


Cultural geography is an essential part of human geography. Its introduction to mainland China has fostered it embedded in Chinese geographic academy since the mid 1980s. It would be of benefit to Chinese cultural geographic study by borrowing the development experience of foreign cultural geography prudently. This article aims to give a brief introduction to New Cultural Geography which emerged in the two countries. The author took the Cultural Studies as its background. This paper presents two features in Anglo-American New Cultural Geography. The first is its new angle of view for human landscape study. New Cultural Geography has been trying to relate human landscapes to their evolution rather than emphasizing their morphology. It pays more attention to the symbolic meanings of human landscape and what made human landscape to be a reading text. Comparing with the traditional cultural geography, New Cultural Geography put more emphasis on the human landscapes in metropolitan area than rural area, the latter was the area to be concerned more by Suaurians. New Cultural Geography has a strong trend of cultural politics while it looks at human landscapes. The second distinct feature of New Cultural Geography is the spatiality of culture and the locality of culture. It takes culture as a media of spatial process. New Cultural Geography stresses that culture was infiltrated in all the processes of human life and guides our practice in the living spaces. So that New Cultural Geography implies culture is composed by places. Finally, the author would like to launch an associative discussion of the following topic. Cultural geography performances like a school of human geography rather than a branch of human geography, for it takes cultural theories as its analysis tools to study the spatiality of all human phenomena.

Key words: Anglo-American culture, cultural geography, landscapes