AP Human Geography : Cultural Landscapes & Identity

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP Human Geography

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Cultural Landscapes & Identity

People of African-American ethnicity are most heavily concentrated in which American region?

Possible Answers:

Midwest

Southwest

Southeast

Northeast

Northwest

Correct answer:

Southeast

Explanation:

African-Americans are most heavily concentrated in the Southeastern region of the United States. The dominance of African-Americans largely stems from the region's historical slavery in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, and the large amount of rural farm laborers into the twentieth century. After a large migration to Northern industrial cities in the mid-twentieth century, the South has seen an influx of young African-American professionals in the twenty-first century.

Example Question #1 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

Which of the following events would not be a contributor to contemporary German national identity?

Possible Answers:

The Literature of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Oktoberfest Celebration

The Papal Bull of 1965

The German National Football Team

The Cold War Division Between East and West Germany

Correct answer:

The Papal Bull of 1965

Explanation:

Many different things can help shape national identity, including history, sports, literature, and national holidays. Papal Bulls are edicts issued by the Pope. The Papal Bull of 1965 urged Catholics to esteem a life of virtue and biblical study. While religious Germany is roughly divided evenly among Catholics and Protestants, neither represents a majority, so we cannot make a claim that the Pope forms anything as widely ubiquitous as Germany's "national identity." Further, in 1965 Germany was divided into the separate nations of East Germany (DDR) and West Germany (FRG), and Catholicism held very little sway in East Germany, a fact that holds true in the eastern part of the country to this day.

Example Question #1 : Formation Of Identity

Most of the world’s Jewish population lives in which of the following two countries?

Possible Answers:

Israel and Canada

Germany and Poland

Israel and Germany

The United States and the United Kingdom

Israel and the United States

Correct answer:

Israel and the United States

Explanation:

The global population of Jewish people is estimated at around thirteen to fourteen million. This is far less than one-percent of the total population of the world. Around six million people belonging to the Jewish population live in Israel and slightly more than five million live in the United States. The rest of the global Jewish population lives in countries affiliated with the European Union (i.e. France, the United Kingdom, and Germany).

Example Question #1 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

Ethnocentrism primarily involves __________.

Possible Answers:

protecting minority groups within a society through a series of legal and political machinations

ostracizing minority groups within a society through a series of legal and political machinations

judging a foreign culture by the standards of one’s own culture

forcibly spreading one’s culture to neighboring countries

None of these answers is correct.

Correct answer:

judging a foreign culture by the standards of one’s own culture

Explanation:

“Ethnocentrism” is based on the belief that one’s own culture is inherently superior and that other nations are backwards or underdeveloped because their culture is different. It primarily involves judging a foreign culture by the standards of one’s own culture. It can involve the forced spread of one’s own culture, but it does not have to, it is enough simply to judge another culture by the standards of your own.

Example Question #1 : Cultural Landscapes & Identity

The Treaty of Tordesillas remains significant to this day because it effectively split the continent of South America into two language groups. What are those two languages?

Possible Answers:

French and English

Spanish and Portuguese

French and Portuguese

English and Portuguese

Spanish and French

Correct answer:

Spanish and Portuguese

Explanation:

The Treaty of Tordesillas was signed shortly after Columbus' expedition to America. It was signed between the two major colonial powers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries- Spain and Portugal. It carved a swathe through the continent of South America, all territory that fell on one side came under Spanish control, and all territory on the other side came under Portuguese control. The modern nation of Brazil represents the vast bulk of the territory originally obtained by Portugal in the Treaty of Tordesillas and Portuguese remains the official and primarily language of Brazil to this day. The rest of South America (countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Peru, and Chile) all speak Spanish to this day. It is interesting to note then that a mostly arbitrary line, drawn by two colonial powers more than five hundred years ago, continues to have such a dramatic impact on the cultural and linguistic experiences of so many people.

Example Question #1 : Symbolic Landscapes & Sense Of Place

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Israel serves as a symbolic landscape due to __________.

Possible Answers:

use of artificial elements to create a natural-looking environment

its religious significance for Muslims, Christians, and Jews

housing of politically significant institutions

natural scenic wonder and beauty

its readily apparent biological diversity

Correct answer:

its religious significance for Muslims, Christians, and Jews

Explanation:

A symbolic landscape is a landscape that has significant meaning beyond what it simply looks like due to cultural associations. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is seen as the location of important religious moments for Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, while also holding the remnants of the ancient Jewish temple and a medieval Islamic mosque. Due to these factors, the Temple Mount is more than just a part of an old city, which makes it a symbolic landscape.

Example Question #1 : Symbolic Landscapes & Sense Of Place

Which of these best describes the meaning of the word "toponymy"?

Possible Answers:

The study of acculturation

The study of geographic features

The study of cultural interactions

The study of religious influence on culture

The study of place names

Correct answer:

The study of place names

Explanation:

“Toponymy” is the study of place names. Toponymy is useful to cultural geographers because it can help illuminate certain conclusions about an area - such as who its original inhabitants were and where they came from. For example “Los Angeles” is a Spanish name of an American city. This suggests that some of its earlier inhabitants might have been Spanish, or that Los Angeles was once in territory held by the Spanish Empire and so on.

Example Question #3 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

Proponents of environmental determinism contend that __________.

Possible Answers:

in the twentieth century American culture achieved a status of near uniform adoption throughout the vast majority of the world

European and America culture is causing a decay of local cultures throughout the world; to the overall detriment of humanity

cultural traits and societal traditions have a noticeable impact upon the condition of local environments

cultural traits and societal traditions are primarily informed by environmental differences

eventually a sort of cultural homogeneity will exist throughout the vast majority of the world

Correct answer:

cultural traits and societal traditions are primarily informed by environmental differences

Explanation:

“Environmental determinism” is a theory of cultural geography that was wildly popular during the age of European imperialism. Its proponents argue that cultural traits and societal traditions are primarily informed by environmental differences between different regions.

Example Question #4 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

Which of these geographers is most closely associated with the idea of “cultural landscapes”?

Possible Answers:

Carl Sauer

Arno Peters

James Gall

Eratosthenes

George Perkins Marsh

Correct answer:

Carl Sauer

Explanation:

The idea of “cultural landscapes” is most closely associated with the geographer Carl Sauer, who first defined them. Sauer argued that all regions of the Earth were impacted by human behavior and had been altered by human interaction, he also believed that cultural landscapes were the most important branch of geographic inquiry.

Example Question #5 : Cultural Patterns & Processes

What name is given to the system of inheritance whereby the eldest (usually male) child receives all of the family inheritance and property?

Possible Answers:

Horticulture

Monasticism

Feudalism

Primogeniture

Gentrification

Correct answer:

Primogeniture

Explanation:

The term “primogeniture” refers to a system of inheritance whereby the eldest (usually male) child receives all of the family inheritance and property. It was commonly practiced throughout Europe until very recently, and has long been common in many other parts of the world as well.

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