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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

This week is half term, and I'm being bombarded with cultural stuff...
Most of this is also directly relevant to the Pilot GCSE stuff.

First of all, just been reading about Martin Parr's new edition of his book: "Small World"
Small World is about tourism, and shows the difference between the mythology of a place and the reality when you get there - about what you think a place will be like and then forgetting that there'll be hundreds of other people there too... Got a flavour of that on Holkham Beach earlier in the week...
I love Martin Parr's approach to photography.
His themes of leisure, consumption and communication are a perfect counterpoint to the geography that we have been developing.
There are also plenty of homages to his work on Flickr.

A good blog post here by James Lomax, who has also posted some rather nice pictures of his own as a counterpoint to Parr's.
I particularly liked this one:

Image copyright: James Lomax

Next up was Philippe Legrain's "Open World": particularly Chapter 12: "Culture Clash". This looks at the increasing homegeneity of global culture: an idea we are going to be developing after half term with my Year 11 Geographers. Philippe is also the author of another essential purchase for Geographers: "Immigrants". Click HERE to read an extract from this book.I looked up Philippe's blog and came across this comment on one of his posts by 'Nabila Kazi', who attended a lecture he gave on immigration at the Institute of Economic Affairs:
I am not an economist, but am studying geography and therefore I approach the subject of immigration in a different way. There was talk about wanting a reduction in Britain's population which I find very strange given that the country has an ageing population. Before the recent influx of immigrants, the country was subject to extremely low fertility rates which forecasted a dangerous future for the economic welfare of the country. Without immigrants, in a country where people are focusing more on career rather than family prospects, a decreasing population is exactly what is in store for the future. However it is not a beneficial decrease because low birth rates result in a decreased number of economically active people in the future, which in turn will increase the dependency ratio of the country. As the ratio increases, there is increased strain on the productive part of the population to support the upbringing/pensions etc of the economically dependent. In turn there are direct financial impacts on the social security of the UK: Taxes will rise, general stability and balance of the country will decrease. This is something that most people last night fail to understand. We need immigrants just as much as 'they need us'.

A very useful paragraph for our Year 12 Geographers to discuss, or even our Year 9s ?

I was also directed to a rather great article in YALE GLOBAL ONLINE also by Philippe which looks at the issue of global culture: and uses the phrase masala: one used in the Open World book too.
Scroll to the bottom of the article and not only can you print the article but there are links to lots of similar articles on themes of globalisation and immigration. This could keep you going for a long time...

Next up was a reminder of some Tony Cassidy classics on Coca Cola, which links with the Legrain book.
It can be downloaded from Tony's Radical Geography website.
This is a great introduction to GLOBALISATION using a PRODUCT as the way in..All representations of Coca Cola and their logo are trademark / copyright Coca Cola company and are reproduced here for educational / non-profit reasons to illustrate the role of these companies in the emergence or otherwise of a 'Global' culture. I'm drinking a can of Diet Coke as I type this blog post...

'Culture Clash' includes some very useful quotes, including one from Naomi Klein's "No Logo" which is another classic in this area.

Am also scouring the More4 listings for a repeat of Dave Gorman's "America Unchained" which I shamefully forgot to Sky+ the other day, and would have been perfect for this particular unit too...Also in 'Coast' magazine was the results of their 2007 Awards.
A lot of familiar places and people winning them.
Was interested in the Waveney Sunrise Scheme to regenerate Lowestoft Town Centre and seafront, and this gave me a thought about a possible fieldtrip. Might need to make my way over there...
Also the East Beach Cafe at Littlehampton in West Sussex...
More on this in a future post, but I'm off to have a lie down after this mammoth post !

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