I. Course Prefix/Number: GEG 122
Course Name: Cultural Geography
Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)
III. Course (Catalog) Description
Course studies contemporary world cultures and their interrelationships with geographic structure and regions, to gain a global perspective on current world events. Content includes human origins and distribution; population, migration, health, climate, culture, language, settlement, industry and agriculture.
IV. Learning Objectives
A. Understand the fundamental themes of cultural geography;
B. Be able to employ concepts accurately in understanding population dynamics, agricultural problems, cultural ecology, folk and popular culture, and the other themes of cultural geography;
C. Understand the diversity of responses humans have created in meeting their physical and cultural needs;
D. Achieve a better understanding of the world and its people.
V. Academic Integrity and Student Conduct
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.
There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.
Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at
VI. Sequence of Topics
1. Cultural Origins and Diffusion
2. Cultural Ecology
3. Cultural Geography and Geographic Knowledge
B. Human Modification of the World
1. Human Origins
2. Agricultural Revolution
3. Technology Revolution
C. Cultural Ecology
1. Agricultural Systems
3. Land Use Decisions/Landscape Patterns
4. Modern Commercial Farming
5. World Crop Patterns
6. Carrying Capacity of the Land
7. Energy Costs of Food Production
D. The Geography of Population
1. The Population Crisis: the J-curve
2. Natural Controls on Population Growth
3. Demographic Transition
4. Population and Value Conflicts
5. Population Distribution Patterns
E. Migration: Population Movements
1. Causes, Barriers, and Politics of Migration
2. Forces leading to Migration
3. Illegal Migration
4. Refugees and Their Impact
F. Cultural Landscapes in Rural Regions
1. Landscape Variations
2. Traditional Rural Landscapes
3. Types of Land Tenure
4. The impact of Land Division
6. Cultural Convergence
G. The Mosaic of Culture
1. Race and Ethnicity
2. Conflict and Change
3. History of Racism
4. American Indians
5. Hispanic Americans
6. Race and Ethnocentrism
H. The Mosaic of Culture
1. The Cultural Geography of Language
2. The Cultural Geography of Religion
3. Ethnic Religions
4. Universalizing Religions
5. Language/Religious Conflicts
I. The Human World
1. The Changing Human World
2. Urbanization and Industrialization
3. Technological Change
4. Environmental Modifications
5. Humans: The Primary Agents of Change
VII. Methods of Instruction
Lecture, classroom discussion, films, slides, and transparencies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.
VIII. Course Practices Required
Students will be required to write outside of class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded. This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of Journal articles, and/or a series of shorter analytical papers.
IX. Instructional Materials
X. Methods of Evaluating Student Progress
Examinations, quizzes, class participation and occasionally filling in maps and/or writing papers and giving presentations.
At least one exam will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.
XI. Other Course Information
If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.
Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.
Resources and support for
- pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
- victims of sexual misconduct
Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.