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Geocultural Scenarios

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Chapter Summary

Frontiers can be the zones where cultivated lands shift into wilderness, whether threatening or promising; or they can be borders, more or less contested, between areas under the more or less established control of different parties. This chapter discusses some of the ways that notions of culture have recently figured in the big picture, in scholarship and public argument. It concerns with varieties of the geocultural imagination. "Geocultural" is probably a somewhat unfamiliar term, although not entirely new. One may say it is a matter of fairly large-scale mapmaking. The chapter draws on the earthly sense of "geo" to make it refer to the distribution of things cultural, somehow cultural, over territories and their human populations. In Huntington's view of civilizations as timeless, sharply bounded, and mostly hostile to one another, we had a striking example of what we were beginning to refer to as "cultural fundamentalism" (Stolcke 1995).

Keywords: civilizations; geocultural imagination; Huntington



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