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Folk Culture and Geography

  • By: James Freeman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Folk culture refers to traditional, often rural, cultural production in the form of symbolic practices and cultural artifacts. In geography it is a concept, traditionally linked to the Berkeley School of cultural geography and Carl Sauer, which fell into disfavor with the rise of critical cultural geography in the 1980s. However, geographers have more recently recovered the concept in the analysis of national identity and commodification of culture and given it a more dynamic meaning.

Prior to the rise of the new cultural geography in the 1980s, cultural geography was focused on rural life and particularly the distribution of cultural artifacts over space. For example, a cultural region could be defined by the style of vernacular or folk architecture found in an area. Geographers located cultural ...

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