Each person must choose a core area in a foreign country to analyze and describe in an essay illustrated with at least one map. You don't have to make an original map, but you should find maps that show the site and situation of the core and illustrates the main points of your essay.
You must include proper citations and a full bibliography at the end.
Please address all of the following questions:
"Averages for individual states are not very meaningful
unless we know something about the agglomeration, the clustering
of the people. This brings us to the notion of the state's core
area, the heart of the country. A state's core area is its cornerstone,
its national focus. Here lie its major cities, probably including
the capital, its largest population clusters, its densest and
busiest transport networks, and, often, its most intensively cultivated
farmlands . . .
Thus we want to know not only the total population of a nation-state, but the way this population is distributed over the national territory. When we have this input, then our knowledge of states' spatial forms takes on more meaning."
Human Geography Culture Society and Space De Blij New York: John Wiley and Sons 1993 p.476
"States' core areas are presumably their heartlands, containing
their most developed economies, densest and most urbanized populations,
best-articulated transportation systems and communication networks,
and-at least formerly if no longer-the resource base that sustained
them. Away from national cores all of these characteristics are
eroded. Transportation networks thin, urbanization ratios and
city sizes decline, and economic development is less intensive.
The outlying resource base may be rich, but generally it is of
more recent exploitation, with product and benefit tending to
flow to the established and distant heartlands. The developed
cores of states, then, can be contrasted to their subordinate
Human Geography Landscapes of Human Activities Fellmann/Getis/Getis 1990 DuBuque William C. Brown Publishers p.400
"Generally, core areas possess a particularly attractive
set of resources for human life and culture. Larger numbers of
people cluster there than in surrounding districts, particularly
if the area has some measure of natural defense against aggressive
neighboring political entities. This denser population, in turn,
may produce enough wealth to support a large army, which then
provides the base for further diffusion from the core area.
During this diffusionary state-building process, the core area typically remains the state's single most important district, housing the capital city and the cultural and economic heart of the nation. The core area can thus be regarded as the node of a functional culture region . . .At the end of this process, the core area may remain roughly at the center of the national territory, or if diffusion occurred mainly in one direction, it may lie at the edge of the nation."
The Human Mosaic T. Jordan et al New York: Harper Collins 1994 p.151
Choosing a foreign core area:
Rather than waste valuable classtime, I have decided to have students e-mail me their preference for a core area to analyze. This is on a first come first serve basis, so e-mail me your choice ASAP!
Core areas already claimed by 9/19/01 are:
citations and bibliographies
evaluation of essay assignments
geography research on the web