1st Istanbul International Geography Congress Proceedings Book
An evaluation about the necessity of etnogeography subject in Turkish universitiesEmin Atasoy, Tolga Kara
Ethnic and religious identity, national belonging and citizenship, and language and cultural diversity can trigger competition and conflict between “we” and the “others” in different parts of the world. Political, economic, and cultural differences between countries and communities have been giving rise to marginalization, refugee flows, assimilation, social and political exclusion, ethnic cleansing, and violent wars more than ever before. In addition, the main source of conflicts and wars on both the global as well as local scales is the change in state boundaries or cultural, economic, and political differences. In a globalizing world, ethnogeography comes as the most relevant of the disciplines that examine the complex interactions between societies and countries, the similarities and differences between nations and minorities, and the geographical distribution of racial and ethnic communities. The purpose of this study is to draw attention to the importance and function of this field and to find an answer to the question seeking the reason for which universities should include ethnogeography in their curricula. In the introduction to this study, the content and importance of ethnogeography are discussed, a description of ethnogeography is given, the manner in which the main geography branches interact with ethnogeography, and ethnogeography’s importance and place are considered. The findings of the study are explained both in terms of ethnogeography as an independent field and its role in education. In addition, the questions that seeks to identify the content of ethnogeography includes the reason for which it is significant in the century in which we live and for which there is a need for such instruction in geography departments are answered. In the final part of the study, it is proposed that just as in many parts of Europe, there is a great need for ethnogeography education and that to meet the pedagogical, cultural, and scientific requirements of a globalizing world, geography departments must be mandated to include this subject. The results of this study show in detail that ethnogeography is one of the pioneering fields that provide students with the insight to evaluate both their country and the world in a discerning way; to analyze ethnic, cultural, and geopolitical issues in a multidimensional way; to assess local and global issues objectively; and to solve social and political problems.