001 - Global spectrum of cultural traits

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

The global spectrum of cultural traits, ethnicities and identities, and ways in which the spectrum of diversity is widening or narrowing at different scales.


The processes associated with the definition and diffusion of cultural traits have the power to influence and change places.


  • To have knowledge and understanding of different cultural traits and how these traits combine to form identities and ethnicities.
  • To have knowledge and understanding of how the spectrum of diversity is widening or narrowing at different scales.
  • To have knowledge and understanding of the diffusion of cultural traits.

Key Terminology

            • Ethnicity
            • Cultural diversity
            • Cultural trait
            • Global culture

Define the key terms above by using the useful links below.

Useful Links

Activity One - Describe

We all come with preconceived ideas concerning what different cultural groups are like. Whether we consider their dress, language, accent, music they listen to or even food they eat. Below are four different images of what an English person is like.

      • What is happening in each of the images?
      • Are these images a typical representation of someone who is English?

Activity Two - Draw

We are now going to look at how we view people from two of our 'mega case study' countries - USA and Mexico. How do you perceive their culture?

      1. Using A4 plain paper draw someone from the USA and Morocco.
      2. Label or add to your diagram symbols for the following features:
            • language
            • religion
            • music
            • television
            • sport
            • food
            • dress
            • customs

3. Watch the youtube clip below and describe how Americans are discussed.

4. Is it a fair representation of an American? Explain your answer.

5. Using the 'Global Interactions' textbook by Guinness make notes on the different aspects of culture pages 144 to 150.

Activity Three - Comprehension

Using your course textbook 'Geography Global Interactions Study and Revision Guide' by Simon Oakes pages 54 - 56 answer the following questions.

      1. What does the world's population have in common?
      2. How has the cultural commonality increased in different places?
      3. Why is 'westernization' an over simplified idea?
      4. Why do western cultures continue to have a disproportionate global influence?
      5. What is 'soft power'?
      6. How does the diffusion of culture occur on the global scale?
      7. Record a number of figures to show the dominant languages today.
      8. What is the Globish micro language? Who adopts it? Why?
      9. Which global citizens are involved in global interactions?

Activity Four - Opinion

Now you know about cultural traits and how they have dispersed across the globe we are going to discuss which has the greatest influence over its spread. Watch the YouTube clips below and suggest which has the largest influence on our own cultures.





This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com