The Myth Of Continents: A Critique Of Metageography
- Publish Date: 1997-08-11
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Martin W. Lewis Kren Wigen
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The Myth of Continents sheds new light on how our metageographical assumptions grew out of cultural concepts: how the first continental divisions developed from classical times; how the Urals became the division between the so-called continents of Europe and Asia; how countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan recently shifted macroregions in the general consciousness.
This extremely readable and thought-provoking analysis also explores the ways that new economic regions, the end of the cold war, and the proliferation of communication technologies change our understanding of the world. It stimulates thinking about the role of large-scale spatial constructs as driving forces behind particular worldviews and encourages everyone to take a more thoughtful, geographically informed approach to the task of describing and interpreting the human diversity of the planet.
Having bravely exposed the ethnocentrism at the heart of geography, Lewis and Wigen then offer up their own division of the globe based on "world regions" rather than continents. Under such a scheme, Europe would become Western Eurasia, while the Western Hemisphere would become North America, Ibero-America, and African-America (divisions based on linguistic, cultural, and/or racial criteria). Whether or not you agree with the authors' division of the world, The Myth of Continents is a lively and thought-provoking exploration of a subject many of us take for granted. After reading this book, you'll never look at a map of the world in quite the same way.