Glossary of Relevant Terms

A

Artifact

A man-made object of a culture such as a tool, an article of clothing or a prepared food.

B

Barter

The trade of goods and services for other goods and services without the use of money.

C

Consumption

The purchase and/or use of goods and services.

Cost

An alternative given up as a result of a decision.

Country

A unit of political space; the entire land area of a nation or state.

Cultural perspective

The complex set of meanings, attitudes, values and ideas belonging to a cultural group.

Cultural practice

A pattern of behavior accepted by society.

Culture

Learned behavior of a group of people, which includes their belief systems and languages, their social relationships, their institutions and organizations, and their material goods such as food, clothing, buildings, tools and machines.

D

Deforestation

The destruction and removal of a forest and its undergrowth by natural or human forces.

Demand

The quantities of a good or service that consumers are willing and able to buy at various prices during a given time period.

Diffusion

The spread of people, ideas, technology and products among places.

Discrimination

Unfair treatment of a person or group based on a variety of prejudices.

E

Economic Growth

An increase in an economy's ability to produce goods and services over time.

Entrepreneurship

The organization of productive resources by a person willing to take risks to start.

F

Flow Resource

A resource that is neither renewable nor nonrenewable, but must be used when or where it occurs (e.g., running water, wind, sunlight).

G

Globalization

The act, process or policy of making something worldwide in scope or application.

Goods

Objects that are capable of satisfying people’s wants.

H

Human Characteristic/Feature

An aspect of a place or a quality of the Earth’s surface constructed by people including cities, parks, buildings and roads.

I

Institutionalized racism

The use of institutional policies, practices and/or procedures to withhold rights, privileges and opportunities from the race that is believed to be inferior.

M

Market

The interaction of buyers and sellers exchanging goods or services.

Multiple-tier Timeline

A timeline that utilizes two or more rows of events, with each row representing a different subject or perspective occurring during the period under study (e.g., a timeline of the 19th century with separate rows for political, social, military and technological developments).

N

Nation

A group of people bound together by a strong sense of shared values and cultural characteristics, including language, religion and common history.

Natural resources

A productive resource supplied by nature (e.g., ores, trees, arable land).

Nonrenewable Resources

A finite natural resource that cannot be replaced once it is used (e.g., petroleum, minerals).

P

Perspective

A specific point of view in understanding or judging things or events.

Physical Characteristic/Feature

A natural aspect or quality of the Earth’s surface that includes land formations and vegetation zones.

Place

A location having distinctive characteristics which give it meaning and character and distinguish it from other locations.

Primary source

An account of an event by someone who was present at the event.

Producer

A person who makes goods and services.

Product

Something produced by human or mechanical effort or by a natural process.

Production

The act of combining natural resources, human resources, capital goods and entrepreneurship to make goods and services.

Productive Resources

The resources used to make goods and services (i.e., natural resources, human resources, capital goods).

Pull Factor

A social, political, economic or environmental attraction of a new area that drew people away from their previous location.

Push Factor

A social, political, economic, or environmental force that drove people from  their previous location to search for a new one.

R

Region

An area with one or more common characteristics or features, which give it a measure of homogeneity and make it different from surrounding areas.

Reliability

The degree to which something is trustworthy or is suitable to be depended upon.

Renewable resources

A natural resource that can be regenerated if used carefully (e.g., fish, timber).

S

Secondary Source

An account of an event by someone who was not present at the event.

Standard of Living

A person's or group's level of material well-being, as measured by education, housing, health care and nutrition.

T

Territory

An area of land; the land and waters under the jurisdiction of a state, nation or sovereign.

Thematic Map

A portrayal on a flat surface of geographic topic (e.g., migration routes, resource locations, population densities).

Trade-off

The sacrifice of one option for another when a decision is made.