What Is Environmental Determinism?
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Environmental Determinism is the idea that the environment, particularly factors such as landforms and climate, determines the patterns of human culture and societal development.
Environmental determinists believe that ecological, climatic, and geographical factors alone are responsible for human cultures and individual decision and that social conditions have little impact on cultural development.
Environmental determinism's popularity began to decline in the 1920s as its claims were often found to be wrong. Critics claimed it was racist and perpetuated imperialism.
Carl Sauer said environmental determinism led to premature generalizations about an area's culture. From this critique, geographers developed the environmental possibilism theory to explain cultural development.
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