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Spatial locations: Maps, nations, regions and spatial segregation - Analyzed by the countries Germany, South Korea and Ecuador

Seminararbeit 2004 26 Seiten



I. Introduction
1.1 Main Topics
1.2 Purpose of the Paper
1.3 The Countries
1.3.1 The Federal Republic of Germany
1.3.2 The Republic of Korea
1.3.3 The Republic of Ecuador

II. Main Part
2.1 Maps
2.1.1 The German Map
2.1.2 The South Korean Map
2.1.3 The Ecuadorian Map
2.1.4 Summary
2.2 Nations and Regions
2.2.1 Nations and Regions in Germany
2.2.2 Nations and Regions in South Korea
2.2.3 Nations and Regions in Ecuador
2.2.4 Summary
2.3 Spatial Segregation
2.3.1 Spatial Segregation in Germany
2.3.2 Spatial Segregation in South Korea
2.3.3 Spatial Segregation in Ecuador
2.3.4 Summary

III. Conclusion


I. Introduction

1.1 Main Topics

In contrast to the presentation Spatial Locations (Part I), held in the Comparative Society and Culture class on October 6th, 2004, this paper deals with only three of the original six different topics about spatial locations. Namely, Maps, Nations and Regions and Spatial Segregation. Within this work no extended general introduction to each single topic with examples from different countries will be given. The whole analysis refers solely to the three countries: the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Ecuador. Nevertheless, following the example of Carol Delany in her book Investigating Culture[1], the most important and most specific examples of these topics of spatial locations within these countries will be given – focusing on concrete examples, as it is not possible to deal with every aspect belonging to each topic. One reason is that it is not possible to mention everything in the recommended size of this paper because every country has so many specifications of spatial locations, even different within one country’s regions, and the other one is that it is not possible to obtain all the necessary information and books in the Korean libraries.

1.2 Purpose of the Paper

The aim of this term paper is to analyze the three countries (which will be introduced in 1.3) from three different continents regarding their specific understandings of their map, their nation(s), their region, and spatial segregation inside the country. Thus, one can say that the content of this work refers to the historical part of space / spatial locations within these countries. In the main part (II.), beginning with the description of the countries’ maps (2.1) the analysis starts with the actual situation of the countries’ borders, meaning how these countries are geographically located in the world community and how they see themselves there today.

Following, an analysis of the creation of the nation in connection with the region where this nation, or these nations, are located will be given (2.2.), before under the last point (2.3) of the main part the most important country-specific aspect of spatial segregation within the history of each of these countries will be examined. The result of the whole comparison – cultural equalities, inequalities, and similarities concerning the specific aspects of spatial locations between these countries – will be given in the conclusion (III.) of the paper.

1.3 The Countries

Before starting with the spatial aspects, a brief introduction to the three countries will be given, including the reasons why they were chosen. The task was to concentrate on three countries – one from the first world, one from the second world, and one from the third world. The country where I am from is Germany – it is an example of a first world country. The second country, which will be dealt with, is South Korea because this is the country where I am spending this semester and in which culture I am really interested. I do not know exactly where to locate South Korea, meaning I do not know if it is considered as a second world country, but, nevertheless, it will be anywhere between first world country Germany and the third world in my paper represented by the South American country Ecuador, which was chosen due to familiar reasons and I already had the chance to make my own experiences with the Ecuadorian culture during several stays there.

1.3.1 The Federal Republic of Germany

Germany is a country in the middle of Europe. With an area of 357,021 km² it borders to the North Sea and Denmark in the north, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria in the south, the Baltic Sea, Poland, and the Czech Republic in the east, and the Netherlands, Luxemburg, Belgium and France in the west. The country has a population of 82,424,609 inhabitants with the following ethnic consistence: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4% and other 6.1%. 68% of the residents are Christians (Protestant and Roman Catholic, each, 34%), 3.7% Muslims, and 28.3% are unaffiliated or have other faiths[2].

Germany is one of the largest industries in the world. It is among the world’s biggest and technologically advanced producers of iron, steel, coal, cement, chemicals, machinery, vehicles, electronics, food and beverages, shipbuilding and textile. As one of the twenty-five member-countries of the European Union, it is also one of twenty-two countries, whose official currency is the Euro.

1.3.2 The Republic of Korea

South Korea is a country in Eastern Asia. It is the located in the southern part of the Korean Peninsula bordering to North Korea, the East Sea (or Sea of Japan) and the Yellow Sea. The country’s area is 98,480 km² and its population counts 48,598,175 inhabitants of which 4% live below the line of poverty. The ethnicity is (apart from about 20,000 Chinese) homogeneous. 26% of the Koreans are Christians, 26% Buddhists, 1% Confucians, and 1% have other faiths, while 46% are non-affiliated. South Korea is the 12th largest economy and its most important industries are electronics, telecommunications, automobile production, chemicals, shipbuilding and steel. The currency is the South Korean won (KRW) and the inflation rate is about 3.6%[3].

1.3.3 The Republic of Ecuador

Ecuador is a small country in the western part of South America that borders to Colombia, Peru and the Pacific Ocean. 13,700,000 inhabitants live in an area of 283,560 km²; 65% of them below the line of poverty. The ethnic groups which make up Ecuador’s population are mestizos (65%), Indians (25%), whites (7%) and blacks (3%). 95% of the inhabitants belong to the Roman Catholic Church and just 5% are of other faiths. The most important industries are petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products and chemicals. After years of extremely high inflation the US Dollar was introduced as the official currency in 2001 and the actual inflation rate is about 7.9%[4].

II. Main Part

The main part of this work shall discuss the question of how particular spatial locations are / were experienced among the different cultures of the three countries and how maps, regions, nations and spatial segregation are connected to each other.

2.1 Maps

The first topic is maps. Maps are extremely important to orient ourselves and get our bearings when entering another culture. That is why, in general, we need maps and guidebooks. A problem was / is that maps, for example the world-map, were made arbitrary and mostly by Europeans, thus, representing a special Western view.[5]

Under this point should not be discussed how maps are made because, nowadays, there is not much difference between the countries in their way of drawing maps – the four directions north, east, south and west are always located in the same way (north on top) and all maps have a line marked off to indicate the ratio between distances on the map and real distances. Thus, a country’s map, a city’s map or other maps resemble each other even between different cultures. That is why at this point the countries’ maps shall be described as a kind of status quo of nation building, which will follow later.

2.1.1 The German Map

There is nothing special about the German map. Like in all Western countries’ maps Europe is always in the middle, north of Africa. America is at the left side and Asia at the right side. North is at the top as in almost all maps worldwide. As there are no uncertainties regarding the boundaries to their neighbor countries in the whole world, the map of Germany has remained the same since 1990. Between 1949 and 1990 Germany was divided into two states but within the same boundaries around the “German territory” as today. An interesting aspect is that during the forty years of division in East Germany, maps there were manipulated and handed out to regions near the border to West Germany. The purpose was to subconsciously mislead the citizen about real distances to the borders, thus averting refuge plans.

2.1.2 The South Korean Map

There are two different ways South Korea is shown on maps, which can be seen as the Korean and the Western view. The Korea-specific map is a world-map showing Asia in the center, which is totally atypical for maps of Western countries, where Europe and Africa are in the middle of the map instead. There is also no separation into North and South Korea drawn on this map, not even the demarcation line. Other versions of the Korean map show a line but do not mention different states. Thus, in the Korean-specific map, a unified Korea exists, covering the whole peninsula. For sure, South Korea is the only country with such a world-map, but one has to consider that this is not the common one and just found occasionally in South Korea. Nevertheless, this is a very culturally significant point as it shows that the country is not entirely adapting Western views and ideas. In contrast, the map of Korea in the Western view places Asia at the right side of the world-map and Korea divided into two sovereign states – North and South Korea or more formally, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea.

2.1.3 The Ecuadorian Map

As Ecuador is in South America it is at the left side of the world-map as common (except in some Asian states, which see America on the left side of the map). Although its borderline varied in different maps for a long time, since 1998 the map of Ecuador is the same worldwide. That was the year when the government officially acknowledged the border of 1942 when, after a war, Ecuador had had to agree to a boundary that conceded to Peru to a large portion of Ecuadorian territory, about 200,000 km², in the Amazon region, although the aggression was committed by Peru, which in 1941 invaded the mineral-rich province of El Oro in Ecuador. In 1981 again a border war with Peru broke out and only ended with international arbitration. The last war between the two countries erupted in 1995 in a small, remote region where the border prescribed by the 1942 Protocol of Rio de Janeiro was in dispute.[6] Thus, until 1998 there were different maps in Ecuador and Peru.

The first time after 1942 in Ecuador there remained the old map (for example in school books), later there was a map, where a line was drawn between Ecuador and Peru saying Line of the Protocol of Rio de Janeiro but – for patriotic reasons – it was not considered as an official border. As a result, surprisingly there could be seen until the end of the 90s in Ecuadorian schoolbooks that, after more than fifty years, the government had not acknowledged the borderline denying the status quo.


[1] Carol Delaney, Investigating Culture: An Experimental Introduction to Anthropology, Blackwell Publishing 2004.




[5] Delaney, Investigating Culture, 36.



ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Buch)
490 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Ewha Womans University – Graduate School of International Studies
2007 (Mai)
Spatial Maps Analyzed Germany South Korea Ecuador Comparative Society Culture

Titel: Spatial locations: Maps, nations, regions and spatial segregation - Analyzed by the countries Germany, South Korea and Ecuador