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Key terms Subsaharan

Key terms Subsaharan Africa

TermDefinition
Human evolution Long-term biological maturation of the human species. Geographically, all evidence points toward East Africa as the source of humankind. Our species, Homo sapiens, emigrated from this hearth to eventually populate the rest of the habitable world.
Rift valley The trough or trench that forms when a thinning strip of the Earth’s crust sinks between two parallel faults (surface fractures).
Continental drift The slow movement of continents controlled by the processes associated with plate tectonics.
State formation The creation of a state, exemplifying traditions of human territoriality that go back thousands of years.
Indirect rule British colonial practice that kept indigenous power structures in place, co-opting individual rulers. The purpose was to minimize armed conflict and maximize profits.
Land tenure The way people own, occupy, and use land.
Land alienation One society or culture group taking land from another.
Green revolution The successful late-twentieth-century development of higher-yield, fast-growing varieties of rice and other cereals in certain developing countries.
Agribusiness The agricultural operations of large, often multinational, corporations.
Medical Geography The study of health and disease within a geographic context and from a spatial perspective. Among other things, this geographic field examines the sources, diffusion routes, and distributions of diseases.
Endemic Refers to a disease in a host population that affects many people in a kind of equilibrium without causing rapid and widespread deaths.
Epidemic A local or regional outbreak of a disease.
Pandemic An outbreak of a disease that spreads worldwide.
Multilingualism A society marked by a mosaic of local languages. Constitutes a centrifugal force because it impedes communication within the larger population. Often a lingua franca is used as a “common language,” as in many countries of Subsaharan Africa.
Formal economy The part of a national economy that is registered with government agencies and complies with laws and regulations, especially taxation. The complement to a country’s informal economy.
Informal economy The part of a national economy that is not registered with the government, and for which reliable statistics are rarely available. The complement to a country’s formal economy.
Apartheid Literally, apartness. The Afrikaans term for South Africa’s pre-1994 policies of racial separation, a system that produced highly segregated socio-geographical patterns.
Exclave A bounded (non-island) piece of territory that is part of a particular state but lies separated from it by the territory of another state.
Sharia Law The strict criminal code based in Islamic law that prescribes corporal punishment, amputations, stonings, and lashings for both major and minor offenses. Its occurrence today is associated with the spread of religious revivalism in Muslim societies.
Boko Haram The violent, jihadist, terrorist organization that is based in— and controls parts of—northeastern Nigeria. It engages in extreme terrorist attacks, increasingly beyond its territory as it seeks to expand into other parts of the country.
Xenophobia Extreme dislike and fear of foreigners, sometimes fueled by populist politicians.
Created by: pl238242
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