Friday, February 20, 2015

Environmental Possibilism

by Antonio C. Antonio
February 4, 2013

Environmental Possibilism is a theory that states that the environment offers different mixes of opportunities and limits to how humans may behave and that the environment does not shape human behavior but instead presents an array of conditions that allow for the same behavior to prosper and others not to develop at all.  “Possibilism”, in cultural geography is the theory that the environment sets certain constraints or limitations, but culture is otherwise determined by social conditions.

Environmental Possibilism is a theory in geography that human behavior, and therefore culture, is not merely determined by the environment but by human agency.  As a theory it is directly opposed to determinism.  Environmental Possibilism is also a belief in attempting only realistically achievable reforms in society.

“American influence on Philippine culture is quite strong.  The way and manner Filipinos speak English is more American than other Asian countries.  This is the very reason why BPOs (business process outsourcing) have gained a relative high level of success here… even beating India where BPOs started.  But American consumers can easily discern Indian English from Filipino English and, when an Indian Customer Service Representative answers the phone, they are quick to say:  “I don’t wanna talk to you. I have a friend who doesn’t have a job, why should I give you this freakin’ opportunity to earn!” (“Environmental-Cultural Terms”, Antonio, 2014,

Again, “possibilism” as a theory, as opposed to “determinism”, lays the foundation for any culture to develop in a given society.  This is what it is all about… Environmental Possibilism.

Just my little thoughts…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at

No comments:

Post a Comment