1990 Volume 63 Issue 2 Pages 139-155
This study attempts to make a geographical analysis of cemetery landscapes in Louisiana. Based upon the assumption that, ultimately, only individuals can play a causative role in the making of the cemetery landscape, a theory is constructed by examining individuals' actions. Operationally defined, culture is the expression of the individual's voluntary group identity that can be identified by comparing groups. This study attempts to identify cultures by comparing the cemeteries of the following groups: (1) North and South Louisiana and (2) Catholic and Protestant.
As a result of systematic analysis and synthesis of 236 selected cemeteries, the superiority of this theory over the traditional superorganic theory is demonstrated. The survival of theory through empirical tests demonstrate its effectiveness for the explanation of distribution, for systematic description, for regional classification, and for understanding group characteristics.