Sense of Place and Attitudes Essay

Submitted By 07889828350
Words: 1124
Pages: 5

Slide 1
I’m going to summarise the article, and talk about the main points raised. The underlying theme in the article is relating sense of place theory to social psychology and talking about how attitude is related to identity and beliefs.
First of all we can start by saying there is no one definition of SOP, but rather it is understood in many different ways within academic literature but it’s basically the personal and emotional attachment people have to a place.
Sense of place can be conceived as a collection of symbolic meanings, attachment, and satisfaction with a spatial setting held by an individual or group.
Although repelent to some, this conception suggests a social-psychological model of human-environment interaction. This conception offers a number of advantages:
Terms are clearer and more agreed upon, the relationships between variables are empirically specifiable, and there are established research questions in social psychology that correspond quite well to the gaps noted in sense-of-place theory.
Attempts have been made to try to build a systematic theory, but there still remains a lack of agreement on the meanings of the core concepts. This is partly due to inconsistent measurement and inadequate hypothesis testing, so lack of construct clarity. (these are the gaps)

Sense-of-place theory and research can be divided into positivistic and phenomenological approaches. Of these, the latter tradition,which emphasizes the particularistic nature of place (specific to the individual, the group, the setting), has tended to dominate; Strong statements are made about the nature of sense of place as based on, for example, length or depth of experience with the setting, social mobility that allows abstraction necessary to develop a sense of place, or social relationships in the setting as the basis of attachment rather than the physical landscape itself.
These statements suggest testable hypotheses about the nature of place and yet are at odds with assertions that place concepts should be treated holistically, that dissecting place into component parts or cause-effect relationships may destroy the essence of the overall concept
In contrast, positivistic research on sense of place is characterized by quantitative methods and traditional hypothesis testing.
These studies often neglect important theoretical tenets, including the relationship between symbolic meanings and evaluations, the importance of landscape characteristics as natural capital out of which sense of place may be created, and the effect of sense-of-place variables on subsequent behavior
We are thus left with a paradox:
On one hand are interesting statements that sound like testable hypotheses but are derived from the phenomenological tradition that avoids positivistic hypothesis testing; on the other hand are quantitative treatments of place that have often failed to engage these important theoretical tenets

So we use the hypotheses in social psychology that looks at beliefs, attitudes, and identity.
Place attachment as identity. Place attachment is a bond between people and their environment based on cognition and affect. Through extensive interaction with a place, the person see’s the place as an integral part of themselves. Place attachment rests on symbolic meanings. We attribute meaning to landscapes and in turn become attached to the meanings. Different people associate different meanings to the same place, as they have different experiences, and vice versa (same meanings with shared experience)
Place attachment strongly resembles the social psychological concept of identity, one’s personal location within social life. Based on symbolic interactionism, identities are meanings we attribute to ourselves, learned from others’ expectations of how social category–based behaviours ought to be performed.
Place satisfaction as attitude. Place satisfaction, or a multidimensional summary judgement of the perceived