Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The influence of place on idividual identity

In regards to the Tuan article I was drawn to this concept of places having an essence that can only truly be appreciated once we leave that physical space. Yet Fields of Care “can be known in essence only from within” (p. 451) – you must have repeated experience with them, live them, form a social bond with the place. My question/comment involves the role of a physical space's identity/essence in influencing the identity of the individuals who occupy that space. If we learn the essence of a place through either leaving it or having repeated interaction with it does our perception of the physical place have an effect on my identity? Does my sense of self rely on my connection to my physical surroundings? I would argue in the affirmative - thoughts?

1 comment:

Linda said...

Wow, I finally made it onto this site after repeated tries!! I do think repeated contact with a physical place can alter and root your identity. Thirty years ago I started building a geodesic dome house on a lake in Minnesota and am still at it. After all this time caring for the same ground and getting to intimately know my neighbors I have come to feel that my "home" is really there, even though I have lived most of the year in Madison for the past 20 years. Here I have been uprooted by a flood, downsized to an apartment after my kids flew off to college, etc. so don't have that same sense of place that three decades of sinking roots up north has given me. I guess it's true - you can know many places a little or one place well....I'm somewhere in between, in Madison and Minnesota...