Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Sense of place and collective identity

From the Forest article, I have thought about the relationship between sense of place and collective identity. Obviously, they seem to have a correlation. Then, what does create the relationship? I think that communication among people in a boundary build sense of place and collective identity. From the West Hollywood gay community story, we can see how the media are used to support or create the meaning of place. In terms of Anderson’s imagined community, local media serve to build an imagined community without increasing direct communication among the community members. Therefore, I’d like to suggest some hypotheses: as urbanization or social differentiation increases, direct or face-to-face communication is likely to decrease. However, people need and create identity through communication; therefore, as direct or face-to-face communication decrease, people tend to create identity through building a relationship with place – sense of place. Therefore, sense of place, which might be generated by local media and/or direct experience with local environment, might be assessed differently according to individual’s dependence on media or direct experience with local environment. I know that these hypotheses are not sophisticated. However, I’d like to develop these based on more theoretical bases.

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