Post 321 –by Gautam Shah
A person possesses and occupies a place for inhabitation. This is simply a territorial spread, which when marked for its extent becomes a personal place in the universe. The personal place is the place-identity of the individual (or family). The terrain has been possessed, occupied, measured and identified because it has the potential of becoming a locus for behaviour. To turn the place into a meaningful entity its place identity is reinforced with a spatial character. The spatial features are conceived to satisfy biological, social, psychological and cultural needs.
How an individual establishes a Role Locus (a stage) is one of the most important features of behavioural responses. A place has neighbours, no matter how few, and far apart. Possession and occupation of a place, immediately transforms into degree of social reactivity. One may not have any physical contact, may be just empathetic recognition. The social reactivity regulates the nature of interaction with others, privacy, degree of accessibility or isolation, as reflected in aloofness, loneliness, alienation, participation, leadership, devotion, cohabitation, etc.
The place, once a wide and wild terrain, as soon as it is possessed, occupied, measured and identified, is marked. Markings that define a place are physical, like posts, signs, change of landscape, residues (food, ash, excreta, trash, pots, odours-enzymes) are intentionally left. A marked place has defined extent, by way of defined corners and edges. For a human being it is an intentional activity but many beings do it with intuition. Selection of a place often an irrational process, one cannot explain why, and how it actualized.
A place is given a spatial character. The place itself offers inherent possibilities in this regard. One begins to endow this with a set of purposes. A place has three essential qualities, A location value, as seen in the nature of its connections. The connections are due to both proximity and convergence of other places or neighbourhoods. The place has features like dimensions, orientations, environment, terrestrial character, amenities and facilities. It also includes associations that personalize the space, such as history, neighbours, precincts, etc. A place also has potential for improvisation due to pre-existing conditions.
The spatial features once developed in a place create place attachment. The place attachment is due to the effort and rarity of opportunity. It soon turns into pride, awe, prestige, discipline, belief, fear, and legacy of personal values, attitudes, feelings and beliefs.
A place attachment is an activity that endows one with knowledge how to handle the issues given another opportunity. The knowledge directly passes on from one to another generation or through the imprints.
- Harold Proshansky, etc. of City University of New York have explored the concept of place identity as a ‘substructure of the self-identity of the person consisting of broadly conceived cognition about the physical world in which the individual lives’. Tuan (1980), Relph (1976) and Buttimer (1980), share a couple of basic assumptions. As a person lives and creates memories within a place, attachment is built and it is through one’s personal connection to a place, that he or she gains a sense of belonging and purpose, which then gives significance and meaning to their life.
- ‘There is reciprocal interaction between people and their physical environment; people affect places, and places (and the way places are affected) influence how people see themselves’.
- Casey (2001) states that identity is created both internally in the mind, and through the body’s interaction with the outside world -there is no place without self, and no self without place.