Examine the argument that Identities of place can be a Source of Inclusion and Exclusion.

1022 words 5 pages
Examine the argument that Identities of place can be a Source of Inclusion and Exclusion.

There is an inextricable link between physical locations and personal identity: the one affects the other as the environmental psychologist Harold Proshansky states in “The City and Self-Identity”(Proshansky, 1983) “Place-identity is defined as those dimensions of self that define the individual’s personal identity in relation to the physical environment”. So, does the way locations affect our individual identity determine how we are included or excluded from parts of society, and how is the perception of places influenced by contrasts with other locations resulting in a sense of attachment or disassociation?

The importance of place in the
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Individual places obtain an identity through human perceptions based on how locations are made up. An interesting example is the ‘Concrete to Coriander” project in Birmingham in which a derelict area of the city was used as an urban regeneration project. It provided a meeting place for local ethnic minorities to develop friendships and skills: a place of attachment where they felt secure and included in local society. In other words the women involved saw the garden as a friendly, welcoming place.

Place identity is also important at the “home” level: individual homes are places of privacy in which individuals and families live their lives; different societies have developed customs and laws which govern how the “home” is protected and perceived. In most developed countries the “home” is an area of exclusion for all but family and friends; it is also a place which profoundly affects the development of the individual. People generally feel an attachment to their childhood home, and more comfortable with others from similar backgrounds: “place ....is an integral part of how individuals see and understand themselves, another identity block in the ongoing construction of a sense of self. It is about feeling at home with others who are seen as similar, as having shared


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