or relational term and place as a concrete site (McDowell 32). Like other critical social factors, such as race, class, and gender, spaces and places are socially constructed and constructing. Cultural factors shape the ways that we interpret particular places and landscapes, and these places and landscapes in turn influence the social behaviors of the individuals situated within them. In this essay, I examine three different but interrelated aspects of place: first, the physical characteristics of a given site; second, the cultural discourses and other social mechanisms (including legal terms) that endow particular places with meaning and dictate what is considered appropriate behavior within that site; and third, the legacy: volume 31 no. 1 2014 resulting network of relationships among people, objects, and materials that occupy that site.5 These three dimensions of place are clearly interconnected. The physical characteristics of a place are filtered through cultural lenses that dictate how individuals should respond emotionally to physical places and how they should move through them (Schama 919). These cultural discourses and physical characteristics shape the relationships formed in places.6 As feminist geographer Doreen Massey explains, the character of a place is the product of its interactions with the outside
Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 4, 2014
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