Questions of ‘who we are’ are often intimately related to questions of ‘where we are’, an idea captured in the environmental psychological concept of place‐identity. The value of this concept is that it attends to the located nature of subjectivity, challenging the disembodied notions of identity preferred by social psychologists. The topic of place‐identity would thus seem to be a productive point around which the sub‐disciplines of social and environmental psychology might meet, answering calls for greater disciplinary cross‐fertilization. This study contributes to this project by presenting a sympathetic but critical evaluation of research on place‐identity. It argues that such research is valuable in that it has established the importance of place for creating and sustaining a sense of self. However, drawing on recent developments in discursive approaches to social psychology, the authors identify several limitations with existing work on place‐identity. This critique is then developed through analysis of an ongoing research programme located in the changing landscapes of the new South Africa.
British Journal of Social Psychology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2000
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