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Place Attachment and Place Identity

Review of Literature

Home as an Attachment:

  1. It is possible to relate the feeling of attachment towards home to certain behaviours which aim at preserving the presence, vicinity, accessibility and maintaining continuity of experience (Giuliani 1991, p. 134).
  2. Proximity to home is an important prerequisite for maintaining feelings of connectedness to it, thereby, establishing a degree of continuity in the event of a change. This way place attachment and place identity revolve around the fact that the home is accessible (Chow and Healey 2008, p. 370).
  3. Home plays a significant role in the everyday life of an individual, holding rich social, cultural and historical importance along with various psychological implications that have a special meaning for the individual and helps shape their identity (Chow and Healey 2008, p. 363).

Home and Territory:

  1. Home implies a physical as well as an imagined space. The sense of territory stays on in spite of changes in the geographical one as the two are connected dynamically. People may migrate to different places but their identities remain attached to what they leave behind (Gomez and Vannini 2017, p. 1).

Home and Belongingness:

  1. Home is not just a place; it is also a feeling. People try to transform a place into a home, where a sense of belongingness is fostered, resulting in the establishment of a community (Gomez and Vannini 2017, p. 2).
  1. Empirical and theoretical studies on home and belonging have focused on the interaction between the local, national and global cultural display in the representation of individual as well as collective identities. Hence, migrants who are returning tend to process the cultural landscape as home, as it focuses on cultural belongingness (Christou 2011, p. 249).
  1. The idea of home in the domain of belongingness reflects upon feelings and relations that bring about a sense of comfort and security. ‘Home’ is a concept, a storehouse for memories of the lived spaces during various times. It is located in these times and spaces, specifically intimate familial time and space (Mallet 2004, p. 65).

Home and Wellbeing:

  1. In the event of a disaster or setback, the decision to return home reflects a sense of belief that, by doing so, the benefits outweigh the risks. Returning to one’s hometown contributed to the wellbeing of the victims, as compared to those who were unsure about returning (Murakami et al. 2020, p. 101538).

Home as a Dwelling Place:

  1. Historically, the dwelling place has emerged as home and a place of sentiment, representing personal as well as social identity (Cuba and Hummon 1993, p. 111).

Home and Identity:

  1. Identifying with a place based on common interests and beliefs is often experienced as a feeling of being home, which implies a sense of familiarity, comfort and being in tune with your real self (Cuba and Hummon 1993, p. 113).

Lifeworld Research Approaches

By lifeworld, we mean how we live through time and space. It encompasses the multiple processes through which the world is experienced. Lifeworld is regarded as the realm of mere appearances, making it the primary concept for phenomenological psychology (Ashworth 2003, p. 145-156). Thus, its research involves the study of various phenomena according to our experiences, making these approaches known as phenomenological approaches and methods. The phenomenological approaches usually involve qualitative analysis methods to study the various experiences occurring in the world. It involves an in-depth gathering of information and perceptions through qualitative methods such as discussions, interviews and observations of the participants. Pure phenomenological research tends to describe the events rather than explain them. It involves explanations and perspectives which challenge the regular and normal assumptions. 

Well-known methodologies and approaches of phenomenology include ethnography, hermeneutics and symbolic interactionalism. Ethnography comes from the branch of anthropology. It is concerned with the detailed study of culture and the art of communication and comprehension. Lifeworld analytical ethnography comes from the assumption that any world which is not recognized as a lifeworld is fiction (Honer and Hitzler 2015, p. 544-562). Hermeneutics is a method of interpreting philosophical and spiritual texts which contain exceeding levels of wisdom. As a result, it has earned the name of interpretive phenomenology (Dowling 2004, p. 30-39). Symbolic interactionalism has its roots in sociological theories. This approach deals with viewing our surroundings, the society and the world to be made of symbols that people utilise to form meaningful associations, develop views about the world and communicate with each other. It revolves around the idea that we are all thinkers and our actions depend on the interpretations of the situations.

Another approach known as reflective lifeworld research aims to explain the lived world in such a manner that adds to our comprehension of the human experience. Attention is given to how the meaning behind normal events and occurrences in the lifeworld is not obvious. Reflective lifeworld research tries to find ways to understand how the obscure transforms into the obvious and how the assumed becomes complicated, giving us something to consider. (Dahlberg, Dahlberg and Nystrom 2008, p. 37). This kind of research makes use of descriptive, along with hermeneutic designs to study how daily experiences appear as lived. The approach requires a phenomenological attitude of openness and willingness to see events happening in new ways.

References for Home Phenomenology

Ashworth, P., 2003. An approach to phenomenological psychology: The contingencies of the lifeworld. Journal of phenomenological psychology, 34(2), pp.145-156.

Chow, K. and Healey, M., 2008. Place attachment and place identity: First-year undergraduates making the transition from home to university. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28(4), pp.362-372.

Christou, A., 2011. Narrating lives in (e)motion: Embodiment, belongingness and displacement in diasporic spaces of home and return. Emotion, Space and Society, 4(4), pp.249-257.

Cuba, L. and Hummon, D., 1993. A Place to Call Home: Identification With Dwelling, Community, and Region. The Sociological Quarterly, 34(1), pp.111-131.

Dahlberg, K., Dahlberg, H. and Nystrom, M., 2008. Reflective lifeworld research: Studentlitteratur.

Dowling, M., 2004. Hermeneutics: an exploration. Nurse Researcher, 11(4), pp.30-39.

Gomez, R. and Vannini, S., 2017. Notions of Home and Sense of Belonging in the Context of Migration in a Journey through Participatory Photography. The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, 78(1), pp.1-46.

Giuliani, M.V., 1991. Towards an analysis of mental representations of attachment to the home. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, pp.133-146.

Honer, A. and Hitzler, R., 2015. Life-world-analytical ethnography: A phenomenology-based research approach. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 44(5), pp.544-562.

Mallett, S., 2004. Understanding Home: A Critical Review of the Literature. The Sociological Review, 52(1), pp.62-89.

Murakami, M., Takebayashi, Y., Ono, K., Kubota, A. and Tsubokura, M., 2020. The decision to return home and wellbeing after the Fukushima disaster. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 47, p.101538.

Remember, at the center of any academic work, lies clarity and evidence. Should you need further assistance, do look up to our Psychology Assignment Help

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