Why and how do we become attached to places?

Shemmings, David Why and how do we become attached to places? In: Royal Geographic Society Annual Conference, 27-29 August 2008 , Royal Geographic Society Kensington London . (Submitted) (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Early care-giving relationships establish an attachment system which optimally provides a secure base from which the developing child explores her or his environment. Recent insights from evolutionary psychology, however, cast some doubt upon whether attachments continue to be between ‘one or a few’ specific individuals (as originally proposed by Bowlby and his collaborators). Contemporary research into attachment theory in adulthood uncovers other, non-human, representations of the secure base, one of which is the notion of ‘attachment to place’, especially the ‘place’ where we were born and raised. For example, it is now well-documented that people in the later stages of dementia often state that they want to ‘go home’, and that what they mean is their home of birth, not their most recent dwelling. The concept of ‘attachment to place’ raises interesting questions about how and why some of us feel affinities with towns and neighbourhoods alongside a sometimes irresistible urge to revisit them, usually in times of stress. This urge goes beyond mere nostalgia. I shall also draw upon research which examines the psychosocial processes that claim to explain ‘attachment to place’, as well as discuss some of the biographical antecedents, correlates and sequelae surrounding and accompanying our apparently unique human need regularly to ‘go home’, either literally or by holding the idea of ‘home’ in mind.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: David Shemmings
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 16:43
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 07:58
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/10867 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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