Monday, November 17, 2008

A sense of place

I'm on a listserve of psychologists with a special interest 
in conservation and the environment.  Sometimes the posts
are pretty interesting, but sometimes they leave me scratching
my head.  Today there was a call for papers focusing on "identity,
place, and emotional behavior".  The call acknowledged that there 
was a growing interest in "research investigating the complex
interactions between self and environment".  It went on to
discuss "place attachment, place identity, and self environment

Psychologists sure can make something pretty simple sound
complex!  I know, and have known since I was a young child,
that I belonged near the ocean.  I freak when I'm too far inland
for too long.  I remember visiting Colorado, marveling at the
beauty but feeling a little uncomfortable that I was so far from
the coast.  I guess that's "place identity".  I love and feel
a sense of happiness and of being confortable at the coast,
any coast.  That must be "place attachment".  I can't help feeling
upset when I see trash on any beach, people not appreciating
or acting as stewards of the place I love.  Guess that's a self-
environment interaction.  I'm a waterman, surfer, and ocean lover.
That's not simply what I do in my free time, it's who I am.

Maybe I should write a paper for this conference... only if it's
held near the coast though!

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