Does everybody perceive and appreciate same landscapes and places? If not, can social psychology aspects of collective identity be used to define those differences or similarities between cultural groups? Paper aims to answer these questions by results of pilot qualitative study of place attachment and collective identity.
Aesthetics and ethics of the environment is hided in the relationship of people and place, through identity construction people change and/or choose meaningful places in everyday landscape, while everyday landscape affect people.
Baumgarten definition of aesthetics as sensory experience is narrowed to sensory experience that is followed by cognitive process in which by appreciating environment, it is noticed, remembered or/and given particular meaning. Carlson argues that environmental aesthetic experience requires paying attention on the environment – seeing it as “obstructive foreground”, while knowledge define borders of appreciation of it. According to Berleant participatory model offers aesthetic experience. Places are chosen as study unit as usually associated with particular action and/or participation. Landscape consists of meaningful parts – places (Relph).
Landscape and places within it have collective meanings and clear social dimension. In the perception of the environment, objective situation is combined with associations that person experience of the physical world and of the people (Greenbie), collective identity is also based on mentioned experiences as well as on self-image.
Pilot study presented in the paper recognises importance of place attachment through study of meaningful places aspects together with collective identity. Aspects summarized by Ashmore et al are used in conducted interviews. Basing on qualitative comparison of interviews differences and similarities between two ethnic groups (ethnic Estonians and Russian Estonians) landscape perception, values and place meanings are identified. Bonds with places important for locals are studied taking into account aspects of collective identity (cultural groups) as there is no homogeneity in the ethnic groups.
Ashmore, R. D., Deaux, K., McLaughlin-Volpe, T. 2004. An Organizing Framework for Collective Identity: Articulation and Significance of Multidimensionality. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 130, No. 1, 80 –114
Berleant, A. 1988. Aesthetic Perception. Environmental aesthetics: theory, research and applications. Nasar, J.L. (ed).
Carlson, A. 2008. Appreciation and the natural environment. Aesthetics: a comprehensive anthology. Cahn, S.M., Meskin, A. (eds).
Greenbie, B.B. 1988 The landscape of social symbols. Environmental aesthetic: theory, research and applications. Nasar, J.L. (ed).
Relph, E. C. 1976. Place and Placelessness.
Julia Sulina, Estonian University of Life Sciences, EE
Harvard Citation Guide: Sulina, J. (2012) Differences in Landscape Appreciation in Pilot Study of Place Attachment and Collective, International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture, [blog] 20 May 2012, Available at: https://isparchitecture.wordpress.com. [Accessed: 01 June 2012].