AQA A-Level Geography Changing Places

  • Created by: 12megdyk
  • Created on: 14-06-19 14:02

Changing Places AO1 Revision

Nature and importance of places (

The Concept of Place

Location: where a place is on a map, its latitude and longitude co-ordinates

Locale: a setting where everyday activities take place e.g. an office. These settings affect social interactions and help to forge values, each locale will have different behaviours and values attached to it

Sense of place: the personal emotional attachment to a place

Place is more than just a location. It can be affected by human and physical characteristics, but also the flows in and out of that place.

It is different from location as place is meaningful to groups and individuals that are personal and subjective. It can also be meaningful at a social or cultural level.

Doreen Massey explored a global sense of place. she thought about how places are dynamic and can forge multiple identities without barriers. She has explained how the character of places can only be understood by linking it to places further beyond. A place is influenced by constantly changing elements of a wider world.


Theoretical approaches to place

Descriptive: the world is a set of places which can each be studied and are uniquely distinct from one another.

Social constructionist: place as a product of social processes e.g. Trafalgar square represents a place of empire and colonialism.

Phenomenological: How an individual person experiences place. This approach recognises the relationship between people and place.


Identity and place

·         Humanist geographer Yi-Fu Tuan has described the way that our understanding of an environment and our attachment to it expands with age.

·         Our geographical horizons expand in parallel with our ability to explore the world.

·         The depth of attachment that we have for a place is influenced by the depth of our knowledge and understanding of it.

·         The meaning that we give to a location can be so deep that it features within our identity.

·         Localism is an emotional ownership of a particular place, somewhere that a person may always have affection for e.g. a person’s hometown. This has given rise to nimbyism, where people are opposed to developments that are happening in their backyard.

·         Regionalism is the loyalty a person may have to a distinct region e.g. someone may refer to themselves as being from Yorkshire or Somerset.

·         Nationalism is the loyalty and devotion to a nation. People may have a national consciousness which may be strengthened by supporting national sports teams or singing the national anthem.

·         Religion can also promote a powerful sense of place and it is key to millions of people’s identities. Each religion also has places where people feel a strong sense of religious identity.

·         Places are constantly changing, which means the way that they shape people’s identities also changes. For example, if a factory or industry shuts down then the people made redundant will miss out on the interactions associated with that locale.


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