Roles of Text in Placeness Construction:Analysis on Core Literature of Cultural Geography in Recent Years

  • 1. School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, 100875, China;
    2. School of Geography and Tourism, Qufu Normal University, Qufu, Shandong 273165, China

Received date: 2010-11-20

  Revised date: 2011-05-19

  Online published: 1997-10-20


Place is one of core concepts of cultural geography. Placeness is the distinctivity of place. Many cultural geographers lay emphasis on the emotional significance of place for subject since the 1970s. New cultural geography is a knowledge system established by a group of British cultural geographers in the 1980s. New cultural geography concernes about place representation by films, literature, paintings and other kinds of text, however, traditional cultural geography does not pay attention to this. The placeness is the join point that cultural geography binding other subdisciplines of human geography. In recent years, many articles in core journals of cultural geography studied placeness represented in text. Cultural geographers can read the understanding of different creative subjects to space and place, such as directors, screenwriter, artists, writers, poets and so on. This article cards some literature in order to summarize the role of text in place construction. Some conclusions come out. 1) Texts construct placeness by representing three kinds of contents, which are local existing landscapes, everyday life practice and lost elements in local culture. The representation of landscapes in text is more vivid than that of the other two. Daily practices recorded into texts are handed down more easily than that of oral form. Lost culture of place can be saved by text. 2) The mechanism of place representation by text comes from people’s ideological needs. SELF and OTHER have different spiritual pursuits such as loving their hometown, longing for a place far away from home and so on when they represent place. So the representations of a place in texts are different. 3) Text representation of a place can not only strengthen the placeness, but also weaken the placeness. If the authors of some texts have respected subjects and history of place, their works can reinforce placeness. However, if the authors of some texts are outsiders of place and their representation of place is selective and not completely true, their texts weaken the placeness. This article leads to a question for further discussion whether text is necessary in placeness construction. If it is, cultural geographers have to study the placeness represented in all kinds of text. The authors think that placeness only represented in the form of text can be shared by people of place.

Cite this article

TANG Shun-Ying, ZHOU Shang-Yi . Roles of Text in Placeness Construction:Analysis on Core Literature of Cultural Geography in Recent Years[J]. SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA, 2011 , 31(10) : 1159 -1165 . DOI: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2011.010.1159


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