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GEOG 210 (105)
Jon Unruh (101)
Lecture 6

Lecture 6

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McGill University
GEOG 210
Jon Unruh

Lecture 6: Identity from Landscapes 1/29/13 8:33 AM Reading: Knox et al, Chapter 5, entire chapter Identity Identity as a pretty changeable thing. • Hierarchy of Identity o Family o Religion o Ethnicity o Geography o Work Group o Socio Economic Class o Country ?? Depending on what country you are from § Ex. Afghanistan à nothing to hold together in terms of identity o Etc… • This order can change depending on who you are and where you are. • What you are going to do in terms of behaviour and thoughts depends on where you place your identity “The assertion of a person’s identity is intended to give meaning to an encounter with others.” –Ibrahim, 1998 (will see on exam) Processes of Identity and Landscapes 1. Landscape as contested terrain. 2. Landscape as learning. 3. Landscape as language. Process-Landscape as Contested Terrain Landscape provides the raw material for ideas and images of territorial places and identities • Be they empires • Nations • Regions • Or localities And these landscapes have been culturally reproduces (encourages and enhanced) Raw materials: what the land has originally, the rocks, the ground, the weather, etc… People inscribe identity to a landscape by moving around on it, becoming attached to the land. This process takes a lot of time. Landscape becomes a historical archive. The landscape tells a story. People interact with landscape and produce a place. A place is something that people interact with and have an attachment to. A space is just the ground. The end product of these cultural processes are diverse, they are landscapes of: • Honour and virtue • Bountiful resources • Future wealth • Landscapes of distinction (purposefully different from other landscapes Other nations and regions have different landscapes and, by implication, different identities. It is the people/land interaction over time that create identities. Such landscapes have been used and abused for the purposes of power and control. • For the conscious or unconscious construction of belonging and identity o Balkan Wars o Strong connection to homeland, and that place is under threat • And for the production and formatting of citizens and their self- understanding as a people Different processes work to describe and re-describe landscapes in the shaping of national and regional images and identities. • The Netherlands and Windmills Some landscapes are more highly valued than others for their role in identity formation. • How this ‘valuing’ occurs gives important clues to the understanding of nations and regions. • For example: Canada o Wildness: unpolluted, deeply embedded 2. Process: Landscape as Learning We learn (from: school, family, friends, folklore) how national landscapes are determined by: • Events, memories • Often connected to: o Royalty o Nobility o Elite Presence o War o Or to significant turning points in the memory of the nation Some places are produced internationally by tourist in the sense that they are known almost universally and serve as objects of pilgrimage. Their careers as places h
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