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A PLACE TO CALL HOME: Identification With Dwelling, Community, and Region
David M. Hummon
Holy Cross College
Theconcept of placeidentity hasbeenthesubject of a number of empirical in a studies of but there have been few to this variety disciplines, relatively attempts integrate literature intoa moregeneral of identity andenvironment. Suchendeavors have theory identification withplaces beenlimited thatsimultaneously examine by a lackof studies how resiof different scale. This article addresses thiscriticalomission by analyzing dentsof CapeCod, Massachusetts, to dwelling, developa senseof homewithrespect and region.Ourresultssuggestthatdifferent social andenvironmental community, factorsdiscriminate identification acrossplace loci: specifically, that demographic and interpretive residential affiliations are criticalto dwelling qualitiesof residents thatsocial participation in the local community is essentialfor community identity; andthatpatterns of intercommunity a regional identiidentity; activity promote spatial we propose,are important to constructing an integrated ty. Such understandings, one sensitiveto the complexways the self is situated in the theoryof placeidentity, environment. social-spatial The 1980s witnessed widespreadgrowth in scholarshipaddressingidentity and the environment, not only in sociology but also in such relatedfields as environmentalpsychology, phenomenological geography,cultural history, and the design professions. Much of this interdisciplinarywork focused on the dwelling place as it emerged historically as a locus of sentiment and home in modem Western culture (Altman and Werner 1986; Duncan 1982; Rybczynski 1986) and as it serves today as a significant symbol for the communication of personal and social identity (Csikzentimihalyiand Rochberg-Halton 1981; Hummon 1989; Lauman and House 1972; Pratt 1982; Rapoport 1982a). Other studies examined the interplayof identity and environmentwith regardto neighborhood and community.Studies of community attachment,in particular,documentedhow such locales continue to provide a significant locus of sentiment and meaning for the self (Duncan 1973; Feldman 1990; Gerson, Stueve, and Fischer 1977; Hummon 1990; Kasar*Address all correspondenceto Lee Cuba, Departmentof Sociology, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02181. The Sociological Quarterly, Volume 34, Number 1, pages 111-131. Copyright ? 1993 by JAI Press, Inc. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. ISSN: 0038-0253.
Reed 1983).that social participation in the local community is essential for communityidentity. and Southern identities (Cochrance 1987. community.Fabian. of place identificaThis disparateresearchhas contributedmuch to our understanding of tion. Yet despite these advances. Even regions have drawnattentionas importantloci of meaning. Cuba 1987. Low and Altman 1992. researchershave documentedhow people use places to communicatequalities of the self to self or other. Places may be integrallyinvolved in the constructionof both personalidentities-unique configurations of life historyitems thatdifferentiatethe self from other-and social identities-groups of . Rivlin 1987.Such understandings. place identities are thought to arise because places.112 THESOCIOLOGICAL Vol. previous work on place identity has typically focused on two broadfunctions:display and affiliation. and culturalmeanings. posing several questions vital to an integrated study of place identity: To what extent do individuals identify with single or multiple locales? What factors increase the likelihood of identificationwith locales of different scales? Do factors that enhance identificationwith one locale enhance or mitigateidentification with locales of differentscale? To provide preliminaryanswers to these queries. we analyze how residents of Cape Cod. things. In part. Massachusetts. It has challengedboth popularand social-scientificimages the placelessness of the contemporary landscapeand the self. ranging from the dwelling place to the communityand the region.develop a sense of home with respect to dwelling. 1983. Weigert 1981). this work has not led to a more general theory of place identity. are munity spatial activity promotea regional identity. Rapoport 1982b. self situated ways social-spatial PLACEIDENTITY:FUNCTIONS AND SOURCES Functions of Place Identity In general terms.Like otherformsof identity. It has highlightedthe variedenvironmental. 1/1993 QUARTERLY da and Janowitz 1974. with exploratorywork on Isle Royale. and activities. of one sensitive to the complex to a important constructing general theory place identity. and cultural sources of place identification. Although places and their attendantmeanings contributeto identity in complex ways. place identity can be defined as an interpretation of self that uses environmentalmeaningto symbolize or situateidentity. the is in the environment. although significant integrative essays have appearedoutside of sociology (Lavin and Agatstein 1984. as such.maintained.psychological. social.and that patternsof intercomwe propose. Shumaker and Taylor 1983).place identity answers the question-Who am I?-by countering-Where am I? or Wheredo I belong? From a social psychological perspective. such integrativescholarshiphas been limited by a critical lack of studies that simultaneouslyexamine identificationwith places of differentscale. Alaskan. Our results suggest that different social and environmentalfactors discriminate identificationacross place loci: specifically.and transformed.' This study undertakessuch an analysis. and Kaminoff 1983. 34/No.2Like people. places are an integralpartof the social world of everyday life. Sampson 1988).and region. Proshansky. provide a significant frameworkin which identity is constructed. as bounded locales imbued with personal.3 With regard to place identity as display. that demographicqualities of residents and interpretiveresidentialaffiliationsare criticalto dwelling identity. social. they become importantmechanismsthroughwhich identity is defined and situated (Proshanskyet al.
bringing a sense of belonging and order to one's sociospatial world. but it may also involve a sense of shared interests and values.Nevertheless. Sources of Place Identity Scholars have been less successful in systematically analyzing the conditions that nourish place identity. Studentsof landscape and the built environmentnote that places differ remarkablyin their boundedness. With regard to place identity as affiliation. scale.Standardization of built form. or the symbolic ecology of the metropolitanlandscape (Hunter 1987). given the emphasis on individualismin American society. also preservethe self. Seamon 1979). tolerant. interdisciplinary arises in a dialectic involving both the qualities of places and the characteristicsand relations of people to places (Steele 1981). For instance. Hummon 1989). Similar observations are routinely voiced by environmentaldesigners and artists who believe that "placemaking" must be an important partof the constructionand preservation of the built environmentin order to enhance the identities of people as well as places (Alexander. and that favor identificationwith locales of different researchindicates that place identity scales. Rowles 1983. cultural images of places may even be appropriatedby individualsto elaborateself-conception. place identities affiliatethe self with significantlocales. Ishikawa. For instance. in particular. in general. Duncan 1982. as when urbanenthusiastsdescribe themselves as being particularlysophisticated. and proportion (Steele 1981) and that such qualities enhance identificationby providing significant. Such argumentsare usually made within a broadcritiqueof the effects of modernizationon the environmentand identity. This identificationwith place is often experiencedas a sense of being "athome"of being comfortable. Klapp 1969. althoughthey do not indicate . Such identification with place often involves emotional ties to place. Pratt1982). For example. cf. In either case. serving as a mnemonic to personal identity (Csikzentimihalyiand Rochberg-Halton1981). Dwelling places. and Silverstein 1977. and culturalenvironments.politically aware.and "reallyme" here (Relph 1976. scholars have explored how people use places to forge a sense of attachment or home. thus weakening personal identificationwith locale (Buttimer 1980. distinctiveness. Such historicaland prescriptivearguments. middle-class individuals frequently personalize domestic environments to express their personhood as unique selves (Altman and Chemers 1980. whetherthroughinteriordecoration of dwellings (Laumanand House 1970.A Place to Call Home 113 attributesassociated with persons of a given social category (Goffman 1963). familiar. diverse work has documented the use of place to communicatesocial rank. Feldman 1990). Places Places may influence the process of identification directly as physical. In conversations with the self. At the same time. places function to communicate social identity. the erosion of distinct ruraland regional landscapes. and free (Hummon 1990. and geographic mobility are thought to enervate physically encoded meanings of the landscape. social.however. discrete place meanings for the articulationof self. find limited supportin systematic studies of environmentalperceptionand design. Fleming and von Tscharner 1987). neighborhoodlandscapestyles (Duncan 1973). mental map studies clearly demonstratethat cities differ in their "imageability" (Lynch 1960). Relph 1976). as storehousesof life-long personal symbols.
the paramount cance of the dwelling relative to other places has seldom been examined. place identificationmay also be shaped by places as symbolic contexts. Guest and Lee (1983). provide some evidence that this may be the case. traditional. and Yoels 1977. The importanceof the social mediationof place experience for place identificationcan . historical separationof work from the home environment. small-town person.endows many southernresidents with a suitableidentityand a sense of attachment.and local myths. Gerson et al. Though least studied. and heterogeneityof communitylife have weakenedcollective sentimentsandpersonalattachstudies of communityattachment. density. Nevertheless. with their traditionsof local boosting. social. Meyrowitz (1986) arguesthatelectronic media have weakenedplaces as distinct of informationalsettings for face-to-face behavior. 1/1993 THESOCIOLOGICAL QUARTERLY whether such differences translateinto strongerpersonal affiliation with more readable landscapes.but other studies indicatethatthe dwelling place may play a secondaryrole in the construction of a sense of home (Cochrance 1987. as a subculture. Rybczynski 1986). or type (Brown 1989.however. 1977. however. public landmarks.4 Further. Contemporary ment such a loss of local attachment:emotional attachmentto the community is not strongly related to community size. density. Kasardaand Janowitz 1974. Krase 1979 on stigmatized places).114 Vol. Here again.With respectto the dwelling place. cf. provide a strong local culture. Even forms of dwelling-single-family dwellings versus apartments.the privatization are to both enrich the and the domesticationof women's roles experienceof being thought in the domestic environment in and to locate that "at home" everyday life experience Wirthian (Wirth 1938) theories (Loyd 1982.place identificationis also mediatedby the characteristics people bring to places and the structure of their experiences with places.althoughthe significance of the dwelling place as a locus of home receives supportin studies of dwelling signifiplaces and identity (Csikzentimihalyiand Rochberg-Halton1981). Suttles 1984. Such factors are criticalto the meaningsof places to the individual. In a study of neighborhoodattachmentin the metropolitancontext. Conversely. and culturalcontexts influenceplace identity. proximity to local landmarksincreased identificationwith neighborhood. Sampson 1988). Goudy 1982. the focused on the effects of modernization of family life. city heroes.Hummon (1990) notes that settlementtypes may also provide residents with a community identity as a city person.Stone. Seamon (1979) provides qualitativeevidence that the dwelling may well be the most significantlocus of place identity. scholarshave on identity. supportingidentification by local residents(Karp. People and Place Experiences Although places as physical. community sociologists have documented the continuing vitality of places as symbolic locales (Strauss 1961).private versus public housingmay valorize or stigmatize identity in the iconographyof Americanculture (Perin 1977. Tuan1974). Large urbanplaces. Places may also shape place identificationas social contexts. or suburbanitethrough place ideologies that contrast community forms. countryperson.eroding the spatiallysituatedcharacter traditionalbehavior as well as many forms of group identity. Lavin and Agatstein 1984). Such place subculturesmay also arise in other geographic locales. of urbanizationand community decline have argued that increased scale. providing a social counter movement in the dialectic of people and place that underlies place identification. Reed (1983) offers evidence that the South. fail to document to locality. 34/No.
compared to men. but they raise questions about the primarylocus of place identificationamong older Americans. whetherof urbanneighborhoods(Gans 1962. indicating that gender and place identities intertwine as places become settings for socially scripted behavior. Fourth. for instance. Peshkin 1978). Kasardaand Janowitz 1974.these findings may indicate a general enhancementof place identification with age. and more likely to select the kitchen as the place they feel most "at home" (Csikzentimihalyiand Rochberg-Halton 1981). This may be particularlyimportantin linking significant life events to place. identificationwith place is influenced by stage in the life-cycle. Fried 1963). These theoreticalinsights. John. Third. The significance of local social involvementfor place identificationalso receives supportfrom ethnographicwork. particularlyin building sentimental attachmentand a sense of home. are more likely to use the home as a spatial reference point. For example. The importance of such long-term personal associations to place identityis manifestedwhen disruptedby forced mobility-studies of naturaldisasters and urbanrenewal indicate the profoundsense of displacementand grief that may result from such moves among long-termresidents (Erikson 1976. At the same time. more likely to have a developed conception of the local neighborhood. Gender. Duration of residence not only enhances local social ties (Gerson et al. although not well understood. Rowles 1978. 1977. These patterns of meaning and attachmentreflect the experiences of traditional gender roles. Rivlin 1982. community attachmentresearch indicates that integration into the local area is a prime determinant of attachment to locale. Mental map research indicates that women. but less likely to have an extensive conception of the communityas a whole (Krupat1985). does not appearto influencethe strengthof attachmentto locale. organizational memberships. Rubenstein 1987). previous scholarshipindicates that place identity uses environmentalmeaning to display and situate the self and that place identity is a productof both the qualities of and relationsof people to places. and local shopping-prove to be the most consistent and significant sources of sentimentalties to local places (Gersonet al. providing the individual with a sense of "autobiographical insidedness" (Rowles 1983). and Baba 1986).some scholarshipindicates that place identification is also mediated by the individual's placement in the broadersociety." In sum. and as such. First. Goudy 1982. Hunter 1974. Sampson 1988). Together. more likely to describe it in terms of interpersonal relations than personalachievements. places and the characteristics however. have been generated by disparate studies of place identity across a range of . but also those involving kin.A Place to Call Home 115 be seen in several ways. but it may well affect its locus and meaning. Sampson 1988). Guest and Lee 1983. though these relations are clearly complex. 1977. The meaning of the home and its domestic objects may also change with age. women are more likely than men to speak of the dwelling in emotional terms. some have suggested that attachment to the local neighborhoodor community also increases modestly with age (Goudy 1982. but it also provides a temporal context for imbuing place with personalmeanings. Austin. Inside the home. may play a leading role in place identification at this stage of life (Cuba and Hummon 1991. St. Local social involvements-particularly those with friends. researchon aging indicates that the dwelling place becomes an increasingly importantfocal point in the lives of the elderly. long-termresidence also contributesto place identity. Second. Solomon and Steinitz 1986) or ruralenclaves (Coles 1967. with older persons particularlylikely to treasure such objects as photographs for their capacity to elicit memories (Csikzentimihalyi and Rochberg-Halton1981).
ranging from beautiful beaches. The Lower Cape-the most geographicallyremote region of BarnstableCounty-is the least com- . ranging from rooms and dwelling places to communitiesand regions.605. local social participation. The Upper Cape-the region nearest the Massachusetts mainland-is more closely tied to the rest of the state than the other regions of the Cape. The Cape is divided into three geographic areas-Upper. In estimating total migration for all counties in the state from 1970-1980.102) was highest of the 14 Massachusetts counties. The Cape has served as both a popularvacation areaand retirementdestinationin New Englandfor at least 50 years (Meyer 1987). About 42 percent of these migrantscame from outside of Massachusetts. 1/1993 THE SOCIOLOGICAL QUARTERLY geographicloci. Cape Cod is nominally recognized by both residents and nonresidentsas a clearly-identifiable territory: people speak of "vacationingon the Cape"or "retiringto the Cape. The Middle Cape is the commercial and governmental center of BarnstableCounty." The economic. rurallifestyle to hordes of summervisitors. SETTING Cape Cod (BarnstableCounty). no systematic research has attemptedto link the existence of place identity at diferent geographic levels with the variedfactors that contributeto these identities. and the majority (57 percent) of these out-of-state migrants moved from another state in the Northeast United States. and a relaxed. and region. While the state populationremainedrelatively stable from 1980-1990. This study explores this new territory. rampantcommercialism. weathered-shingleCape houses.925 to 186. Massachusetts. and demographicbackground.Every town on the Cape recognizes the importanceof tourismto its economic health. It contains several of the largest communities on the Cape and receives a greaterinflux of summervisitors than other areas of the Cape. the considerablevariationamong the communitiesthat make up the Cape have coalesced in distinct subregional and community place imageries. According to census figures. As of yet.the UpperCape is fast becoming an ecological extension of Boston's South Shore communities: a home for many who work in communities off of Cape Cod. Nonetheless. approximatelyone out of four BarnstableCounty residents age 5 and over in 1980 had lived in a different county in 1975.spatial activity.000.116 Vol. community. and the pressures that drastic increases in population have placed on the demand for both public and private services. Middle. BarnstableCounty has grown at a rate far exceeding that of Massachusettsas a whole. This patternof migration-driven populationgrowthappearsto have continuedin the 1980s. economic. and uncontrolleddevelopment. As a result of the escalation of housing prices in New England. andfor at least the past 30 years. from 147. 34/No. the mountingconcerns over environmentalpreservation. the MassachusettsDepartmentof Commerce and Economic Development found that BarnstableCounty in-migration(51. quaint towns.analyzing how residentsof Cape Cod constructa sense of home with respect to the dwelling place. and demographiccharacteristics.500 to near 41. Despite differences among communities. thatof BarnstableCounty increasedby over 26 percent. Within New England-an area that abounds with firmly-established place imagesCape Cod is characterizedby a variety of regional imageries. and Lower Cape-each thoughtto be relatively distinct in terms of a numberof social. political and social factors sharedby all Cape Cod communities reinforces this regional characterization.is made up of 15 towns rangingin population from roughly 1. and how the geographic locus of home is conditioned by four types of factors: interpretiveplace affiliations.
reportsof previous vacation experiences. Rowles 1983.6 The surveys covered a broad range of topics inaccessible through macrolevel data sources. and a series of questions addressingthe locus and content of the respondents'place identities. archival research of town census records. Respondentsfor the sample surveys were selected randomly from town census lists and were administereda structuredinterview schedule in their homes by trained interviewers. The cumulative response rate for the surveys was 59 percent.000 to 15.additionaldatafor the projectincluded in-depthaudio-taped interviews with selected groups of older migrants. A total of 523 surveys were administeredto Cape Cod residents in the larger project. The small proportion of lifetime residents underscores the significance of migrationto this region. Sixty-one of these (8. one from each of the three subregionsof Cape Cod.5 percent) were lifetime residents of the Cape and are excluded from this analysis. and interviews and field observations in a number of Cape Cod communities. Seamon 1979) and quantitativestudies of community attachment(Goudy 1982. its affiliations (or bases).000.Respondentswere allowed to give more than one answer to this question. demographic/migration Table We 1).and expressionsof "at-homeness" have been used in both qualitativeanalyses of place identification(Buttimer1980. activity (see begin by defining three elements of place identity as an of "at-homeness": its existence. such as the census: a variety of demographiccharacteristics. each measuredby a set of variables: characteristics. Kasardaand Janowitz 1974). As expression noted above.their responses were then grouped .and locus of place identity. An additional25 respondentswho reportedthat they did not feel at home were also excluded from the analysis. such sentimentis centralto place identity. motivationsfor leaving communities of origin and for choosing migration destinations. Because it contains communitieswith large areas of coastal property. patternsof social and spatial activity on Cape Cod. as they were not asked the series of place identity questions.A Place to Call Home 117 mercially developed. This paperfocuses on surveysadministered to migrantswho moved to these threecommunities at age 17 or older. DATA AND METHODS Data Source The data for this paper come from surveys administeredto residents of three towns in BarnstableCounty. The towns range in size from approximately6. land values on the Lower Cape tend to be the highest in BarnstableCounty. and its locus. The existence of a place identitywas measuredby a positive response to the question: Do you feel at home here? Those who answered yes to this questionwere then asked the contingency:Why do you feel at home here?Theirresponses to this open-endedquestion constitute our measureof place affiliation. Surveys were administeredto two age-stratified(18-59 and 60 and older) random samples of residentsin each community.exhaustive migration histories. bring the total sample size in subsequent analyses to 437. and Measurement ConceptualFramework This analysis employs four interrelatedconcepts.social participation. These communitieswere selected to represent the varied experiences and characteristicsof residents living on the Cape.
e. community. and/or Cape.. visit best friends. multiple responses allowed) Place Identity Variables Existence of place identity Place affiliation variables Self-related Family-related Friend-related Community-related Organization-related Dwelling-related Locus of place identity Dwelling-based Community-based Region-based Demographic/Migration Variables Sex Age Number of residences prior to moving to Cape Cod Length of residence on Cape Community mobility on Cape Cod Social Participation Variables Number of club memberships Percentage best friends on Cape Church membership Volunteer work Town meeting attendance Locus of Activity Variables Female (0). "Why do you feel at home here?" (recoded into six No (0)/Yes (1) dichotomies by type of response. nearnessto family members) (e.. rearedfamily here. participate in leisure activities) Exact numberfrom above list (Range 0-8) Exact numberfrom above list (Range 0-8) Exact numberfrom above list (Range 0-8) Number of in town activities Number of other Cape town acts Number of off Cape activities into six dichotomous variables. in general?"(each place identity locus coded as No (0)/Yes (1) dichotomies.g. general psychological state happiness. general psychological feeling of adjustment. nearnessto family). self-relatedresponses (e. 2. attendculturalevent. sense of community) (e. see attorney.118 THE SOCIOLOGICAL Vol. 1/1993 QUARTERLY Table 1 Variables and Measurement Description Variable Measurement "Do you feel at home here?" (No (0).. visit doctor. variety of personalpossessions) "Do you associate feeling at home with dwelling. meeting people. rearedfamily here.g. Volunteer (1) Half or fewer (0). friendly neighbors) (e.....g. More than half (1) No membership(0). multiple responses allowed) (e. attend church. attractivetown lifestyle."feeling comfortable"). Lived in only one Cape community (1) Exact number Half or fewer (0).g. . "feeling comfortable") (e. see dentist. home ownership.g. each measuringdistinct qualitativedimensions of place affiliation: 1. Yes (1)) Response to open-endedquestion. Membership(1) No volunteer work (0). family-relatedresponses (e..g..g. Male (1) Age in years Number of communities of previous residence Number of years of Cape Code residence Lived in more than one Cape community(0).g. participationin work. formal organization) (e. More than half (1) Where respondentwas most likely to engage in a series of eight activities (i. 34/No. buy major home appliance.
Place affiliations based on friends. may lead to communitylevel place identities. Klapp 1969. friend-relatedresponses (e. Conversely. Length of residence on Cape Cod may vary directly with any of the three loci of place identity. those who reportdwelling-relatedplace affiliationsshould be most likely to locate their place identities within their houses or apartments. social. community-related responses (e.these three dichotomies are the major dependent variables in this analysis. in general? Multiple responses were allowed. these six dimensions of place affiliationencompass 83 percentof all responses to the question of why respondentsfelt at home on the Cape. Webber 1970).7 The third element of place identity-its locus-was also measuredby a contingency question asked of those who reportedsome sense of place identity. as some suggest (Buttimer 1980. Those whose feeling of at-homeness is based on community-relatedplace affiliations may be less likely to claim a regional place identity. Inverse relationshipsbetween the two sets of variables are also plausible. 4. Three dichotomies were constructed. Relph 1976. but could be expected to increase one's regional sense of place identity regardlessof the numberof Cape Cod residences. suggesting that for the elderly. Research on community attachmentshows that emotional ties to locale grow in strength . The numberof communityresidencespriorto moving to Cape Cod provides a measure of geographic mobility. Five demographicand migrationcharacteristicsform the second set of variables. each indicating whether respondents associated a feeling of home with their dwelling. variety of personal possessions). and dwelling-related responses (e.or with living on the Cape. being "at home" often involves ties to the dwelling as the immediatesymbolic. Combined. We also anticipatea positive association between age and dwelling-based place identities. Similarly. sense of community)... the community. attractivelifestyle. mobility underminesplace attachmentby eroding place differences and of place relations. we hypothesize that men may be more likely to locate their place identities at the community-level. 5.place identities grounded in dwelling may persist despite a previous patternof mobility. and spatial arenaof everyday life. self-related place affiliationsmay dampen place identities at the community level. 6. Together. Following our previous discussion. Respondents were asked the close-ended question: Do you associate feeling at home with living in this particularhouse or apartment. For example.8 As we expect the reasons people give for why they feel at home in a place will affect where they feel at home. or the region. If. depending on patternsof intraCapemobility.g..on the other hand.g.g. participationin work.g. formal organizations).A Place to Call Home 3. getting to know neighbors). meeting people. we hypothesize that the group of six place affiliationvariables will be variously associated with the three loci of place identity variables. insofar as the home is a veritable storehouse of identity symbols (Csikzentimihalyiand Rochberg-Halton1981).with living in this community. so that a person could reporta single locus of place identity or any combination of these three loci. home ownership. we include gender in the analysis as we expect women to be more likely to associate feeling at home with dwelling.. or organizationalattachments. then high ratesof mobility may be inversely destroyingthe particularity relatedto community and regional place identities. community. given their traditionalrole as home builders. 119 organization-related responses (e. Conversely.
church membership. attendance at town geographic By contrast. whereas multiple Cape residences may foster a regional sense of place. or participate leisure activities. visit a dentist. 1/1993 QUARTERLY over time. RESULTS The Locationof Place Identity In this sample of Cape Cod migrants. in buy a majorhome appliance. in partbecause long-termresidence imbues the landscapewith the meaningsof life experiences. community. community. As shown in Table 2. because length of residence on the Cape varied considerably among those interviewed.as these are behaviorsthatcould transcend boundaries of communities. We conclude by assessing the joint effects of these fours sets of variableson the place identity loci in three discriminantanalyses. We expect the third set of variables-various measures of social participation-to influence the acquisition of community and regional place identities. and community organizations (Guest and Lee 1983). positive and a activities the number of offCape community regional place identity. Four of these variables-the number of club memberships. the percentage of best friends living on Cape Cod. kin. where is this sense of place located across the spatial range of dwelling.visit their best friends. three measuresof spatial activity are included in the analysis as a fourthset of variables. activities could be to with all three loci of Cape expected vary negatively place identity. this sense of place identificationdoes not appearto be contingent on long-term residence following the move. attendchurchservices.and social and spatial of the place identityloci activity patterns?We begin by examiningfrequencydistributions variables before presenting their bivariate association with the four sets of explanatory variables.e.. There is greater variation in where these migrants situate their place identities.and region?To what extent can variationin the loci of place identity be explainedby one's place affiliation. Correlatively. it was difficult to find respondentswho did not feel at home there. 34/No. visit a physician. we exactivities and a pected a positive association between numberof community-of-residence as well as a association between number of other community-based place identity. Moreover. Finally. meetings (the form of local governmentin many ruralMassachusettstowns) shouldenhanceone's ties to either dwelling or community while weakening ties to the region as a whole. respondentsselected one of three geographic locations: the community in which they live. consult an attorney. an off-Capecommunity. and volunteeractivities-may vary directly with either the communityor regional place identification. For each of these activities. suggesting that some minimal level of place identificationis routinely achievedby these migrants. We use these four sets of variablesto addresstwo questions:Among those who claim some place identity. Conversely.a single Cape Cod residence could be expected to enhance one's attachment to dwelling or community.demographiccharacteristics.120 THE SOCIOLOGICAL Vol. another Cape Cod community. Fully 95 percentof the sample reportedthatthey felt "athome"on the Cape. one each for dwelling. and in part because such residence nourishes ties to friends.)In hypothesizing that patterns of spatial activity generally affect the location of place identities. respondents identified each of the three loci of place identity- . Respondentswere asked where they were most likely to engage in the following activities: attenda culturalevent.and region. or a communityoutside of BarnstableCounty (i.
they fail to confirm the first. The to some combinationof two place lociremaininggroup-those who reportattachments is the smallest of the three.not a dwelling-basedidentity as anticipatedin a hierarchical pattern.) In these data respondentswere most likely to place themselves at either end of this continuum of place association. one would expect the greatest number of those who report a single place identity locus to identify with their dwelling. If place identity referents were ordered from least to most spatially expansive.) When these three dichotomous groups are disaggregated. and region. It is possible to conceive of the various combinationsof place association as ranging from singular and sparse (linking one's identity to a single place) to multifaceted and dense (linking one's identity to a numberof places.6 percent) exhibited the opposite pattern.0 10. community. with relatively few falling in between.9 42.A Place to Call Home Table 2 Locus of Place Identity Among Respondents in the Cape Cod Survey Locus of Place Identity Percentage 121 Aggregate frequencies Dwelling(anycombination) (anycombination) Community Region(anycombination) Disaggregated frequencies Dwellingonly only Community Region(CapeCod)only Dwellingandcommunity andregion Community Dwellingandregion andregion Dwellingandcommunity (N) 70. claiming a sense of place at all three loci. The differences between the three subgroupsreporting a single place identity referent are small. Although there is considerable variation in how these respondents array their place identities across the spectrum of dwelling. It appears more prudent to argue simply that although there is a good deal of .6 (437) dwelling. the other two possible combinationsof place loci being quite rare. furtherdifferences among them emerge.3 percent) reported ties to only one place.2 3. About two-fifths of the sample (39. however.the most common dual loci identified should be dwelling and community.5 13. While the data support the second of these two expectations. community. these data provide inconclusive evidence for a hierarchical model of place attachment. Concomitantly.7 67.although a slightly higherpercentagereporteda dwelling-basedplace identity. respondents were allowed multiple responses to the question of where they feel at home. most of these representa pairing of dwelling and community-basedplace identities. and the largest of the three is composed of those claiming an exclusively regional identity.0 3.(As noted above.1 65. with region being the most probable locus of a singular place identity and communitybeing the least probablelocus.0 11. A group of comparablesize (42.3 16.and region-with roughly the same frequency. Less than 20 percent of the respondentscomprise this middle group.
8/1.8/29.9/11.8 77.9/1.0/3.0 50. With a few exceptions.0* 1.8/54.0 Community (No/ Yes) Region (No/ Yes) 24.3/11.7 60. Of the six place affiliation variables (i. ***Significant difference between groups.9 14. 34/No.5/3.9/33.7/39.9/43.9 35.and locus of activity-were associatedwith predominantly ty locus.8 2.9 13.1/12.2* (%) Community-related (%) Organization-related (%) Dwelling-related Demographic Sex (%male) Age (mean years) Number of residences prior to 9.6/45.2/42.2** 2.5/77.4/32.9 70.0 3.3/34.9 35.7 2.5* 68.2/3.0/29.0 13.5* 33. p < .1/59.5/65.0/29. Demographic.8/11.2 24.4 38.3 31.6 3. p < .5 3.4 13.5 0.7 43.3 Best friends on Cape Cod (% half or more) Churchmembership(%) Volunteerwork (%) Town meeting attendance(% half or more) Locus of Activity In town activities (mean) Other Cape town activities (mean) Off Cape activities (mean) SocialParticipation Clubmemberships (mean) 1.1/59.8 77. each of the four sets of characteristics.6/11.3" 25.6 25.7 67.05.4 29.7/61.6 3.3 14.0/30.5/1.9* 2.2 41.6 3.e.1 27.3/2. community.6/61.1* 14.9 22.001.6 76.9/1.3/80.6 66.2 12.2/2.5/25. Variationin the Loci of Place Identity Exploring In an initial effort to identify factorsthatdiscriminateamong dwelling.5/60.4/8.5" 13.0* 13.. and by Locus of Place Identity Variable Place Affiliation Self-related (%) Family-related(%) Friend-related (%) Total 25.4/38.1** 10.7/1.122 THESOCIOLOGICAL Vol.9/2.9/13.and regional place identities.0/3.8 Dwelling (No/lYes) 28.2 59.9 28.6/65.2* 63.0 3.9 41.9 15.5/29.0*** 53.4/3.0 25.7 31. 1/1993 QUARTERLY variationin where people feel at home.0 64. **Significant difference between groups.4*** 1.0/11.8 46.3/7.8* moving(mean) of residence on CapeCod Length (meanyears) Numberof Cape Cod residences (% only 1) 11.social independentvariables-place affiliations.0/35. p < .1 1.1 3.6/3. Social Participation.1/24. most respondentslocate a sense of self in more than one place and that some configurationsof place loci are more likely to arise than others. .9 3.0 57.5 7.4* 0.4/1.5/68.9/11. we examineda numberof bivariateassociations with the loci of place identity dichotomies (see Table 3).01.3 11.4/77.4* Note: *Significant difference between groups.l** 53.9*** 56. demographic/migration one place identiparticipation.1/7.9/35.6/14.and Locus of Activity Variables: Totals. reasons why respondentsfelt at home in a Table 3 Place Affiliation.8 0.9 58.3/22.0 28.8 12.3*** 12.1 1.
. are positively related to a sense of communityas home. either dichotomies or intervalvariables). Table 4 reports the standardizeddiscriminantcoefficients that resulted from these an- .e. such as feelings of happinessor contentment-are negatively relatedto a community-based place identity. Greater involvement in clubs or volunteer activities lead to higher levels of communityplace identification. while self-related place affiliations-psychological states of attachmentlacking specific referents.) Only those variables that met the minimization criteria (and thus indicate statistically significant discriminanteffects) were entered into each of the three models. As anticipated. in the latter. Because this variable measures ties to others unrestricted by community of residence. although negatively relatedto both dwelling and regionalplace identities. do not influence the adoption of a community-level place identity.women were more likely than men to reporta dwelling-basedplace identity.Attendanceat town meetings. this relationshipis negative.and older respondentswere more likely to locate their sense of self in the dwelling than were their younger counterparts. None of the demographicor migrationvariablesare significantlyrelatedto community-levelplace identification. community. Contraryto our expectations. Reasons for feeling at home linked to friends or organizationalinvolvement. and only one-previous residential mobility-is inversely related to regional place identification. intraCapemobility was not: those with a only one residence on the Cape were more likely to identify the dwelling as their place identity locus. by contrast. which by definitionis a community-specificactivity.001. dwelling-based identity versus nondwelling-basedidentity) and the measurement structureof the independentvariables(i. one each for the dwelling. minimumF to enter 1. has the same effect. . variableswere enteredvia stepwise selection wherethe criteriafor selection was the minimization of Wilks' lambda (minimumtolerance level. The demographicand migrationcharacteristics have pronouncedeffects on place identities groundedin dwelling. are principallyrelatedto communityas the locus of place identity. For each analysis. participationin activities in one's own communitydoes not alterthe likelihood of adoptinga communitybased place identity. the place affiliation variables have the least effect on the regional locus of place identity. As expected.g. To assess the joint effects and magnitudeof these four sets of variables on the place identity loci. its positive association with a regional place identity is not surprising. dwelling-relatedplace affiliationsare strongly and directly associated with a dwelling-based place identity. we performedthree discriminantanalyses. the three locus of activity variables all demonstratesignificant effects on the acquisition of a regional place identity.Although higher rates of geographic mobility prior to moving to Cape Cod were positively related to acquiringa dwelling-based identity. In general. As expected.A Place to Call Home 123 particularplace). positive. such as work. and regional dichotomies. in the former case.. whereasparticipating increases one's sense of regional identity. The social participationvariables. three are significantly associated with a place identity grounded in community. Discriminantanalysis is an appropriatetechnique to address these questions given its goal of classifying respondentsinto one of two groups (e. Finally. Community-related place ties.00.suggesting that both of these often occur within the boundariesof community. The presence of a majority of best friends on Cape Cod is the only variablethat influenceseithera dwelling or regional sense of place. participationin activities both in one's residential community or off of the Cape decreases the likelihood of reporting a in activities in other Cape Cod communities regional place identity.
204 .383 . The dwelling-based model containsthe greatestnumberof explanatoryvariablesof the three (11).180 -. In general.256 -. alyses.200 .947 22.124 Vol.319 .48 .339 -.55 .320 -.217 Age Number of residences priorto move on CapeCod of residence Length on CapeCod mobility Community SocialParticipation Number of clubmemberships best friendson Cape Percentage Church membership Volunteer work Townmeetingattendance Locusof Activity of in townactivities Number Number of otherCapetownactivities of off Capeactivities Number Correlation Canonical Wilks'Lambda Chi-square Significance Classified Overall%Correctly .472 .community place identities are largely a function of social participation attributes in addition to friendship.0001 65.. organizational. Dwelling-related place affiliations (i.250 -.36 .315 .906 40.231 .e.01 62. 1/1993 THE SOCIOLOGICAL QUARTERLY Table 4 DiscriminantAnalyses of Loci of Place Identity StandardizedDiscriminantCoefficients Discriminant Variables Dwelling Community Region Place Affiliation Self-related Family-related -.390 -.50 Note: For each model discriminant variables were entered via stepwise selection where the criterion for selection was the minimizationof Wilks' lambda.853 65.332 . community.235 Friend-related Community-related .182 . and dwellingrelatedplace affiliations.362 .273 -.236 .501 . these findings reaffirm those of the bivariate analyses: dwelling place as well as identitiesare stronglyinfluencedby demographicand migrationcharacteristics. feelings of "at-homeness"based on personal possessions or the dwelling itself) have the most pronouncedeffect on discriminatingthose selecting the .252 .0001 65. a dwelling-relatedplace affiliation.385 . although many of these are not of substantialmagnitude. 34/No.14 .333 -.378 Organization-related Dwelling-related Demographic Sex -.and regionalplace identitiesare principallya resultof participating in activities in Cape Cod communities outside of one's town of residence.684 .183 .379 .191 .and regionalplace identities..96 .306 .153 . allowing for a comparisonof the relative importanceof each explanatoryvariable in discriminatingthose who reporteddwelling.
Finally.self-relatedplace affiliationsalso demonstrate a negative effect in the model. percentage of best friends on Cape Cod. Several othervariablesexert smallereffects in the discriminant function. organizational. and participationin activities outside of one's residential community all demonstratenegative effects. the opposite is true for the regional place identity model. suggesting that mobility may underminea sense of place with larger geographic areas. Only migrants to Cape Cod were included in this analysis. By contrast. because we are primarily interestedin exploring the differentialeffects of four sets of explanatoryvariables on the . Cape boundary-spanning while town meeting attendance-a community-specificactivity-thwarts a regional idencharacteristicappearingin the model-the numtity. While none of the spatialactivity variablesproducedeffects large enough to be included in the community model. and length of residence does not fully capture the duration of contact respondents may have had with the Cape (e. Friend-relatedplace affiliations and town meeting attendance are both positively associatedwith a dwelling-basedplace identity. having best friends on the Cape.this finding may support Maines's (1978) hypothesisthatthe migrationof identitiesmay precedethatof bodies to the extent that community place identities are acquiredpriorto physical relocation on the Cape. Although these percentages represent substantialimprovementin classification over a randomassignmentto two groups. With regard to the social participation variables. The single demographic/migration ber of residences priorto moving-is negatively associatedwith a regional place identity.Being female and older increases the likelihood of adopting a dwelling-based place identity. Contraryto our expectations and the findings of previous research. and regional discriminantfunctions. participation in clubs. participationin activities outside of one's residentialcommunityappearsto be integral to achieving a sense of the Cape as home. an artifactof the sample. Similarly. As anticipated. the standardizedcoefficient of this discriminant variable is nearly twice that of any other in the model.This surprisingfinding may be. However. the reasons for which are not altogether apparent. Some sense of the predictivepower of these three models can be gained by examining the percentage of respondentscorrectly classified by the dwelling. they cannot be considered powerful predictive models.A Place to Call Home 125 dwelling as their place identity loci. attachment to dwelling has a small positive effect on acquiringa regionalplace identity. Here. to some extent. The principal explanatoryeffects in the community model are divided between the place affiliation and social participation variables. The remainingeffects are mainly divided between the place affiliation and social participationvariables.while communityand organizational place affiliations.) Consequently. throughvacation experience or seasonal residence. Of additionalimportanceare four demographicand migration characteristics. and attending town meeting enhance one's sense of community identification. community-related place ties show a rathersubstantialnegative effect on regional place identities.g. the same is true of family place ties. Friendship. The dwelling and regional functions classify roughly the same percentage of respondents (66 percent) correctly.. and dwelling-relatedplace ties all serve to foster a sense of community as home.as do residentialmobilityprior to moving to Cape Cod and residentialstasis on the Cape. club membershipsand the presence of best friends on Cod-both activities-also reinforcea regional sense of place. community. and men were more likely than women to report community-basedties. althoughof lesser magnitude. with the community function classifying slightly fewer correctly (62 percent).length of residence on Cape Cod has a fairly large negative effect on acquiringa communityplace identity.to a lesser extent.
this study demonstrates social factors. how place identitiesare mediatedby a diverse groupof Second. our analysis demonstratesthat place identity. contributing greater decreasinga sense of home with respect to another. In some instances. community. Although place identity is no doubt influencedby the qualities of places themselves.Nearly spread.126 THESOCIOLOGICAL Vol. and regional identities.their spacial patof place terns of social activity. highlighting the significance of dwelling-based ties to establishing a sense of home at a numberof geographic levels.and the complexand sometimes contradictory-sources of identificationwith differentlocales.only dwelling-relatedplace affiliationsplayed a significant role in strengtheningdwelling. place identity is clearly complex in its incorporation of locales. Third. community. rich in its attachment all respondents expressed some sense of belonging. our results suggest that different elements of the sociospatial environmentand various demographiccharacteristics appearto be associated with one or anothertype of place identity. these discriminantfunctionsneverthelessfurtherour understanding of how place identities are acquiredacross a range of locations." is wideto multiplelocales. First. this research underscores how place identification is shaped by people's of place. 34/No.but negatively associated with a regional identity. That such variedloci of environmentalmeaningare used to situatethe self underscoresthe need for furtherresearch on place identity that incorporatesa diversity of locales.the social mediationof place identification. and the demographiccharacteristics interpretations to they bring place. and complex in spacial structure. roughly four in ten respondentsidentifiedwith a single locale. as expressed by feeling "at-home. and region. their social participationwith friends and in organizations. Consequently. On the one hand. however. as was the case with friend-relatedplace affiliations (for (for communityand regional dwelling and communityidentification)or club memberships identification). approximatelythe same numberof respondentsexpresseda sense of home attachedto all three locales. the same explanatoryfactor may have contradictory to a sense of home in one locale while identity. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS This study of where people locate a sense of home provides importantinsights into the structureof place identity. a single factor fosteredplace identification in two locales. although people's socially mediated relationswith place are essential to understanding place identities. community. In these data respondentswere most likely to claim eithera singularor an inclusive sense of home across the three loci of dwelling. In this sample. greaterresidentialmobility priorto moving to Cape Cod was positively associated with a dwelling-basedidentity.For example. and all three locales-dwelling.and region. relatively few of these factors contributedto a sense of home across a range of locales. At the same time. In this study of Cape Cod residents. In general. community. factors as varied as people's accounts of place affiliation. and their age andgender were criticalto the interpretations identificationacross dwelling. effects on the loci of place Fourth.a general propositionlinking mobility to the . 1/1993 QUARTERLY three place identity loci. and such focused identification was as likely to involve the communityor the region as it was the dwelling place. These patternsof identificationsuggest a complexity of place identities not accuratelycapturedby spacial imageriesof place identitiesas nested sets of bounded locales. and region-contributed substantiallyto this process of place identification. On the other hand. their experienceswith place.
Other findings suggest similar counter-effectsof the same variable across the three place identity loci. whichexplores residential andcommunity is one satisfaction. First. Converse andRodgers1976. mobile society.and regionalplace identity were simple dichotomies. NOTES 1."While this proved methodologically useful in searchingfor factors that explain place identity across differentloci.frequentresidentialchange may intensify a sense of dwelling as home. to this omission(Campbell. it may be that alternativeconstructionsof place attachmentare predicated on characteristicsother than those we have identified. Despite these several importantinsights. suggesting that models of place identity must be sensitive to the potential varieties of experience that attach people to a range of places.the geographic boundedness of Cape Cod which reinforces its image as a distinctive regional locale may distinguish it from larger and less sharply bounded regions. furtherresearch in locales that vary in both population size and geographic location is needed to determinethe generalizabilityof these findings. Second.rather. not scales that would have allowed us to compare the intensity of place identities at various geographic levels.Marans possibleexception . we were forced to rely on a single definition of place identity-an expression of "at-homeness. the patternsof place identificationdiscussed in this researchpatterns of little geographic nesting. given that its contents are easily transportable. it is possible that lifetime residentsmay situatetheir identities somewhatdifferentlyacross the range of locales than do migrants. Finally. ACKNOWLEDGMENT This researchwas supportedby GrantNo. a numberof questions regardingthe natureof place identity. we must continueto be attentiveto the socially mediated. remainto be explored. our datado not allow for comparisonsbetween migrants and nonmigrants with respect to the location of place identities. a greaterproportionof best friendson the Cape strengthenscommunity and regional attachmentswhile weakening ties to dwelling. In seeking to understand come to feel at home in places. Third. and complex natureof place identification. because these data were collected in a single region. 5-R29-AGO5591 from the NationalInstitute on Aging.questions which we cannot addresswith these data. we were unable to assess the relative strengthof place identities across the range of locales. Town meeting attendance enhances dwelling and community identities. selective. such as the South.Fried1982. Our three dependentvariablesof dwelling. These disparatefindings may help to explain why previousresearchbased on differentgeographicloci sometimesreportcontradictory effects of the same explanatoryvariable on the acquisition of place identities.A Place to Call Home 127 decline of place identity is not supportedin these data. Although speculative. of few integratingfactors. and participationin activities outside of one's residential community dampens a dwellingbased identity while bolstering a regional identity. TheQuality of Life literature. community. In particular. while thwartinga regional sense of place. of many contradictory explanatoryfactors-provide insight into the underlyinglogic of people's relations with the variedways in which people place in modem. Although migration appears to have little effect on the existence of some level of place identification.
Nevertheless.Sara Ishikawa. A PatternLanguage. once the influence of better housing quality is controlled (Gerson et al. literatureinto this discussion.Studies thathave been concernedwith neighborhood as a locus of place identity have generally been conducted in large metropolitanareas. respondentswere not asked about theirattachmentsto residentialneighborhoods. Irwin and MartinChemers.CA: Brooks/Cole. less dense. Marans and Rodgers 1975.g. 1980. 7. more rural places voicing more satisfaction (Baldassare 1986.0 years.and because neitherwere significantlyassociated with locus of place identity. interdisciplinary logical.. and MurraySilverstein. particularlywith respect to the way place and identification. Van den Berghe 1974).because the survey addressesa number of issues related to geographic mobility.they are excluded from the subsequentanalysis. This distinction between display and affiliationparallels that of Stone (1974) who suggests of" a type of personand "identification that identificationmay involve two processes:"identification with"a meaningfulsocial object or group. 4. For an analysis of these two literatures. length of residence can be meaningfully employed as an explanatoryvariable in this study of place identity loci. Similar relationships may hold for social class. Because of the small proportion of responses (12 percent)constitutingthese dimensionsof place affiliation. Wasserman1982). number of residences prior to moving to Cape Cod) can also be included in this analysis (see Table 1). For treatmentsof this literature. REFERENCES Alexander. Moreover.8 years and a median of 10. 8. we incorporatemuch environmentalpsyas it is attentiveto those qualities of the environmentthat situatesocial activity chology. natural environment. Lengthof Cape Cod residenceof respondentsin the sample rangesfrom one to fifty years. Such broadecological differencesdo shape satisfactionswith communitylife. Park 1926). Monterey. other work indicates that middle class individuals are more likely to use the home as a vehicle for personalized display and identity (Duncan 1982. perspective is framed inclusively.g. For instance.an argumentthatcould be broadenedto include place symbols and objects. with a mean of 11. We draw on social ecologists when concerns with spacial mobility and form are linked to places as social and symbolic locales (Hunter1987. 5. 34/No. Christopher. Home Environments. Sampson 1988). one should not assume that all respondentshave limited experience with the Cape.see Hummon(1992). migration characteristics(e. Christenson 1979. it has only modest effects on attachment. New York: Oxford University Press. To incorporatea diverse. with people in smaller. 1977. 1977. territorialinstinct (Greenbie 1981. particularly or display personal or culturalmeaning (Altmanand Chemers 1980). previous vacation experience).. 1/1993 QUARTERLY and Rodgers 1975). We have.. Significantly. Although this analysis is restrictedto those moving to Cape Cod at age 17 or older. Consequently. climate.thoughfocusing on such nonverbalsigns as of such appearential display for presentation clothing and gesture.see Guest andLee (1983) and Hummon satisfactiondiffers from place attachment (1990. Hummon 1989) and that urbanworkingclass residentsare more likely to bound their sense of home in termsof neighborhoodratherthan simply the dwelling place (Fried 1963). excluded sociobiological perspectivesthattreatplace identity as a residual of an inherited. Irwin and Carol Werner.1986. Stone underscoresthe importance of situatedidentityin interaction. La Gory. Two additionaldimensions of place affiliationwere constructedthroughthis coding process: amenity-related responses (e. however. Wardand Sherman 1985. Altman. Cultureand Environment.g. Altman.Some evidence suggests that well-to-do are less attachedto the local area. 3. Given the rural natureof community life on Cape Cod.New York:Plenum. 1992). this social psycho2. .128 THE SOCIOLOGICAL Vol. outdoor activities) and prior experience-relatedresponses (e. Although higher social class strongly increases satisfaction with the home and local area. 6.
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