Cultural geography

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Assessment 3: Emotion, identity and place
This essay is autobiographical. It’s about your relationship to a chosen place.
Think of a public or private place that you’d like to focus on (e.g. home, a favourite café or club, your bedroom, a workplace, a picnic spot, work, shop and so on, must be based in New Zealand) . It can be a place that you have specific feelings for; you may love or hate this place.
You need to carry out ‘participation sensing’ in this place (we will discuss what is involved in participant sensing in class on the 30th April). You can also think about your feelings toward the place at different times of the day or night.
PART 1: RESEARCH DIARY
Make a short diary about this place, including reflections and photographs (a photo diary) about the ways in which your identity links to the feelings you have about this place and vice versa – that is, how the place impinges on your feelings and identity. As you reflect on your chosen place, think about your senses: take note of noise, smell, spatial arrangement, colours and so on. Take images (photographs), or do drawings, to support your diary writing.
Which feelings are prompted in you about this place? How does this place link to your sense of identity (rural/urban/class/religion/ethnicity/gender)? Think critically about this place … are you an insider, outsider, or both in this place? Explain why. What patterns can you observe? Does this place make you feel ‘at home’, free, peaceful, happy, constricted, fearful, stressed? Why?
What kind of identity do you tend to ‘perform’ or do you feel completely ‘yourself’? Think critically about your identity when you inhabit the place in relation to gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, class, culture, (dis)ability and so on. You can use personal pronouns such as “I” in this essay instead of writing it in the ‘third person’.
Your photo diary should be approximately 500 words plus contain at least three images.
PART 2: INTERPRETIVE ESSAY -based on your diary
Write an interpretative account of the ways in which identity, place and emotion are linked to one another. Which aspects of identity are dominant or prioritised over others? Which aspects are hidden, suppressed or marginalised in your place?
Your interpretive account should be approximately 2000 words in essay style including geographical literature.
Although this essay is autobiographical in that you need to draw on your own experiences, make reference to the work of at least ten GEOGRAPHICAL authors who discuss issues of place, space, social difference, identities, and emotional geographies.
As a starting point, the book Emotional Geographies [full text online] has a comprehensive introduction. You can also use your book of readings, and then move beyond course readings to other sources depending on your focus. Remember that articles have reference lists which are a great way to source further authors who write on similar topics and issues.
There are numerous geography books and journal article that explore the links between identity, place and emotion. Academic journals also provide a wealth of material – journals you may wish to review include the Gender, Place and Culture; Social and Cultural Geography, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space; Antipode; and Progress in Human Geography.
This assignment should be approximately 2500 words long.

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