Views on Place

Place is such a fascinating word when you look at it in the light this article puts it in.  What people usually see as just a simple term can cover many broad topics in ways one may have never associated ‘place’ with.  At most, people would associate place as a physical location or as a cultural or social location, since to many, things have a certain place and belong in that place.  Yet, the three other definitions also fit it in make what we know as “place.”  These other three definitions, context, socially constructed through time, and as a social process, give the real depth to the term.  As context, it shows what places are made of–what kinds of things and ideas exist in such a place.  As socially constructed through time, it shows how things have come to be the way they are today, hinting at the fact that a place has evolved from the past, while as a social process, it shows that it is always developing, hinting at the future and how it will continue to evolve.  While the first two definitions are the easiest to grasp and the most common definitions for place of the five offered, without the inclusion of the last three terms, place does not have a full definition.  It is only just one point in time, while the other three show what it is and that it exists throughout time and not just at one point.  One of the first ways I came to learn how complex a place is is through locale, location, and sense of place, which I was just waiting for it to appear.  It is mostly associated with the last definition of place, but it shows how complex place really is.  You need all those definitions to truly form an idea of what a “place” is, yet many people do not go that far into depth for their thinking of the term.  Sometimes, people do think with all five definitions, though unconsciously.  What the place is, how things fit into that place, what makes up the place, how the place became what it is today, and what can become of the place can all be unconscious thought or things people do not associate with such a simple term in their mind.  People view place as a simple term, nothing more, and associate the more in depth ideas with other things rather than having them, as a whole, make up place.  Yet, place is more than just that.  People can see all these ideas, just not link them all together under one term.  It is hard to blame them though when something you have always seen as simple suddenly becomes complex when you just look at it closer.

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