Senses of Place

John Eyles

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Area: Human Geography


1. Introduction
2. Self-Reflection: An Autobiographical Beginning
3. Method: Phenomenology, Science and Interpretation
4. Concepts: Community – Belonging or Alienation
5. Empiricist Analysis: Social Indicators and Attitudes to Towcester
6. Interpretative Analysis: Senses of Place
Appendix 1: Question Framwork – Living in Towcester
Appendix 2: Senses of Place – First Grouping and Case Studies

Senses of Place is an intriguing monograph which identifies different types of sense of place in a small market town in England. Its author -John Eyles - draws on the fields of community studies and humanistic geography for his conceptual framework. In their vein, his opening chapter is autobiographical - an account of his own sense of place developed. In this methodologically rich book, he then uses survey methods to discover and explore residents' senses of place, building on the connections between producing knowledge and human interests in which all methods have a role to play. The survey data provide a community backdrop for identifying ten different senses of place. The book ends with an interesting discussion of the role of place in identity, as shaped by material existence. This book will be used because of its methodological insights and its empirical richness.