Identity And The Living Landscape: Engaging With The (Biophysical) 'World That Is There'
In recent decades, identity theory has given short shrift to the role which the biophysical character of the environment may play in shaping the emergence, elaboration and performance of individual human identities. Drawing on a number of traditions within the existing literature and recent developments in the related theories of place attachment, I offer a critique of the overly-socialized view of the landscape and advocate for a renewed attention on the biophysical environment as both a source of identity based meanings as well as the recipient of the real-world implications for the performance of human identities. Drawing on Giddens' theory of Structuration, I propose a new conceptual model which frames this self-landscape interaction as dialectic. Building on this conceptual model, I suggest a number of pathways by which we might productively interrogate the ways in which the particularistic character of social and biophysical spaces variously constrains and enables human identity processes and, conversely, the ways in which the performance of human identities functions to effect ecological outcomes within a real 'world that is there.' This work contributes not only to the contemporary discourse on human identity but also seeks to make the analytical potential of identity theory accessible to research traditions within the biophysical sciences. In so doing, we seek to further the interdisciplinary interrogation of social and ecological change.
Identity; Structuration; Landscape transitions
Stedman, Richard Clark
Schneider, Rebecca L.; Geisler, Charles C
M.S. of Natural Resources
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis