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Socialising place attachment: place, social memory and embodied affordances

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Cathrine Degnen



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The significance of place attachment for later life has been convincingly demonstrated. Scholars have offered useful models that help account for the depth of feeling bound up in place attachment in later life, how this attachment is achieved, and its relevance for belonging and identity. To date however, this focus has largely been on the individual level of experience. This article draws on sociological and anthropological perspectives to consider of how place attachment is forged and experienced in dynamic interaction with other entities and other processes: how place attachment is also a collective, relational and embodied process, caught up and experienced via social memory practices and sensorial, bodily knowledge. This resonates with and contributes to the ‘relational turn’ which has attracted burgeoning interest in the larger home disciplines of sociology, human geography and anthropology, and reciprocally helps them extend and build their interaction with critical ageing studies. In making this argument, I draw on two periods of anthropological, ethnographic participant-observation that I conducted in a semi-rural village in the former coalfields in South Yorkshire, England.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Degnen C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ageing and Society

Year: 2016

Volume: 36

Issue: 8

Pages: 1645-1667

Print publication date: 01/09/2016

Online publication date: 24/06/2015

Acceptance date: 07/05/2015

Date deposited: 25/06/2015

ISSN (print): 0144-686X

ISSN (electronic): 1469-1779

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X15000653


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