Growing old in rural communities: A visual methodology for studying place attachment

Ponzetti, James J. Jr

The meaning particular places hold for those who inhabit these familiar spaces are important for understanding the choices and decisions people make during their lives. The places people live often acquire special emotional significance. Quotidian interaction that occurs in these settings creates attachment to place. The phenomenon of place attachment is a common one because human beings exist in particular spatial settings. Place attachment refers to the emotional connection formed by an individual to a physical location due to the meaning given to the site as a function of its role as a setting for experience. A range of thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behavior as well as feelings are evoked through attachment to place. Thus, place attachment involves an elaborate interplay of emotion, cognition, and behavior in reference to place.