The Role of Place Identity in the Perception, Understanding, and Design of Built Environments

Place Identity Principles and Cultural Metaphors in a Mexican Environment

Author(s): Hernan Casakin and Esi Abbam Elliot

Pp: 146-162 (17)

DOI: 10.2174/978160805413811201010146

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The research investigated the concept of place identity based on the principles presented in the model of identity motivation by Drostelis and Vignoles. The study was carried out in Pilsen, Chicago, a neighborhood with a strong presence of the Mexican community. The major aim was to investigate the importance of place identity principles in this cultural and physical context. The goal was to learn how Mexicans, in comparison to White Americans, establish identity ties with their environment. A number of servicescapes characterized by the use of cultural metaphors were selected as case studies. The present work added further clarity to the relation between place and identity. It provided evidence for the use of cultural metaphors in the preservation and development of a number of identity processes. The study enabled to identify existing differences between Mexicans, the more emotionally related to the neighborhood, and the White-Americans, the less attached group. Cultural metaphors in servicescapes allowed Mexicans to express their feelings and emotions towards their culture in different ways reflected throughout a variety of identity principles, classified into psychological needs and motives, as well as social and symbolic links to places.

Keywords: Place identity principles, mexicans, white-Americans, cultural metaphors, servicescapes.

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