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Title: Maintaining research traditions on place: diversity of thought and scientific progress

Author: Patterson, Michael E.; Williams, Daniel R.;

Date: 2005

Source: Journal of Environmental Psychology. 25(4): 361-380.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Since the 1990s, numerous authors have expressed concerns about lack of conceptual clarity in research on place. Some authors suggest that place research has failed to evolve into a systematic and coherent body of knowledge. We believe recent critiques do not adequately characterize the state of knowledge in place research, but responding to the issues raised requires investigating epistemological foundations of place research traditions. Specifically, seeing systematic coherence requires a pluralistic world view that understands place, not as a single research tradition but as a domain of research informed by many disciplinary research traditions at the research program and paradigmatic level. This paper introduces a framework for discussing epistemological foundations of research traditions then uses it to: characterize the body of place research, analyse recent critiques regarding the state of place research, make a case for the value of diversity in thought, and explore the notion of scientific progress in relation to place research.

Keywords: place, sense of place, place attachment, place identity, research, epistemology

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Patterson, Michael E.; Williams, Daniel R. 2005. Maintaining research traditions on place: Diversity of thought and scientific progress. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 25(4): 361-380.


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