Analysing The Concept Of Place Essay

1317 words - 6 pages

Place can be conceptualised as being a “physical setting” or a “simulated location” (Moores 2003: 11) and can be seen in a symbolic, material or experiential dimension. Many scholars have introduced the concept of media space, such as John Urry (2000). However, it is the works of Doreen Massey (1995), Joshua Meyrowitz (1985, 1994) and Paddy Scannell (1996) who have defined place as being either pluralised or marginalised.
The Doubling of Place:
Scannell introduced the concept of the “doubling of place” (Scannell 1996: 172) which is applicable for understanding contemporary media. Scannell states that place can be “pluralized” through media and hence, events that are broadcast through contemporary media such as television and the internet can now occur in two different places: the physical place where the event is being held and the place where it is being watched. There is now a possibility of “being in two places at once” (Moores 2004: 21) as a result of mobile technologies such as the internet and telephone which allow information to be transmitted across “vast spacial distances”. Therefore, distant events that are occurring can be witnessed live. In regards to the “doubling of place”, this essay will discuss the way mobile media can allow the possibility of “being in two places at once” using location-aware technology but can also blur the line between private and public boundaries of society today.
Meyrowtiz's Theory - Place Marginalised:
The concept of the pluralisation of media space was introduced in the late twentieth-century by Scannell (1996). However, Meyrowitz's theory of “situations as information-systems” (Meyrowitz 1985: 35-8; Meyrowitz 1994: 59) supports the view of place being marginalised. He refers to an example of two people speaking to each other on the phone and states that “the situation they are 'in' is only marginally related to their respective physical locations” and adds that through the act of engaging in conversation with someone on the phone, you are closer to the person you are speaking with rather than the people in your physical environment. Although this view represents contemporary media as being able to provide a mediated connection over spatial distances, it portrays a marginal view of place because it is argued that the phone removes a person from their physical situation and places them in another (Moores 2003: 11).
Massey's view of place:
Massey describes place as “open and porous” and goes on to state that different social groups that exist in a place will also be in different locations “in terms of the spatial reorganisation of social relations” (Massey 1994: 121). Even though people live in the same place, the locality and interconnectedness experienced by them are unbalanced (Moores 2003: 9). She provides an example of how people in small towns in England have different social groups such as scientists and the “locals” who work as farmers or cleaners. The scientists are able to gain...

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