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The power of place: Existential crises and place security in the context of pregnancy
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study explores the importance of place attachment on individuals sense of security during existential crises. Coping strategies of pregnant women are analysed, focusing on how the prospect of giving birth affects their relationship to place. Anthony Giddens? concept of ontological security is critically examined and used to investigate the connection between place and ontological security  what I call place security- through a set of empirical data drawn from in-depth interviews with pregnant women. Two studies were carried out, one in Sweden and the other in northern Norway. A qualitative analysis was made of the interview material, using the three basic elements of ontological security self-identity, continuity and ritualisation as a grid of analysis. Prior psychological research indicates that the prospect of giving birth and raising a family brings the issue of ontological security to the surface. The data confirms such findings, demonstrating the particular importance of place. During pregnancy, the women came to consider issues of identity related to their own childhood experience. A sense of security connected to place was essential for their well-being in this vulnerable period of transition, and was consciously sought to alleviate anxiety. Both women who had previously lived very mobile lives and those who had been more sedentary exhibit need for place security. One of the typical coping strategies displayed was to return to childhood places. In other cases, the women tried to achieve place security for their children by recreating an environment similar to the place their own sense of identity was rooted in. Social institutions, such as schools, day-care facilities and jobs, largely determine where a sense of security can be achieved from a practical point of view. Deeper ontological security, however, relates to the individual's life history, and to places that represent continuity, daily routines and the constitution of identity for that individual. The material environment during childhood forms the primary basis for feelings of ontological security in adult life. The women also often relate to specific landscapes through sensory memory. The study does not support the social/nature dichotomisation of reality, but instead emphasizes the significance of childhood experiences of the material environment with respect to the women's experience of security during pregnancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Lunds Universitet , 2006. , p. 182
Series
Meddelanden från Lunds universitets geografiska institutioner. Avhandlingar, ISSN 0346-6787 ; 170
Keywords [en]
Gravida kvinnor (psykologiska aspekter), självuppfattning, rumsuppfattning, pregnant women, space perception, self perception
National Category
Social Sciences Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-4333ISBN: ISBN 91-44-05468-8 OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-4333DiVA, id: diva2:311685
Public defence
Institutionen för kulturgeograf och eknomisk geografi, Sölvegatan 12, Lund (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-04-23 Created: 2010-04-22 Last updated: 2015-08-21Bibliographically approved

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Rämgård, Margareta

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf