chapter  7
35 Pages

Representing place

For many geograp hers, an important way that we come to know about people and place is through their representation . Indeed, we have already touched on the significance of representa tion in this book in various ways. In the last chapter, for instance, we referred to numerous forms of representation (poems, song lyrics, films, pain tings) which serve to show how places are imagined by different social groups. Similarly, in Chapter 2 we suggested that television, film, pop music and video are responsible for communicating images of diverse places to an ever-increasing global audience. Considering these representa tions, we might distinguish between those that involve a deliberate attempt to communicate something abou t a place (like an advert for a holiday resort or a news item about a specific part of the world) and those that use place as a 'backdrop' in order to exp loit positive or negative associations of that place (for example, adverti sing which associates fresh food products with images of the countryside or a police drama that seeks to exude gritty realism by being set in the inner city). In both cases, the individual or group which creates the representation (i.e. its 'author') is using place imagery for a particular reason, hoping that people will respond positively or negatively to the images of place being communicated.