Spatial effects on the image and identity of a rural area

Richard H. Rijnks*, Dirk Strijker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The Veenkoloniën is a relatively poor region within the peripheral north of the Netherlands. A negative regional image was suggested as one of the causes of this poverty. Our study focuses on what the images of the Veenkoloniën are within the Netherlands, and how the images change according to distance from the region. The data was obtained through a nationwide questionnaire (N = 922). The analysis shows that the valuations ascribed to the Veenkoloniën for living and recreation are lowest in the neighbouring regions, and increase with distance. In addition, the associations with the Veenkoloniën change from regional-specific to general-rural associations as distance increases. Both observations suggest a degree of othering which varies with distance. Othering, defining the self from the other, is generally analogous to defining the good from the bad, which explains the lower valuation given in neighbouring regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2013


  • Sense of place
  • Regional identity
  • Identity of a region
  • Othering
  • Place image

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