Experiencing place-change: A shared sense of loss after closure of village facilities

Suzan Christiaanse*, Tialda Haartsen

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)
77 Downloads (Pure)


Rural communities often display strong emotions in response to closures of facilities and services. Research into explaining community responses hardly pays attention to the socio-psychological process of 'loss' of such local facilities, which occurs when place bonds are disrupted. This paper explores how a rural community makes sense of place-change by examining how residents interpret, evaluate and cope with local facility-decline. Three focus group discussions were conducted in Tzummarum, a village in the Netherlands, just after the closure of a local sports hall was announced. A theoretical framework for community coping-responses is used to interpret the empirical results. We find that while the closure of local facilities can result in a disruption of individual place bonds, there is a discernible shared sense of loss based on the social and symbolical meaning that certain facilities have for the village community. This sense of loss can help explain collective coping responses. However, this study found that collective action is only considered for local facilities that foster a sense of community, provided there is enough collective efficacy.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatusPublished - jun-2020

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