Religion and Recreation

Churches | Emerson School | Emerson Dog Park | Tuhey Park

This group focused on the connections people have to spaces in the RNC neighborhood and how their experiences transform a community space into a meaningful place. Emerson School, Churches, the Dog Park, and Tuhey Park are all public spaces that play integral roles in RNC community life. The theory and analysis of the data we collected all focuses on theory from urban anthropologists Rivke Jaffe and Anouk De Koning.

Space is generally seen as a more abstract phenomenon. Place, in contrast is commonly understood as a bounded form of space that has concrete physical features, is shaped by human experience and imbued with meaning. Places are bounded in the sense that they can usually be located in space, either on a map or by using geographical coordinates. Places tend to have concrete material characteristics, for instance in the form of architecture or natural features. In addition, space becomes place when it is lived in. It is made meaningful in different ways: first, through our everyday embodied experiences and the attachments and connections we form to places, and second, through the often politicized discourses that also define the meaning of a place. (Introducing Urban Anthropology by Rivke Jaffe, Anouk De Koning)