Mapping East London: Sketching identity through place

Van Ommen C. ; Painter D. (2005)


This article provides an analysis of sketch maps of a South African city drawn by local university students. The analysis is compared to previous sketch map studies in Psychology, and highlights the use and relative absence of the analytical concepts of race and class within these studies. An understanding of sketch maps as rhetorical moments is developed, that is, that these drawings represent characterisations of lived space that is ideologically embedded. Consequently, a quantitative and qualitative description and commentary is provided of the depictions and absences in these maps. From this a place identity is suggested and its implications for personal identity are discussed. In conclusion, it is argued that apartheid town planning continues to be successful in that it now accommodates a politically naïve consumerist culture. © Psychological Society of South Africa. All rights reserved.

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