This chapter begins with an examination of the meaning of place-identity as interpreted from different viewpoints, including those of ordinary home-dwellers, academics, literary figures and architectural critics and theorists. The marked differences in the meanings attached to spaces and places by both inhabitants and observers lead in turn to a discussion of cultural relativism, as argued by prominent linguists and anthropologists. The chapter discusses the early influence of Martin Heidegger's phenomenology on the idea of place in architectural theory. It outlines the anthropologist Edward Hall's theory of 'proxemics'. The chapter concludes with an overview of the recent studies aimed at reassessing the meaning and significance of their place in philosophical and cultural discourses. It also provides with some current debates on identity formation in the modern world as seen by human geographers.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.