The Open UniversitySkip to content

More Than Words: Place, Discourse and the Struggle over Public Space in Barcelona

Di Masso, Andrés and Dixon, John (2015). More Than Words: Place, Discourse and the Struggle over Public Space in Barcelona. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 12(1) pp. 45–60.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


The social construction of human-environment relations is a central concern of an emerging tradition of research on place, which extends the so-called “discursive turn” in social psychology. This research highlights the primary role of everyday linguistic practices in the production of place meanings, challenging the prevailing tendency among environmental psychologists to treat place meanings mainly as an expression of individual cognitions. By the same token, in this article we argue that research on human-environment relations also has the potential to enrich the field of discursive psychology, tempting discursive researchers to move beyond their customary focus on verbal and written texts. Specifically, we propose an analytic framework thattranscends the dualism between the material and discursive dimensions of human-environment relations. In order to develop this argument, we outline the novel concept of place-assemblage and illustrate its utility by conducting an analysis of a recent conflict over a public space in Barcelona. This analysis shows how discursive constructions of the development of this public space over time were inextricably entwined with other kinds of material and embodied practices—practices through which place meanings were actively performed, reproduced and contested.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN: 1478-0895
Keywords: assemblage; discourse; discursive psychology; dualism; environmental psychology; place; struggle
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Psychology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 48461
Depositing User: John Dixon
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 14:43
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2018 05:45
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU