The Anatomy of Generic Places – A Communication-Geography Approach

Authors: Jacek Kotus*, Adam Mickiewicz University
Topics: Communication, Social Geography
Keywords: communication, place, generic place, digital media
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 46
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

We use the approach offered by communication geography in an attempt to solve the problem of defining the character of contemporary places, the roles they play in human life, and the ways they are perceived by users. We propose two opposing terms, generic place and unique place, as a starting point for theoretical considerations about the anatomy of places. We define generic places as typical, usual, common for one category of something. In turn, unique places are specific, exceptional, going beyond the common nature. From one perspective we treat the concept of generic places as a bridge between the European non-place and the placelessness, which is more common in the US. In this way, we are trying to find a common denominator for an academic discussion in the context of both the European and the US experience. From another perspective, our reflections on generic places are a step towards understanding the role of generic places in the age of AR, geomedia, and digital communications. We argue that communication is a source of insight into the anatomy of generic places and our concept of generic place brings together all of Adams’ categories (media in place, place in media, space in media, media in space) enabling us to sketch the anatomy of generic places through the lens of communication processes.

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