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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Between fixities and flows: Navigating place attachments in an increasingly mobile world

Di Masso, Andres; Williams, Daniel R.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Buchecker, Matthias; Degenhardt, Barbara; Devine-Wright, Patrick; Hertzog, Alice; Lewicka, Maria; Manzo, Lynne; Shahrad, Azadeh; Stedman, Richard; Verbrugge, Laura; von Wirth, Timo


This paper develops a theoretical argument for how place attachments are forged and become dynamically linked to increasingly common mobility practices. First, we argue that mobilities, rather than negating the importance of place, shift our understanding of place and the habitual ways we relate to and bond with places as distinct from a conception of place attachment premised on fixity and stability. Second, we document how the body of research on place attachment has both reinforced and contested 'sedentaristic' assumptions criticized within the so-called 'mobilities turn' in the social sciences. Third, we present a conceptual framework, built around different modes of interrelation between fixity and flow, as a way to re-theorize, link and balance the various studies of place attachment that have grappled with mobility. Finally, we sketch out the main research implications of this framework for advancing our understanding of place attachment in a mobile world.


Mobilities; Flow; Fixity; Place attachment

Published in

Journal of Environmental Psychology
2019, volume: 61, pages: 125-133

Authors' information

Di Masso, Andres
University of Barcelona
Williams, Daniel R.
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Raymond, Christopher M.
University of Helsinki
Buchecker, Matthias
Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research
Degenhardt, Barbara
University of Zurich
Devine-Wright, Patrick
University of Exeter
Hertzog, Alice
ETH Zurich
Lewicka, Maria
Nicolaus Copernicus University
Manzo, Lynne
University of Washington
Stedman, Richard
Cornell University
Verbrugge, Laura
University of Twente
von Wirth, Timo
Erasmus University Rotterdam

UKÄ Subject classification

Social Psychology
Human Geography

Publication Identifiers


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