Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Applied Linguistics Review

Editor-in-Chief: Wei, Li

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.286

See all formats and pricing
More options …

“Where are you from?” Adolescent formulations of place identity

Donna Starks / Kerry Taylor-Leech
Published Online: 2018-04-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0043


In globalized times, high mobility has complicated the meanings of allegiance to place, creating a need for a critical awareness of place identity. Although place identity has made important contributions to the social sciences, there is little empirical research on how it can be operationalized, or critically interrogated. In response to this need, we analyzed ways that Australian secondary school students responded to the question, “If someone asks you ‘Where are you from?’ how do you answer this question and why?”, and created a basic typology of place formulations to serve as a starting point for interpreting notions of place identity in research, professional and educational settings.

Keywords: place; place identity; high school students; Proshansky; place formulations; language and identity


  • Armenta, B., R. Lee, S. Pituc, K. Jung, I. Park, J. Soto, S. Kim & J. Schwarz. 2013. Where are you from? A validation of the foreigner objectification scale and the psychological correlates of foreigner objectification among Asian Americans and Latinos. Cultural diversity and ethnic minority psychology 131–142. Retrieved from .CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2012 Reflecting a nation: Stories from the 2011 Census, 2012–2013 Retrieved from http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/2071.0main+features902012-2013

  • Bardsley, D. & J. Simpson. 2009. Hypocoristics in New Zealand and Australian English. In P. Collins & A. Smith (Eds.), Comparative studies in Australian and New Zealand English: Grammar and beyond, 49–73. Amsterdam: Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Bigham, D. 2012. Emerging adulthood in sociolinguistics. Language and Linguistics Compass 6(8). 533–544. doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Buttimer, A. & D. Seamon. 1980. The human experience of space and place. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar

  • Côté, J. & S. Schwartz. 2002. Comparing psychological and sociological approaches to identity: Identity status, identity capital, and the individualization process. Journal of Adolescence 25(6). 571–586. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Gorter, D. 2013. Linguistic landscape in a multilingual world. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 33. 190–212. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hague, C. 2005. Planning and place identity. In C. Hague & B. Jenkins (Eds.), Place identity, participation and planning, 3–17. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Hatoss, A. 2010. Where are you from? Identity construction and experience of ‘othering’ in the narratives of Sudanese refugee-background Australians. Discourse and Society 23(1). 47–68. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Hauge, Ä. 2007. Identity and place: A critical comparison of three identity theories. Architectural Science Review 50(1). 44–51. Retrieved from 2008 http://www.highbeam.com/DocPrint.aspx?DocId=1G1:160922464.Crossref

  • Ittelson, W., H. Proshansky, L. Rivlin & G. Winkel. 1974. An introduction to environmental psychology. New York: Holt: Rinehart and Wonton.Google Scholar

  • Johnstone, B. 1990. Stories, community and place. Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

  • Johnstone, B. 2004. Place, globalization and linguistic variation. In C. Fought (Ed.), Sociolinguistic variation: Critical reflections, 65–83. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Johnstone, B. 2011. Language and place. In R. Mesthrie (Ed), The Cambridge handbook of sociolinguistics, 203–217. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Lalli, M. 1992. Urban-related identity: Theory, measurement and empirical findings. Journal of Environmental Psychology 12(4). 285–303. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Massey, D. 1994. Space, place, and gender. Cambridge, U.K.: Polity Press.Google Scholar

  • Massey, D. & P. Jess (Eds.). 1996. A place in the world? Places, cultures, and globalisation. Oxford, U.K: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Modan, G. 2007. Turf wars: Discourse, diversity, and the politics of place. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Montgomery, C. & E. Moore (Eds.). 2017. Language and a sense of place. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Myers, D. & S. Lampropoulou. 2013. What place references can do in social research interviews. Discourse Studies 15(3). 333–351. Retrieved from doi:.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Myers, G. 2006. ‘Where are you from?’ Identifying place. Journal of Sociolinguistics 10(3). 320–343. Retrieved from doi:.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ozolins, U. 1993. The politics of language in Australia. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

  • Patterson, M. & D. Williams. 2005. Maintaining research on place: Diversity of thought and scientific progress. Journal of Environmental Psychology 25. 361–380. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Potts, R., A. Dedekorkut & C. Bosman. 2013. Gold coast is not only all that glitters: Understanding visitor and resident perceptions of the Gold Coast. Australian Planner 50(4). Retrieved from http://doi.org/10.1080/07293682.2013.764907.

  • Proshansky, H. 1978. The self and the city. Environment and Behavior 10(2). 147–169. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Proshansky, H. & A. Fabian. 1987. The development of place-identity in the child. In C. Weinstein & T. David (Eds.), Spaces for children, 21–40. New York: Plenum.Google Scholar

  • Proshansky, H., A. Fabian & R. Kaminoff. 1983. Place-identity: Physical world socialization of the self. Journal of Environmental Psychology 3. 57–83. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Relph, E. 1976. Place and placelessness. London: Pion.Google Scholar

  • Rose, G. 1995. Places and identity: A sense of place. In D. Massey & P. Jess (Eds.), A place in the world: Places, cultures and globalization, 87–132. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press and Milton Keynes: Open University Press.Google Scholar

  • Schegloff, E. 1972. Notes on a conversational practice: Formulating place. In D. Sudnow (Ed.), Studies in social interaction, 75–119. New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar

  • Scollon, R. & S. Scollon. 2003. Discourses in place: Language in the material world. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

  • Simpson, J. 2001. Hypocoristics of place-names in Australian English. In D. Blair & P. Collins (Eds.), Varieties of English: Australian English, 89–111. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar

  • Simpson, J. 2004. Hypocoristics in Australian English. In B. Kortmann, K. Burridge, R. Mesthrie, E. Schneider & C. Upton (Eds.), A Handbook of varieties of English, 641–656. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.Google Scholar

  • Starks, D., K. Taylor-Leech, & Willoughby, L. (2013) Nicknames in Australian Secondary Schools: Insights into Nicknames and Adolescent Views of Self, Names 60(3), 135–149, .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tajfel, H. & J. Turner. 1986. The social identity theory of intergroup behavior. In S. Worchel & W. Austin (Eds.), Psychology of intergroup relations, 7–24. Chicago, IL: Nelson-Hall.Google Scholar

  • Taylor, S. & M. Wetherell. 1999. A suitable time and place: Speakers’ use of ‘time’ to do discursive work in narratives of nation and personal life. Time and Society 8(1). 39–58. Retrieved from .CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Tuan, M. 1998. Forever foreigners or honorary whites? The Asian ethnic experience today. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar

  • Tuan, Y-F. 1977. Space and place: The perspective of experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar

  • Tuan, Y-F. 1980. Rootedness versus sense of place. Landscape 24. 3–8.Google Scholar

  • Turner, J., M. Hogg, P. Oakes, S. Reicher & M. Wetherell. 1987. Rediscovering the social group: A self-categorization theory. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Google Scholar

  • Twigger-Ross, C., M. Bonaiuto & G. Breakwell. 2003. Identity theories and environmental psychology. In M. Bonnes, T. Lee & M. Bonaiuto (Eds.), Psychological theories for environmental issues, 203–233. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.Google Scholar

  • Van De Vijver, F., J. Blommaert, G. Gkoumasi & M. Stogianni. 2015. On the need to broaden the concept of ethnic identity. Journal of Intercultural Relations 46. 36–46. Retrieved from .CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2018-04-17

This research study was initially funded by a La Trobe University Faculty Start-Up Grant. The Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2010_000611) and the Queensland Department of Education and Training (550/27/948) as well as the relevant school principals granted us approval to distribute the questionnaire in schools.

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0043.

Export Citation

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in