Pride of Place, the promotion of civic engagement of rural youth
The session consisted of an introduction to an ongoing Erasmus+ project on the study and promotion of Pride of Place (PoP) in which the organisations take part. The main results of the study were presented by the speakers. Main conclusions:
- Pride is a dual-faceted emotion, with authentic pride having positive consequences for the individual and society, whereas hubristic pride mainly offers negative ones.
- PoP is a result of well-established place identity and place attachment.
- PoP is a positive emotion that can broaden our attentional, cognitive and behavioural repertoire (e.g. altruism, sharing, caring behaviours, social engagement) and helps to build up resources that can be tapped into in the future (e.g. self-esteem, social ties). This creates an upward virtuous effect.
- The promotion of PoP offers a potential pathway to tackling depopulation in rural areas in Europe as a result of lack of place attachment.
- There are however also potential negative consequences of hubristic PoP, such as narcissism and parochialism, but for authentic PoP, no negative consequences have so far been observed.
- The first publication on PoP by the speakers has just been released as part of the book "The Psychology of Religion and Place" (V. Counted and F. Watts, eds) published by Palgrave Macmillan (2019).
In July 2019, Sapienza University of Rome conducted an initial pilot study on an intervention that targets the enhancement of PoP in 63 teenagers, carried out in the "fascia olivata" area, within the region of Umbria. The results appeared promising and offer relevant insights into the related constructs.
As part of the Erasmus+ project on Pride of Place, an innovative school curriculum is being developed and tested at secondary schools in which pupils will improve their feelings of PoP (and place identity and attachment) and 21st century skills. The curriculum follows an inquiry-based learning approach and will be available free of charge.
All results of the Erasmus+ project will be downloadable from www.prideofplace.eu
Take away message
Pride of Place (PoP) is the positive emotion that people can have for the place they identify or associate themselves with. It is linked to one's own place attachment and one's own place identity, both of which refer to one’s own place or local area. Positive pride in the place one comes from can elicit a series of pro-social and pro-environmental behaviours; however, a pride that is too extreme can result in parochialism and anti-social behaviour.
Thomas Albers: "Young people are losing the emotional and cognitive connection with their local area and we need to develop educational tools to rekindle these necessary bonds, creating a future that they would like to be part of."
Prof Marino Bonaiuto: "We need to deepen our understanding of people-place dynamics at the local level, if we want to tackle global issues such as climate change and social migration, which always have a local dimension and reality, especially from a layperson's point of view."
Dr Silvia Ariccio: Including local populations in place-change processes and easing local participation is of vital importance in order to make change acceptable and motivate people to stay and invest (money, time, effort) into their local area.
Prof Ramazan Eren: "When people have a deep understanding of life in the place they live, the connection between them will be stronger."