Place ideas in natural resource management have grown in recent years. But with that growth have come greater complexity and diversity in thinking and mounting confusion about the ontological and epistemological assumptions underlying any specific investigation. Beckley et al. (2007) contribute to place research by proposing a new methodological approach to analyzing attachments to place and exploring the relative importance of biophysical versus sociocultural attributes in determining place attachment. While our thinking has benefited from their contributions to place research, we see an increasing need to clarify the multiple and competing paths for place research easily obscured in the heap of similar-sounding place concepts. Our commentary cautions against philosophically unguided methodological experimentation and offers some critique of their conceptual approach to place.
Williams, Daniel R.; Patterson, Michael E. 2007. Snapshots of what, exactly? A comment on methodological experimentation and conceptual foundations in place research. Society and Natural Resources. 20(10): 931-937.