When Despair Grows in Us: Emotional Learning in (Trans)Formative Places

Nicholas Richard Graeme Stanger


This paper considers a person’s endogenous and emotional relationships to outdoor childhood or adolescent (trans)formative places. By revisiting the (trans)formative places of four citizens and filming the experiences, I gained an understanding of how these places engage emotional learning. The emotional data were explored through phenomenology and participatory analysis. Places transformed my participants through identity development, memory and anxiety, resiliency behaviour, nostalgia, and loss. My participants related to places through knowing a place and being home, engendering bliss and appreciation, the development of pride and hope, and experiencing emotionality. Part of our emotional development is linked to our relationships to place because we are, in some ways, part of that place. Returning to (trans)formative places can rejuvenate our relationships to those places through our emotional reactions.

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