A Study of the Symbolic Aspects of Space Using Nonquantitative Techniques of Analysis

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This article has two aims: first, to define and analyse the theoretical implications of the concepts of social urban identity and symbolic urban space (Valera, 1993, 1996, 1997; Valera and Pol, 1994) from within the integrated perspective provided by Environmental Psychology and Social Psychology; and second, to present an empirical study of these concepts based on nonquantitative data collection and analysis. Texts recorded in discussion groups were studied using Contextual Content Analysis (McTavish and Pirro, 1990) to determine the social identity of the inhabitants of a neighbourhood within the city of Barcelona and the meaning given to those spaces which they consider to be symbolic or representative of the neighbourhood. Finally, the results, as well as the advantages of this type of analysis, which are rarely used in Environmental Psychology, are discussed.

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