The psychology of regions

A Vygotskian perspective

in Regions and Cohesion
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  • 1 Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium luk.van.langenhove@vub.be
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Abstract

There exists today a large consensus among scholars of different disciplines that regions are more than a geographical concept and that they are socially constructed. This implies that somehow people must play a role in the emergence of a region as an entity of governance and as a source of identity. But the relation between regions and the socio-psychological processes that constitute them remains unclear. This article aims to clarify what the social construction process of a region means and what kind of psychological processes play a role in it as well how such social construction relates with how regions contribute to people's identity formation. For this theoretical exercise, use will be made of the so-called Vygotsky scheme that distinguishes between four different conversational spaces.

Resumen

Hoy en día existe un gran consenso entre los estudiosos de las diferentes disciplinas de que las regiones son más que un concepto geográfico y que están construidas socialmente. Esto implica que las personas deben desempeñar un papel en el surgimiento de una región como entidad de gobierno y como fuente de identidad. Pero la relación entre las regiones y sus procesos socio-psicológicos constituyentes sigue siendo vaga. Este artículo pretende aclarar qué significa el proceso de construcción social de una región y qué tipo de procesos psicológicos ocurren en él, y también cómo dicha construcción social se relaciona con cómo las regiones contribuyen a la formación de la identidad de las personas. Se utilizará el esquema de Vygotsky que distingue entre cuatro espacios de conversación.

Résumé

Il est aujourd'hui largement reconnu au sein de différentes disciplines que les régions sont plus qu'un simple concept géographique et qu'elles sont socialement construites. Cela implique que les individus doivent jouer un rôle dans l'émergence d'une région en tant qu'entité de gouvernance et source d'identité. Mais la relation entre les régions et les processus socio-psychologiques qui les constituent reste floue. Cet article vise à clarifier le sens exact du processus de construction sociale d'une région et quels types de processus psychologiques y jouent un rôle, ainsi que la relation entre cette construction sociale et la façon dont les régions contribuent à la formation de l'identité des personnes. Pour cet exercice théorique, nous utiliserons le schéma dit de Vygotsky qui distingue quatre espaces conversationnels différents.

Contributor Notes

LUK VAN LANGENHOVE currently holds the position of academic commissioner at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) where he is the academic lead for the EUTOPIA project to create a European University. He is also affiliated as research professor to the Institute of European Studies at VUB. He is a professorial fellow and former director at UNU-CRIS. Dr. Van Langenhove has published widely on regional integration, social sciences theory, positioning theory, and psychology. Email: Luk.Van.Langenhove@vub.be

Regions and Cohesion

Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

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