Geografie 2020, 125, 47-68

Region as a social construct and the critical discussion of the Paasi’s conceptualization of regional identity

Petr MarekID

Masaryk University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geography, Brno, Czechia

Received April 2019
Accepted October 2019

Both the institutionalization of regions theory and the conceptualization of regional identity by Anssi Paasi are highly cited. However, various authors work with Paasi’s classification of regional identity and meanings of its dimensions differently. This is closely related to an insufficient discussion of the existence of region as a social fact. This article discusses social constructionism and the relationship of individual dimensions of regional identity. Crucial to the existence of region are the subjective images of region that can be identified with perceptual regions. Region as a social fact exists only in the knowledge/consciousness of people. In addition to perceptual regions, “objective” regions – homogeneous/formal and functional regions – are part of the identity of region. The identity of region (perceptual regions, specifically) is a condition for the regional consciousness of people which is a mere “superstructure” of region.


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