In this article I examine whether and how America can be understood as an assemblage of placeways encompassing very different forms of temperament, patterns of action and feeling, and systems of viewing the world. I argue that the contemporary American landscape can no longer be seen as a composition of well-defined individual spaces but, rather, as zones of influence that are labile, with no sharp edges, subject to symbolic contestation and a wide range of expectations with material and symbolic consequences. These zones and places are matrices of energies, locating different forms of experience in people and giving rise to different existential preferences. Of particular importance are the contrasts between proximity and distance and between the space of nature and urban space as well as the development of a new sense of time as social organizing principle. It is proposed that we see America as a meshwork of intersecting lifelines rather than an assemblage of external accretions.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 40-62
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.