History v. Heritage

Part of what needs to be done is to reconstruct the genealogical descent of why one form of place identity (called ‘history’) is supposed to be taken as more legitimate than another (called ‘heritage’). Regarding rural places, research attempting to develop this sense of a conjunctural non-essential identity has begun to consider the rural as a constellation of ‘social representations’ and ‘interpretative repertoires’ (Halfacree, 1993; Moscovici, 1991; Shields, 1991). In short, any further work on the intersections of meaning and the spatiality of social relations as regards the rural will have to overcome what Philo (1993, p. 433) begins to identify as ‘the assertive modernist impulse…which heroically assumes the duty of assessing from without the realities of ‘other lives’ against transcendental yardsticks of ‘right’/’wrong’ and ‘good’/’bad’ that may have little relevance for the peoples and places concerned.’

Mark Lawrence, “Heartlands or Neglected Geographies? Liminality, Power, and the Hyperreal Rural,” Journal of Rural Studies 13 (1997): 15.