Layers of the landscape: Representations and perceptions of an ordinary (shared) sports landscape in a Haitian and Dominican community

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the last decade, much research has assessed sport in relation to geographical perspectives of place, landscape, and identity. Using multiple qualitative methods, including mental maps, interviews and conversations, and participant observation, this inductive study attempts to better understand local perceptions of an everyday landscape. This work was conducted in Villa Ascension, a rural community in the Dominican Republic consisting of Haitian and Dominican residents. Football is a strong component of Haitian identity, and baseball is likewise important to Dominicans. Currently, the community has one site where two sports are actively played. Given the community's heterogeneous ethnic composition, Villa Ascension's sports landscape is recognised as having multiple layers of meaning. Knowledge produced in this case study revealed the emergent themes of perceived interpretations of ordinary landscapes, the forging of boundaries, communal relationships and support, and hazards and modification of limited spaces for play. The landscape being a layered one with multiple representations of place and identity, the Haitians' broader perceptions suggest that they view the site as a place of primary importance. Alternatively, the Dominicans are attempting to forge and maintain their sense of sporting identity in the landscape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-222
Number of pages11
JournalGeographical Research
Volume52
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Dominican Republic
  • Landscape
  • Mental maps
  • Perception
  • Sport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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