The article presents the critical overview of the most influential conceptual approaches to the issue of territorial identity in contemporary Western sociological thought. The up-to-date conceptual tools and interrelatedness between major terms, such as space, place, territory, are analyzed. By comparing basic statements of the two key theories of identity - sociological and socio-psychological ones - the author attempts to elucidate their heuristic potentialities for the study of territorial identities. The paper discusses some other specific conceptions advanced by Western scholars in order to conceive the phenomenon of the person's interaction with geographical and socio-cultural space. Special attention is given to the theory of place identity and concept of imagined communities. Finally, within the framework of the two paradigmatic models of identity in contemporary sociology - substantial and constructivist - the author distinguishes those characteristics which have a considerable cognitive potential and tries to come to the theoretical synthesis.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.