The Uprooting of Meaning

  • Peter Marris
Part of the Current Topics in Mental Health book series (CTMH)


When we are asked to describe our roots, we talk most naturally of the past—of parents, teachers, friends, the experiences which influenced us—and perhaps of ancestors whose lives more remotely formed the setting of our childhood. But asked what we mean by uprooting, we think rather of the grief of exiles, of people being torn from the contemporary setting which sustained them. We conceive our roots as both what we have grown from and what we grow into; as both the setting and the attachments which bind us to that setting. Let me try to unravel this evocative but ambiguous metaphor, to understand more exactly what the experience of being uprooted is, why it can be so painful, and why we have condemned ourselves to a form of society which seems constantly to threaten us with it.


Emotional Attachment Unique Loyalty Exclusive Relationship Disruptive Change Strong Social Bond 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Marris
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Architecture and Urban PlanningUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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