Conference Agenda

RN07_01: Sociology of Culture: Place and territory
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Carmen Leccardi, University of Milano-Bicocca
Location: GM.335
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road


“The Giants? They Came And They Were Great, But Then They Were Gone!” The impact of Liverpool 2008 European Capital of Culture on local cultural participation and engagement

Stephen Crone1, Rafaela Neiva Ganga2, Michael Atkinson1

1University of Liverpool, United Kingdom; 2Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom

Increasing the level of cultural participation locally was regarded by Liverpool European Capital of Culture (ECoC) 2008 not just as an intrinsically desirable objective in itself, but also as an outcome that had the potential to generate instrumental ‘spill over’ value in unrelated policy spheres. Impacts 08, the original evaluation of the ECoC, which concluded in 2010, was able to point to the sizeable engagement ‘footprint’ left by the ECoC event programme (Impacts 08, 2010). Ten years on, Impacts 18 has questioned the longer-term effects of the event on cultural participation and engagement, with a focus on four representative Liverpool neighbourhoods: Aigburth, Kirkdale, Knotty Ash and the City Centre.

Drawing on, and updating, the methodology adopted by Impacts 08 between 2007-2009, the study consisted of a door-to-door survey of 750 Liverpool residents; an online survey of 2,006 UK residents (excluding Liverpool); semi-structured interviews and focus groups in each neighbourhood; and secondary data analysis.

Secondary data analysis displays little to no evidence of positive developments at the local level in terms of cultural engagement 10 years after the ECoC. However, primary data, in agreement with the Impacts 08 reports, does offer an indication that the Liverpool ECoC opened new doors to local cultural engagement for at least some individuals and communities at a local level. Though, residents demonstrate mixed feelings towards the event-led cultural policy of the city as a legacy of ECoC, claiming the provision of funding for small community organisations that assets for people's everyday cultural participation in the neighbourhoods. This paper will discuss the main findings and the lessons to be learned from this study.

Do Cultural Practices and Cultural Offerings Define Territories Differently?

Jason Luckerhoff, Marie-Claude Lapointe

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Canada

Cultural practices are sometimes viewed in terms of territory (Lapointe 2016). The province of Quebec is divided into 17 administrative regions. Although this division was established from the notions of growth poles and zones of attraction (Léveillée, 1973), it serves as a basis for comparisons for cultural practices. To compare practices between regions, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec [Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications] and other cultural stakeholders classify administrative regions using a typology of regional spaces established by Harvey and Fortin (1995) based on cultural offerings. The regions are grouped into four categories (central, peripheral, intermediate and remote) and are located near the major urban centers of Montreal and Quebec (Dalphond, 2007). Our aim is to determine whether these regions fall into the groups established by this typology when examined through the prism of cultural practices rather than from that of supply. To this end, we analyzed the data from the Survey of Cultural Practices in Quebec, applying multivariate analysis techniques (principal component analysis and multiple correspondence analysis). Results show that depending on the cultural practices being studied, the grouping is not always congruent with Harvey and Fortin’s typology. They reveal widely heterogeneous practices, a situation which does a disservice to maintaining consistency in regional groupings. In the final analysis, although there is a relationship between cultural offerings and cultural practices adopted by citizens, we question the relevance of a typology based on offerings to understand cultural practices from a territorial perspective.

From the “What” and “How” to the “Where”: Class Distinction as a Matter of Place

Jens Koehrsen

University of Basel, Switzerland

Research on the symbolic boundary work of upper- and middle-class actors has placed a greater emphasis on the “what” and “how” of cultural consumption than on the “where”. However, the spaces where actors move are important: the “what” and “how” of marking distinction vary according to national class cultures and cultural fields. The presentation focusses on the “where” arguing that interaction settings shape actors’ boundary work. Based upon research on Argentinean Pentecostalism, the study shows that middle-class Pentecostals switch between distinction-marking and “omnivore” performances of Pentecostalism depending on the social permeability of the spaces where they move. The research sheds a critically light on established concepts such as “middle-class tastes”, “snobs” and “omnivores”, given that how actors present themselves varies in different interactional contexts. These insights suggest that the contextual conditions in which actors present themselves as “omnivores”, “middle class” or “snobs” deserve more attention.

What Can(Not) Culture Do for the Sustainable Development Of Cities: The Cold Winter of the Bulgarian ECoC Plovdiv 2019

Svetlana Hristoforova Hristova

South-West University "Neofit Rilsky", Bulgaria

Although the topic of sustainable development is getting increasingly hot in the European urban agenda since the last 30 years, there is still vague and superficial understanding of the possibilities of culture to enable sustainable development of cities in Europe. For this reason, it is worthwhile to analyse the politics and practices of urban sustainable development in the EU, exemplified in one of the most enduring cultural programs European Capital of Culture, by focusing on the following questions: (1) how different understandings of culture have led to different urban polices aiming at sustainable development of city as ECoC; (2) what visions of urban development are incorporated in European policies for ECoC? The analysis will be based on a desk research of official EU documents, civic urban initiatives, secondary analysis of existing urban studies, and insights from the first 6 months of the ongoing Plovdiv European Capital of Culture 2019.