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Mobilising Manchester through the Manchester International Festival: Whose city, whose culture? An exploration of the representation of cities through cultural events

Bayfield, Hannah (2015) Mobilising Manchester through the Manchester International Festival: Whose city, whose culture? An exploration of the representation of cities through cultural events. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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In times of ongoing austerity, local authorities are under increasing pressure to enforce a wide range of budget cuts. Culture is one area often under threat yet, despite this, there are areas of the UK that continue to support the kind of large-scale culture-led regeneration that has been prominent since the late 20th Century. Despite the multi-faceted benefits that culture can have for cities, urban regeneration literature has a tendency to focus on evaluative studies based on outcome rather than process, and studies of cultural policy focus heavily upon economic imperatives. In response to this, the work presented here aims to examine the practices involved within the production and promotion of cultural events. Through exploring the motivations of those involved in these processes and incorporating an understanding of culture’s diverse nature an understanding of the value placed upon culture is developed. Using a mixed methodology incorporating qualitative methods of observation, interviewing and document analysis, this thesis uses a grounding in cultural studies to explore the way one recurring cultural event illuminates processes of culture-led regeneration within a contemporary urban context. Themes of capital and power are drawn on throughout in order to examine the everyday practices that lead to the dominance of particular representations of the city through its culture. This approach allows for the problematisation of processes of culture-led regeneration, and the exploration of themes of city identity within this context. The research places culture as a key factor in the (re)production of city identity, highlighting how those in positions of relative power play a distinct role in the development and articulation of this identity. The ethnographic methodology adds weight to the field of culture-led regeneration by exploring cultural value through everyday practices, offering a different angle to both academic and policy-driven research in this area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: urban regeneration, culture, culture-led regeneration, cultural value
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Urban Studies and Planning (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.689308
Depositing User: Dr Hannah Bayfield
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2016 14:24
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:15
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13539

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