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Ideology, legitimacy and values in practice : reconceptualising professionalism in town planning.

McClymont, Katharine E (2006) Ideology, legitimacy and values in practice : reconceptualising professionalism in town planning. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This research investigates the changing nature of the profession of town planning in a context of increased doubt over expert knowledge and judgments, as public controversies have increasingly illustrated . It situates this within the context of change in the public sector and the increased importance of managerialist targets, and the context of substantial policy changes in planning in the UK. This raises questions of whether the planning profession's legitimacy to practice, and professional values are altered by these ideological changes. Underpinned by Laclau and Mouffe's (1983) concept of hegemonic discourse, which allows for daily work to be situated within wider political struggles, it uses two qualitative case studies to investigate the different constructions of professional practice in different activities: a public inquiry and a regeneration project. The choice of these activities was based upon my previous research, from which emerged a perceived split between the value and skills of the development control side of planning and the forward looking/regeneration side. The former was constructed in general terms as bureaucratic and procedural, the latter as creative and imaginative. This thesis illustrates that professional action in both case studies is largely the same, despite the indications of the previous research, and that professionalism remains a meaningful concept in the context of change and managerialism. However, the discourses of legitimacy which underpinned development control and regeneration were different. The development control officers' discourse of legitimacy is part of a welfare/consensus ideological discourse and the regeneration officers' discourse of legitimacy is underpinned by third way ideology. From this emerge four issues: the conflicting concepts of the public and of communities; problems with the third way ideology, issues around professional accountability and its relationship with representative and participatory form of democracy, and the state of town planning as a profession.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Urban Studies and Planning (Sheffield)
Other academic unit: Department of Town and Regional Planning
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.434952
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2019 11:13
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 09:57
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/21803

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