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First annual conference of the University Network of European Capitals of Culture TOWN AND GOWN Lucian Blaga University Sibiu, Romania.

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Presentation on theme: "First annual conference of the University Network of European Capitals of Culture TOWN AND GOWN Lucian Blaga University Sibiu, Romania."— Presentation transcript:

1 First annual conference of the University Network of European Capitals of Culture TOWN AND GOWN Lucian Blaga University Sibiu, Romania

2 LIVERPOOL08 What does it mean to the City's residents? Investigating the IDENTITY and BRANDING of Liverpool from the Perspective of some Liverpool Residents Jan Brown and John Phillips Hope Business School Liverpool Hope University

3 Presented by Professor Bill Chambers Pro Vice Chancellor External Affairs and Widening Participation Liverpool Hope University

4 Town and Gown Liverpool Hope University's contribution to the Liverpool08 Capital of Culture The function of academic research in the local community: to discern the future it is necessary to understand the past Research asked key questions about Liverpool's past: How did people form their identity – their self image and the image projected to others? How did people form the communities that gave them that identity?

5 METHODOLOGY Purposive sample not a representative or numerical sample of residents In depth semi-structured interviews 2-3 hours in homes: kitchens and lounges Loosely using `grounded theory` Narrative framework: listening to voices To point of saturation

6 The Residents N = 11 Women: known to one researcher Born pre – 97: community `elders` Inner city – by the river Mersey Faith group – church attenders Pre 1950 Working class Mixed race: birth and marriage

7 Aims To investigate whether the branding terms of `Capital of Culture` and `World class` can give Liverpool people a new identity and a new sense of community by Investigating and understanding how people in the past created identity and formed community.

8 Some Definitions Identity: image of self and the image communicated to others Place branding: the application of marketing and branding strategies and techniques to the economic, social and cultural development of places like cities and nations

9 A Capital of Culture Avowed purposes Economic regeneration Community building Building social capital

10 Ethics of Place branding Some questions: Can a brand be imposed upon the residents of a place, like a commodity, and without their consent: are people as well as the place branded? How can a consensus be formed about the nature of the brand; and how can it be enforced? How can a brand reflect social complexity and differences amongst people?

11 The role of Culture What is culture? Artefacts; exhibitions; concerts; festivals? Occasions that draw people together in community? What is the function of culture? Defining and preserving identity? Creating community: Only culture can do this?

12 Challenging the presumptions Can Capital of Culture status, and cultural artefacts really re-brand Liverpool? Can a new identity be imposed from the top on the residents below? How can people give their consent to the re- branding, and to any particular new brand or identity?

13 Liverpool: the original brand Seaport: gateway to the New World

14 Heritage and history `There is no town in England, London excepted, that can equal it` Defoe 1724 `The New York of Europe` Illustrated London News 1886 `One of the richest and most prosperous trading centres in the world` Muir 1907 `The pool of life` Carl Jung 1927

15 Liverpool: the updated brand Beatles

16 And football …and little else

17 Liverpool: the dark underside Slave Trade 18C Industrial unrest 1960s Economic degeneration 1970s Social disturbance 1980s The need for a new brand – a new identity

18 Quo Vadis? What does the future hold? or How can that future be shaped or branded to develop Liverpool`s social capital to its fullest?

19 The interview questions Opening: What was it like growing up in Liverpool? Closing: What do you think of the Capital of Culture?

20 EMERGENT THEMES Community and Identity built around: First family Neighbourhood The significance of the Mersey and Docks Adolescence Adult life Key life events and interventions

21 FIRST FAMILY Mothers: matriarchs – home and community builders Inspiring values In charge

22 the family… Fathers – absent: sea and docks Siblings –playmates, parenting skills `Aunties and uncles` –support and social welfare network

23 NEIGHBOURHOOD Neighbours – street aunties and uncles The street – pride; playground

24 the streets around… Institutions: Church; school; shops; embassies and consulates Social Integration – community forged by poverty no colour consciousness little religious distinction

25 RIVER AND DOCKS RIVER AND DOCKS Passage of love: passage of sorrow Family: work; marriage Seamen: cultural richness – music, food, smells Routines and rhythms: work and recreation by the river

26 ADOLESCENCE Group membership Music: clubs; dancehalls Community centres Coffee bars

27 ADULT LIFE Second family: own children – matriarchal values carried on Grand family: carers; celebrations Work: factories; racial prejudice; enterprise

28 LIFE INTERVENTIONS World War Two : evacuation unhappy Blitz and air raid shelters: created community

29 Post war… Slum clearance 1950s: uprooting of communities Toxteth riots 1981: frightening: wrong kind of branding; lasting reputation

30 THEMES: LIVERPOOL 08 City Liverpool 8 – Toxteth Community Capital of Culture

31 CITY Great pride in Liverpool / Merseyside Waterfront heritage Regeneration: new communities with strong bonds but Regeneration: pricing ordinary people out of home ownership

32 TOXTETH Rejection of alias Pride in the area

33 But… Mixed experiences: open and closed doors Incomers: keep themselves to themselves

34 COMMUNITY Not local – family based Some close neighbourhood communities But Social disintegration: bad parenting; children not in control; too much money and too few values Absence of community centres

35 CAPITAL OF CULTURE Pleased with award: potential But No jobs: contractors out of town/immigrant labour No lasting economic effects or investment Not community building: groups excluded from consultation; no ethnic diversity

36 not reaching ordinary - people life style shops - expensive apartments in dockland


38 CHANGING STRUCTURES SOCIAL ECONOMIC affluence mobility – move out and away end of a river full of ships (though a greater volume of trade than ever) Seaport as heritage

39 End of Community As formed in this manner Identity rooted in the past experience A disappearing memory

40 Re-branding Re-invention not restoration New brand New identity Not `heritage and history`

41 Final questions What is this new brand to be? How is it to be formed and transmitted? By whom? How are the people to assent to it and to express it?

42 Capital of Culture: dusk

43 Or dawn?

44 Researcher details Contact: Jan Brown Hope Business School Hope Park, Liverpool L16 9JD, UK Invitation to work collaboratively on similar projects in Capital of Culture Cities

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