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Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Models of analysis and interpretation for community communication events Panel meeting “Social cohesion.

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Presentation on theme: "Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Models of analysis and interpretation for community communication events Panel meeting “Social cohesion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Models of analysis and interpretation for community communication events Panel meeting “Social cohesion and local participation” Rimini, 26th October 2006

2 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 1) A ceremonial event (cultural, communication) represents the “point of arrival” of a deliberate and “artificial” human act, belonging therefore more to the “cultural” dimension than to the “natural” one.

3 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 2) The event thus defined constitutes a fundamental occasion for self-definition by a group or community: it is the moment in which the group becomes visible to itself. The event is the occasion in which the individual represents himself/herself relative to a specific community context, and at the same time the occasion in which the community becomes “visible” and aware of itself.

4 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 3) The event re-centres the ego, in the sense that it obliges the individual to free himself/herself from his/her personal fantasies and to relate with things and persons outside the individual. Reciprocally, we could say that the event has the possibility to exist and develop itself only within a social group – extended or otherwise – with unity and a socio-cultural identity that are at least recognizable.

5 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 4) As a “membership rite”, the event calls for the direct participation of the community member. This participation may envisage - and in general actually does envisage - different hierarchical degrees and different levels of involvement, but it remains as a “figure” characteristic of the holding of the event. The role of a “fan” at a sport event is an example. Even if only spectators, fans do not relinquish an active and participative function in the “celebration of the rite”, and although not directly intervening in the match, they attempt in every possible way to influence the result, inciting their “heroes” or trying to confuse the opponents and the referees.

6 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 5) Given this participative nature, the event solicits in individuals the dimension of acting together, and that of “being there” (or of “having to be there”).

7 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 6) The event is a ritual activity derived from the dialectic between a “scaled-down model” (in the anthropological sense) of society and the daily experience of the group. The “pleasure of the event” can be compared to the “synthetic” pleasure of a work of art. Like the work of art, in fact, the event has a complex relationship with reality. It is not a mere reproduction or an inversion of sense, but bringing together experiences that are normally separated it “gives significance” to daily routine that in other ways is transient. There is therefore a relation of complementarity between the event and daily routine, on the basis of which the event proposes itself as an emphatic reproduction of daily routine.

8 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 7) The event represents the culmination of a ritual process that develops different degrees of “fascination”, the pleasure of which is directly proportionate to the level of “awareness” possessed by the spectator. In the case of sport events, for example, this “depth” is given both by awareness (synchronic) of the rules and techniques of the game – which allows the various phases of the event to be interpreted adequately – and by awareness (diachronic) of “previous events”, which allows instead the specific event to be inserted in a more highly structured “narrative context”.

9 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 8) As a ceremonial rite, the event is presided over (or in some way controlled) by members of the community seen to enjoy the highest “moral authority”. This may be a hierarchically established authority (as in the case of the ecclesiastical liturgy), or a capacity occupied more or les permanently (a champion, sports manager, etc) or some moral authority recognized within a group according to experience gained or knowledge acquired.

10 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 9) The event introduces an element of discontinuity into the individual perception of time, thereby creating the possibility of “collective time”. A fundamental element in the definition of the ceremonial event is its “festive” nature. Even if repeated regularly at certain intervals, the event is never totally identical. In the construction of the event (and of each event) there is thus always a certain degree of invention, some characterization that makes the event identifiable in the collective memory, thus introducing the perception of both the “cyclic” and irreversible” nature of collective time.

11 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Definition of event 10) The event is, by very definition, a metalanguage that expresses itself in modalities of metaphor and myth. Beyond its effective identity, the event conjures up a known symbolic landscape for which it proposes itself as an archetype. In this way, for example, the Paris-Dakar or the New York City Marathon do not represent for the collective consciousness a motorbike and car rally or an athletics race, but much rather the “idea in itself” (contemporary) of “adventure” and of “fitness”. It is this capacity of expression in a mythical language (which for example in the case of the NYC Marathon derives probably from the contrast apparent between a competition based solely on the use of the body and what is perhaps the world’s most “mechanized” city) that makes an occasion into an “event” compared with other more or less similar occasions.

12 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Summary The fundamental character of the community membership system helps us distinguish the ceremonial event from false events generated by the media and the so-called pseudo-events.

13 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Classification of events Like the most deeply rooted expressions of human culture, such as music or literature, cultural events, the historical origins of which can be traced back to the emergence of the earliest complex societies, have given rise to a series of characteristic types and subtypes over time. Some of these types date back to the very origins of the “system of events”, while others are of more recent derivation, created as hybrids of pre-existing types or under the pressure of social changes, but there are also frequent cases of types of event that have “adapted” to changing times, social models and communication systems, without modifying their basic and original structure more than the strictly necessary.

14 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Thanksgiving and propitiatory events Propitiatory, ostentation and dissipation events Propitiatory, ostentation and dissipation events Winemaking festival Harvest festivalNew Year

15 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Thanksgiving and propitiatory events Foundation/construction events Foundation/construction events

16 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Celebrative and representative events Victories, processions and parades Victories, processions and parades Rome triumphs over Sicily (16th cent. tapestry, Capitoline Museums)

17 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Celebrative and representative events Representative events from the world Representative events from the world Via Crucis Fête de la Fédération Coronation of Elizabeth II

18 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Celebrative and representative events Rites of passage Rites of passage

19 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Celebrative and representative events Events of professional and social identity/diversity Events of professional and social identity/diversity Debutantes’ Ball in Vienna Academy Awards Ceremony

20 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Celebrative and representative events Events of political unity/opposition Events of political unity/opposition

21 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Celebrative and representative events Events of self-representation and cultural identity Events of self-representation and cultural identity

22 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Compensation events Contests, challenges, battles Contests, challenges, battles Battle of the Bridge Olympic Games Florentine Football Palio di Siena

23 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Compensation events Social inversion Social inversion Saturnalia Festival of Fools Living Theatre Metropolitan Indians

24 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Compensation events Sacrificial games and events Sacrificial games and events

25 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Events of meeting and exchange Events of interpersonal meetings and relations Events of interpersonal meetings and relations

26 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Events of meeting and exchange Events for commercial meetings and exchange of goods Events for commercial meetings and exchange of goods MarketsUniversal Expositions Fashion Shows

27 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events The four “epochs” of tourism in Rimini : the first bathing establishment Spa resort Spa resort

28 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events The four “epochs” of tourism in Rimini : Belle Époque resort The Kursaal and the Grand Hotel for holidays and society relations

29 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events The four “epochs” of tourism in Rimini : popular resort Family tourism and the creation of the “mass holiday” model

30 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events The four “epochs” of tourism in Rimini 1980-????: the multicultural model Collapse of the “mass holiday” model and the birth of vocational tourism types

31 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Current breakdown of tourist consumer models Holidays as re-creation and “suspended’ dimension of existence Holidays as opportunity for development of a personal identity of values Tourism as an indicator of status Tourism as “experience” and indication of cultural grouping Tourism as instrument of emotional sharing Socio-demographic segmentation Segmentation by lifestyles Interpretative research (focused on experience lived by consumers) General tourism (“traditional”) Late-modern individualism Post-modern community Tourist action Market research methods Social function of holidays Holidays as a (necessary) opportunity to meet with “peers/similars”

32 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Morphological characteristics of vocational communities 1) In general these are “aggregations” that conform only marginally to the “logics” of the community to which until now we have been accustomed (geographical, ethnic, socio-demographic or even ideological), but respond instead to models and requirements of “values”. Every “community” exists where a fully-fledged (in the anthropological sense) cultural system of self-definition exists, meaning therefore a set of knowledge, beliefs, norms and rituals shared by a group of individuals. The globalization of the circuit of communications and the generalization of value models also leads to these “requirements” appearing simultaneously throughout the western world, and in marketing terms, these communities appear to us to be global segments of consumption, namely “groups” (large or small) of consumers spread simultaneously (in patches) in the whole post- industrial world (a phenomenon also defined as glocalization).

33 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Morphological characteristics of vocational communities 2) These new identities have an ideal path of development in the field of leisure. It is therefore in the new dimension of “time for oneself” (which by now has established itself as a true “agent” of socialization) that the research and claim of new models of self-representation and of new forms of aggregation find their ideal growth medium.

34 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Morphological characteristics of vocational communities 3. The acceptance of one expression of identity or another is mainly displayed by the individual by means of actions linked with the consumer sphere. It is through consumption (of objects, places, events, etc) that individuals define themselves with respect to the group and communicate (inside and outside the group) their condition of membership of the group. In “corporate” terms, we could say that each aggregated community effectively gives rise to an original and composite “industrial chain” that can consist indifferently in traditional forms of goods and services, products of industrial culture, “touristic” products, etc. Every product in this “chain” is an integral part of a closely-linked circuit of communication-consumption and is therefore directly related to all the other products of the chain.

35 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Morphological characteristics of vocational communities 4. The genesis of a new aggregated community generally follows a “viral” model of development. Like the formation of sub-cultures, it develops from nuclei within a society, then spreading to increasingly more numerous sectors of the population. However, unlike traditional sub-cultures, these new expressions of community have nothing that is an open contestation or is structurally “marginal”, but inhabit the interstices of “mass culture”, absorbing and re-elaborating its functional myths and models.

36 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Morphological characteristics of vocational communities 5. Post-industrial communities are “ordered” in a way that we could define as concentric. From a nucleus of gurus, of “cultural mediators” and highly faithful followers, the grand melting pot of those who use the “tools” and distinctive signs of the tribe irregularly and beyond the original context is reached in decreasing levels of “participation”.

37 Senior School for Leisure and Communication Events Morphological characteristics of vocational communities 6. ”Tribal” forms of aggregation create “paths” and “geographic networks” that are independent of but superimposed on traditional paths. These networks tend to polarize around specific attractors (which in these paths assume the function of geographical nodes) constituted both by pre-assigned locations and by events. In this context, the event also takes on the characteristics of an “ephemeral place”, regardless of its location and context.


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