Understanding Everyday Participation – Articulating Cultural Value is a five year research project funded by the Arts Humanities Research Council, part of their Connected Communities: Cultures and Creative Economies programme.
The project is led by Dr. Andrew Miles, ESRC Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change, University of Manchester and involves an interdisciplinary team of researchers based at universities of Manchester, Leicester, Warwick and Exeter.
The research will undertake a major exploration of the relationship between participation and cultural value. It will bring together evidence from historical analyses, survey data and qualitative research to understand how people participate in culture in their everyday lives and the value they attach to that participation. Orthodox models of culture and the creative economy are based on a narrow definition of participation: one that captures engagement with traditional institutions such as museums and galleries but overlooks more informal activities such as community festivals and hobbies.
The project aims to paint a broader picture of how people make their lives through culture and in particular how communities are formed and connected through participation. Fieldwork research will be taking place in villages, towns and cities in England and Scotland, beginning with the case study sites of Broughton, East Salford and Cheetham, North Manchester, in Spring, 2012.