Keeping to the Margins: Understanding the Role of Symbolic Violence and Institutional Fields in Creative Ecosystems

Abigail Gilmore, Claire Burnill-Maier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

As towns seek to harness the espoused benefits of culture and creative industry-led regeneration and economic development, we argue that for satellite-towns lying outside major cities, successful culture-led regeneration strategies must consider how local organisational identities are constructed in relation to their creative-city counterparts. We demonstrate that the spatial nature of power relations reproduces existing inequalities. Drawing upon organisational and institutional theories (Scott in Institutions and organisations: Ideas interests and identities. Sage, 2014) as well as the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu we examine the role of ‘symbolic violence’ (Bourdieu, 1980) within the institutional practices that reinforce systems of dependence between city centre and peripheral cultural and creative organisations. The evidence presented in this paper is taken from a case study of Oldham, a post-industrial, satellite town on the periphery of Manchester (UK). The relational study deployed a unique combination of research methodologies including elements from: social network analysis, field theory, discourse theory, theories of movement and material culture to reveal the nature and meaning of inter-organisational field relationships. The research provides a key insight into patterns of influence and reveals a web of causality within the institutional field crucial to understanding hierarchies and inequalities within local arts and cultural fields. We argue that successful creative and culture-led regeneration strategies must consider how local organisational identities are constructed in relation to other members of the institutional field, concluding that localised cultural and creative ecosystems require policy mechanisms which reduce organisations’ reliance on legitimising capital available from the fields in which they are nested.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Creative Ecosystems
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Understanding of Sustainable Creative and Cultural Production
EditorsTarek Virani
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Chapter15
Pages271-292
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9783031339615
ISBN (Print)9783031339615, 9783031339608
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2023

Publication series

NameDynamics of Virtual Work
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN (Print)2947-9290

Keywords

  • symbolic violence
  • ecosystems
  • Oldham
  • Manchester
  • creative and cultural clusters
  • satellite dependency
  • network theory
  • Pierre Bourdieu

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Urban Institute
  • Creative Manchester

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