Perceptions and uses of culture among children and young people in Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017

Lisa Jones, Josef Ploner

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review

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The main aim of the research is to explore how children and young people understand, and make use of, the complex and invariably understood concept of ‘culture’ in the context of Hull, UK City of Culture 2017. As a far-reaching year-long mega event, the status of Hull as UK City of Culture 2017, offered rich opportunities to investigate children’s and young peoples’ perceptions and uses of culture, since they have been considered as major stakeholders and recipients within Hull 2017 programming and educational activities. Various events, both official and non-official, have been directly designed for, and addressed to children and young people and have been successful in their endeavour to engage them in a variety of arts and educational activities (Culture, Place & Policy Institute, University of Hull, 2018). Moreover, through the event, the term ‘culture’ has become a major in public and local media discourse during 2017 and gained unprecedented currency across various communities across the city. While ‘culture’ has become a popular local watchword in this context, it remains a highly contested idea within academic research which impacts on the design and conduct of this study. Although traditional, but nevertheless applicable differential approaches of ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture were considered here, this research project is underpinned by the idea that ‘culture’ is understood in its widest sense as a ‘whole way of life’ (Williams et al., 1989). As such it envisages real practices and experiences of culture through ‘learning’ and ‘education’ as well as ongoing processes of cultural engagement within individual and communal contexts. We are therefore keen to explore whether there is a shared sense of understanding and ‘uses’ of ‘culture’ amongst the children and young people and those tasked with ‘educating’ them, both formally and informally. In addition, the study aims to explore the ways in which this shared understanding, or lack of it, might influence children’s and young people’s participation in cultural events during Hull 2017 UK City of Culture.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Hull
Commissioning bodyHull UK City of Culture 2017 - Learning and Participation Office
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018


  • UK City of Culture
  • Children
  • young people
  • culture
  • education for sustainable development


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