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Transformation and Liverpool European Capital of Culture

Platt, LC (2014) Transformation and Liverpool European Capital of Culture. In: Ideological, Social and Cultural Aspects of Events. CABI. ISBN 9781780643526

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Abstract

Liverpool, in the Northwest UK, held the title of European Capital of Culture 2008, using the award to celebrate the culture of the city and position itself as a destination for tourism and investment. Using ethnographic research undertaken in 2008-2009, the chapter draws on the concept of ‘the subjunctive mood’ (Turner 1988) and notions of performativity (using Butler, [1990] 2006, as starting point). By undertaking participant observation I was able to understand how local people performed identities. The chapter argues that it may be that the year becomes part of the myth of Liverpool looking to regain greatness of a time gone by, yet, it is in the lived-identities of people that we see the, “the made-upness of culture” (Moore and Myerhoff 1977: 13). Of course this making up of culture is done so within power relations, and these relations are what makes the constitution of identity possible. In these spaces of ambivalence, transformation is made possible.

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