Festival connections: people, place and social capital

Quinn, Bernadette and Wilks, Linda (2013). Festival connections: people, place and social capital. In: Richards, Greg; de Brito, Marisa and Wilks, Linda eds. Exploring the social impacts of events. Routledge Advances in Event Research Series. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 15–30.

URL: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/97804155396...


Festivals are premised on social interaction. The word ‘festival’ derives from the Latin ‘festum’, meaning feast (Isar 1976), and collective, participatory celebration is central to its meaning. To date, while some researchers have investigated the nature of social inter-relationships evident in festival settings, the literature on the social dimensions of festival activity is under-developed. While Deery and Jago (2010) suggest that social impact literature in particular has come of age, it can be argued that in general, the literature on social connections in festival settings is quite disparate and uneven in terms of disciplinary underpinnings, theoretical references, research questions and methodological approaches. Acknowledgement of these difficulties has prompted some researchers to search for alternative theoretical frameworks to underpin a comprehensive enquiry into social connections in festival settings. Social capital is starting to emerge as a theory which shows real potential. Drawing on the findings of two exploratory studies, one in Ireland and one in England, this paper considers the diverse sets of social relationships at the heart of festival activity, whilst taking account of the role that place plays in these interactions.

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