Building the Region: Culture and Territory in the South West of England

Deacon, Bernard (2002). Building the Region: Culture and Territory in the South West of England. Everyday Cultures Working Papers 3; Pavis Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes.


This paper takes as its starting point the establishment of a number of ‘peak’ regional institutions since 1997, part of a new English regionalism. It then unpacks the discourse of the region as it is adopted in the everyday practice of professionals and policy-makers in south west England. Using interview and documentary evidence from actors located within these regional institutions, the paper identifies how this community of policy-makers and professionals articulate images of the region. This is contextualised as part of a re-structuring of scale in the south west, where the region is ‘under construction’. Of necessity, the imagery of the new regional discourse excludes other communities and political claims at other scales. Nevertheless, as the discourse rolls out from its originating community it can be, and is being, questioned and re-appropriated, leading to ambiguous and paradoxical outcomes.

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