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Title: Landscape narratives and the construction of meaning in the contemporary urban canal-scape
Author: Millman, Zoe K.
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2012
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The research explores the ways in which individuals within a diverse urban society perceive and interact with the regenerated urban canal-scape examining the process and dynamics by which individuals construct personal meanings relating to the canal landscape with emphasis on the central canal area (Brindleyplace) of Birmingham, UK. Specific phenomenological and performative methodologies are developed to elicit qualitative, self-reflexive landscape responses focussing on the use of walking in the landscape, combined with narrative-representational approaches, both vision and language-based. Data are collected using a series of in-situ and ex-situ studies including: collaborative ‘Walking-and-Talking’ exercises; semi-structured interviews, or ‘Conversations’; self-reflexive exercises such as diaries and a remote postcard study and participant-observation exercises based on group activities in the canal-scape. Findings suggest that individuals’ landscape perceptions are constructed through experiences and memories of other landscapes, both physically known and those only imagined. Participants display congruencies and divergences regarding notions of iconic landscape components and perceptual themes which may be contrary to the established norms of canal-scape meaning. The study stresses the use and importance of individual narratives as indicators of how participants think about and use the landscape as part of their life activities, how they perceive it, how they project themselves onto it, construct meanings around it. Results indicate that the locomotive-narrative methodologies developed in response to the research parameters are highly conducive to the evocation and expression of multi-modal landscape perceptions, including references to memories and associations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available