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Title: Community archaeology : a study of the conceptual, political and practical issues surrounding community archaeology in the United Kingdom today
Author: Isherwood, Robert A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 5914
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis aims to provide an intimate study of the concept and practice of community archaeology in the United Kingdom today. The research is founded upon evidence drawn from a programme of ethnographic research conducted at the venues of three diverse community archaeology projects. A significant contention is that understanding of community archaeology can best be informed through study and analysis of the narratives produced by project participants and those who have connections to the localities around which particular projects are sited. Methodologies of participant observation and qualitative interviewing have been selected. It is argued that whilst community archaeology is a relatively new term, if viewed in terms of social relations rather than practices, it can be seen as having a greater historical depth. Drawing on research from the fields of social anthropology and political science, it is argued that the role of 'community' within community archaeology is especially significant. Issues of 'community' are seen to be heavily influential in determining the types of practice adopted by individual projects. Projects can be seen to be put to use within social and political agendas, which seek to regenerate or construct communities. Study of participant narratives reveal that the interests, meanings and values surrounding community archaeology vary amongst different actors and that those of community participants, politicians and archaeologists do not always coincide. It is demonstrated that projects are put to use by participants in the construction of individual and group identities, and the negotiation of power relations. There appears to be strong disjunction between social policy, which seeks to encourage community action and heritage policy which seeks to conserve, protect and restrict.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available