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Title: Rhetoric & 'reality' : politics, policy and the discourses of heritage in England
Author: Waterton, Emma
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2007
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E. L. Waterton, Rhetoric and Reality: Polities, and the Discourses of Heritage' in Submission of thesis for PhD. Bibliographic details: 493 pages; 9 illustrations, 9 in colour; 26 tables; 29 figures, 27 in colour; 69pp. bibliography. Over the past few decades, heritage has taken up a prominent position on public, academic and policy agendas. However, precisely what heritage is, and what cultural and social `work' it does, has yet to be adequately apprehended in a policy sense. Instead, the immense range of concerns, values and meanings conceived by an array of interest groups has been distilled and generalised into a seemingly coherent collection of policies. I low does this work? This research examines the discursive constructions of heritage and charts the development and dissemination of an aiilhorised Lierrluge discourse (AlID). Asa point of conflict, the thesis takes up a particular interest in the intersection of this discourse with recent calls of social inclusion. Primarily, the aim is to reveal the work (both linguistically and socially) the Al ID does in diminishing alternative heritage perspectives. In order to do so, this thesis places acute focus on policymaking and draws on a range of debates emerging from the social sciences. Principally, it employs the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of Critical Di. icoitrso, Analysis, but this is supplemented with Q illelhodoloiy, in-depth interviewing and participant observations. This multi-method approach requires a dual focus that examines both the social contexts and linguistic features surrounding the practice of heritage management. As such, considerable interest is placed upon the syntaxical, grammatical and lexical constructions of heritage internal to a collection of policy documents, including the ANIA11 (1979), the NI1r1 (1983), PPG 15, Power of Place: I he Fntrire o% the Ilistoric fnviro, rmeiit, The Historic Environment: . -A Force for our Future, and the IIerila; e Protection Review. The constructions of `heritage' embedded within these documents is simultaneously analysed against the external context of the heritage sector in England. The research concludes that the dominant notion of `heritage', revolving around an uncritical collection of assumptions regarding the immutable, physical nature of heritage, revered for its rarity, aesthetics, age and monumentality and conserved for the educational and informational benefit of future generations, continues to hold considerable influence. 'this dominance has continued despite recent calls for social inclusion and an increased interest in `public value'. As such, it is argued that new emphases of inclusivity and plurality operate at the level of rhetoric only, and rarely translate in reality. Instead, the : AIID continues to create, sustain and promote a particular way of seeing heritage. Moreover, this dominant vision does not appear to dominate, it appears as natural.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available