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Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Wrestling with the social value of heritage: problems, dilemmas and opportunities
Author(s): Jones, Sian
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Keywords: Social value
community heritage
participatory practice
heritage management
Issue Date: 2017
Date Deposited: 7-Jul-2016
Citation: Jones S (2017) Wrestling with the social value of heritage: problems, dilemmas and opportunities. Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage, 4 (1), pp. 21-37.
Abstract: In this article I consider the problems, dilemmas and opportunities surrounding approaches to social value in heritage conservation and management. Social value encompasses the significance of the historic environment to contemporary communities, including people’s sense of identity, belonging, and place, as well as forms of memory and spiritual association. These are fluid, culturally specific forms of value created through experience and practice. Furthermore, whilst some align with authorized heritage discourses, others are created through unofficial and informal modes of engagement. I argue that traditional, expert-driven modes of significance assessment fail to capture the dynamic, iterative, and embodied nature of social value. Social research methods, such as qualitative interviewing and rapid ethnographic assessment, are more suited to assessing social values. However, these are best combined with community participatory practices, if we wish to capture the fluid processes of valuing the historic environment.
DOI Link: 10.1080/20518196.2016.1193996
Rights: © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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