Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Appears in Collections:History and Politics eTheses
Title: Wrestling with Social Value: An Examination of Methods and Approaches for Assessing Social Value in Heritage Management and Conservation
Author(s): Robson, Elizabeth Mary
Supervisor(s): Jones, Siân
Matthews, Peter
Keywords: Heritage Management
Social Value
Historic Environment
Knowledge Production
Rapid Assessment
Issue Date: 30-Apr-2021
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: This thesis explores how heritage practitioners can better understand and evidence the social values associated with the historic environment. It takes as a starting point concepts of value, community, and expertise that are plural, dynamic, and creative, capable of producing multiple connected realities or heritages. Such critical perspectives on the historic environment and its contemporary significance are increasingly reflected in international conservation instruments, as well as domestic heritage frameworks in Scotland and the UK, but incorporation into day-to-day heritage management and conservation practice has been slow. This research demonstrates how social value can be assessed in ‘real world’ heritage contexts though seven case studies conducted across Scotland where multiple qualitative methods and participatory approaches were trialled. Analysis of the case studies shows that different methods produced different kinds of knowledge and illustrates how critical the social context was in determining the assessment approach. Influenced by the work of Mol and Law, it is argued that practitioners need a “methods assemblage” to engage effectively with the complexity of on-going processes of valuing and evolving contexts, with methods applied flexibly, in a responsive and reflexive mode of praxis. This implies not only new methods, but new ways of working with emergent understandings and types of knowledge that differ from established disciplines and presentations. Although institutional systems and processes tend to simplify or fix values, the thesis concludes that bringing social values into heritage practice requires a productive engagement with complexity, foregrounding different knowledges depending on context. This research is the first systematic comparative methodological review related to assessing the social value of the historic environment. As such, it contributes to understandings of the ‘work’ such methods do, how they can be applied in practice, and the significance of the historic environment to contemporary communities.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
EM ROBSON 2021 PhD Thesis FINAL.pdfPhD Thesis (pdf)4.91 MBAdobe PDFUnder Embargo until 2025-11-01    Request a copy

Note: If any of the files in this item are currently embargoed, you can request a copy directly from the author by clicking the padlock icon above. However, this facility is dependent on the depositor still being contactable at their original email address.

This item is protected by original copyright

Items in the Repository are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

The metadata of the records in the Repository are available under the CC0 public domain dedication: No Rights Reserved

If you believe that any material held in STORRE infringes copyright, please contact providing details and we will remove the Work from public display in STORRE and investigate your claim.