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Institute for Cultural Practices

Understanding Participation

A diverse group of parents and children at a play park
Fieldwork research so far has included household interviews, ethnographic study and quantitate data mapping

Lead Researchers: Dr Andrew Miles (The University of Manchester); ICP Researcher: Dr Abigail Gilmore.

Funding Body: AHRC; Creative Scotland. Amount: £1,500,781 (allocation to ICP: £101,513).

Collaborating Institutions: University of Manchester; University of Leicester, University of Exeter and Loughborough University.

Post-doctoral Research Associates: Delyth Edwards, Mark Taylor, Jill Ebrey.

Casual Research Assistants for Manchester-Salford: Charlotte Clarke, Jack Welsh, Vittoria Caradonna, Rachel Groves, Andy Hardman.

Project summary

This project proposes a radical re-evaluation of the relationship between participation and cultural value. It brings together evidence from in-depth historical analyses, the re-use of existing quantitative data and new qualitative research to reveal the detail, dynamics and significance of ‘everyday participation’. The project aim is to generate new understandings of community formation and capacity through participation, which we will develop through collaborations with partners and participant groups to evolve better practice for policy makers and cultural organisations. 

The project is led by the University of Manchester (PI Dr. Andrew Miles) and involves University of Leicester, University of Exeter and Loughborough University. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council Connected Communities programme, with Creative Scotland, and supported by a wide range of partners including Arts Council England, Voluntary Arts Network, Heritage Lottery Fund, Manchester City Council and Salford City Council.

The project is running from April 2012 to July 2018. The first year-long case study in Broughton, Salford and Cheetham, Manchester, led by Dr. Abigail Gilmore, has been using 'mixed methods' fieldwork research, including household interviews, ethnographic study, quantitate data mapping, focus groups, social network analysis and archival research. The fieldwork research is leading to a follow-up application project on parks and public programming in Manchester.

More to explore

To find out more visit the Everyday Participation website and follow @UEParticipation on Twitter.