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Place branding and the case of social inclusion: a place made of people for the people

Snellman, Anna LU (2017) SKOM12 20171
Department of Strategic Communication
Abstract
This master thesis examines disabled residents’ roles as citizens in a place branding process within the political framework of a place. This is in line with the resident approach in a political context within the research field of place branding. My contribution to the resident approach is a case study in the municipality of Borås, where I study the organized work of accessibility between citizens, politicians and civil servants through the perspective of symbolic interactionism, and connect these insights to who can build place brands. I have interviewed 10 participants; observed 3 meetings with totally 55 participants; and studied 17 documents. The results show how place branding processes can be anchored among residents in a democratic... (More)
This master thesis examines disabled residents’ roles as citizens in a place branding process within the political framework of a place. This is in line with the resident approach in a political context within the research field of place branding. My contribution to the resident approach is a case study in the municipality of Borås, where I study the organized work of accessibility between citizens, politicians and civil servants through the perspective of symbolic interactionism, and connect these insights to who can build place brands. I have interviewed 10 participants; observed 3 meetings with totally 55 participants; and studied 17 documents. The results show how place branding processes can be anchored among residents in a democratic context of the political framework of a place through participatory tools such as citizen dialogues. This is also a time- and cost-saving place branding strategy. The results also show how disabled residents perceive the place design and the political framework of a place in relation to being able or disabled. The context-bound aspects of residents’ perception of the place are important because the residents participate and influence the place through their roles as citizens. Therefore, the perspective of symbolic interactionism is beneficial for the resident approach within the research field of place branding. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Cities and places have adapted place branding strategies from marketing such as promotional tactics to attract new residents, tourists and corporations. However, these strategies neglect that a place is governed by political organizations such as municipalities, with existing residents in their roles as citizens participating in the political framework of the place.

Place branding is a multi-faceted process with other premises than traditional marketing. The most significant premise is that a place is governed by political organizations. Another significance is that branding is not only about promotional tactics; branding process is about associations. For example, these associations are created by people when they relate to a place... (More)
Cities and places have adapted place branding strategies from marketing such as promotional tactics to attract new residents, tourists and corporations. However, these strategies neglect that a place is governed by political organizations such as municipalities, with existing residents in their roles as citizens participating in the political framework of the place.

Place branding is a multi-faceted process with other premises than traditional marketing. The most significant premise is that a place is governed by political organizations. Another significance is that branding is not only about promotional tactics; branding process is about associations. For example, these associations are created by people when they relate to a place through how they feel and think about the place. Scholars argue that the existing residents have been taken for granted in theory and practice, and address them as the most important stakeholder group in a place branding process. This is because residents form the social milieu since of the place, and they can make or break place branding efforts in their roles as citizens. Due to these significances, the residents’ associations of the place are important in the legitimization of the place branding efforts.
Recent place branding studies show that socially disadvantaged groups of residents are not always included in place branding processes. This master thesis is a case study of the municipality of Borås in Sweden. It is a municipality with citizen dialogues between citizens, civil servants and politicians in a long-term perspective of social inclusion of the socially disadvantaged groups of disabled citizens. The dialogues are results of integrating the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities. This is interesting because human rights are part of the political framework of a place. Since certain groups of residents have stake in a place that are in fact human rights, it is important to understand the individual and collective processes of social inclusion of these groups of residents, such as disabled citizens. To gain an understanding, I have applied symbolic interactionism, a perspective about how people interpret each other, situations and surroundings, to study the communicative interaction process of resident participation, and residents’ association to the place. This knowledge from the study is applied in a place branding context. The learning outcome is about how to build a legitimized place brand in a place branding process as a democratic community-building exercise anchored among residents within the political framework of a place. (Less)
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author
Snellman, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
course
SKOM12 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
place branding, residents, symbolic interactionism, political framework of a place, communication, democracy, human rights
language
English
id
8924924
date added to LUP
2017-10-12 15:02:06
date last changed
2017-10-12 15:02:06
@misc{8924924,
  abstract     = {This master thesis examines disabled residents’ roles as citizens in a place branding process within the political framework of a place. This is in line with the resident approach in a political context within the research field of place branding. My contribution to the resident approach is a case study in the municipality of Borås, where I study the organized work of accessibility between citizens, politicians and civil servants through the perspective of symbolic interactionism, and connect these insights to who can build place brands. I have interviewed 10 participants; observed 3 meetings with totally 55 participants; and studied 17 documents. The results show how place branding processes can be anchored among residents in a democratic context of the political framework of a place through participatory tools such as citizen dialogues. This is also a time- and cost-saving place branding strategy. The results also show how disabled residents perceive the place design and the political framework of a place in relation to being able or disabled. The context-bound aspects of residents’ perception of the place are important because the residents participate and influence the place through their roles as citizens. Therefore, the perspective of symbolic interactionism is beneficial for the resident approach within the research field of place branding.},
  author       = {Snellman, Anna},
  keyword      = {place branding,residents,symbolic interactionism,political framework of a place,communication,democracy,human rights},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Place branding and the case of social inclusion: a place made of people for the people},
  year         = {2017},
}