Creative workers in place : a phenomenography of creative workers’ perception of place
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Subjectcreative class; Edmonton; environmental psychology; phenomenography; Sense of place; Urban planning
Wider social, cultural, and geographical acceptance of creative class theory has inspired city officials to make cities appeal to creative workers. Creative class literature assumes that creative workers develop similar conceptions of place regardless of geographic location, local context, or how individuals identify with and develop attachment to place, and a comprehensive analysis of the ways people experience space in relation to creative class theory is lacking. Using a phenomenographic research approach, and a framework grounded in theories of place, this dissertation explores conceptions of place among twenty-eight creative workers in Edmonton, Canada, based on the fundamental notion that attracting such people will benefit the local economy. Through a series of cultural probe exercises designed to provoke creative and emotional responses, followed by in-depth interviews, this study revealed that, contrary to the literature, participants described strong attachment to place, a sense of belonging, and a commitment and responsibility to the city. Participants were found to possess both strong and weak ties to social capital; however, place is not a means to maintain weak ties to several social circles.
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