Panelli, R., Stolte, O. E. & Bedford, R. D.(2003). The Reinvention of Tirau: Landscape as a record of changing economy and culture. Sociologia Ruralis, 43(4), 379-400.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2061
Recent attention to rural revivals and place-specific economic activity has supported studies of 'culture economies' and local identity formation in different western settings. This paper builds on these analyses of rural change to extend debate and present a New Zealand case. While recent works within rural studies have been important for exploring the intersection between economic and cultural values and processes, we argue that additional attention to landscape provides an added level of analysis. Landscape studies can trace and analyse both the material and symbolic ways in which social, cultural and economic processes (and tensions) evolve in a changing rural location. In addition, landscape analysis reiterates the importance of the specificity of place and the embeddedness of economic and cultural discourses and practices. Using the case of Tirau, a small centre in the North Island of New Zealand, we read the townscape as a portrayal of how a traditional service centre has reinvented itself around a consumption culture and a tourism-related identity.
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