Social practices and placemaking: the case of the Bons Sons festival, in Portugal

ML de Almeida, MP De Brito, Lilian Wanderley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The study aims to understand the meaning of event-based and place-based community practices, as well as the resulting social impacts. Design/methodology/approach: An ethnomethodological approach was followed (participant observation and interviews were supplemented by secondary data), with the analysis being exploratory and interpretative. Findings: The festival and the place reinforce the community’s social practices, which have impacts beyond the festival, benefiting individuals, the community and the place, becoming a means for valorisation and diffusion of the rural way of life, and placemaking. Research limitations/implications: In this study the authors focus on social practices in the context of an event and of a place (the village where the event occurs). The authors connect to theories of practice, which they apply in the analysis. The value of the study lies on the underlying mechanisms (how communities exercise social practices in the context of festivals, and what social impacts may lead to) rather than its context-dependent specific results. Practical implications: National and regional authorities can play a role in providing local communities with adequate tools to overcome the challenges they encounter. This can be done by issuing appropriate (events) plans and policies while giving room for the locals to voice their opinions. Social implications: Community-based festivals are key social practices that can strategically impact placemaking, strengthening community bonding, forging connections with outsiders and promoting well-being practices that discourage rural depopulation. Originality/value: There is a scarcity of research that deepens the understanding of the role of festivals in placemaking and their social impacts, particularly in the rural context. This study contributes to closing this gap by focussing on the social practices of a community-based festival in a village in the interior of Portugal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-42
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • community-based festival
  • rural placemaking
  • social practices

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