Browsing by Subject "city identity"

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  • Jääskeläinen, Paula Piritta; Egerer, Michael; Hellman, Matilda (2021)
    While the social and economic costs and benefits of new gambling locations have been studied extensively, less is known about how new venues are experienced in view of city residents’ spatial and sociocultural identities. This study examines residents’ opinions and expectations on a new small-scale casino in the City of Tampere, Finland, as a case of new gambling opportunities in an urban setting. Nine focus group interviews were conducted with 43 Tampere residents three years prior to the scheduled casino opening. The study points out ways in which the residents struggled conceptually with the casino project. When speaking about it, participants drew on an imagery of popular culture, drawing a sharp line between casino gambling and the everyday convenience gambling so omnipresent in Finnish society. As residents of a historical industrial urban region, the participants positioned themselves as critical towards the municipality’s aims to brand the venue in a larger experience economy entity. By drawing on the concepts of city image and city identity, the study is able to demonstrate that the cultural geographical intrusion of new physical gambling spaces can appear as harmful to the city character. In the studied case, this is likely to hamper the City of Tampere’s chances to prevail on the very same experience market, of which the new casino is part.
  • Gyldén, Sara (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    In a global competition for resources, differentiation and visibility are key elements for winning. Even countries are not exempt from the efforts of creating a positive image for themselves. This favorable positioning in comparison to other countries is reached through planned branding efforts This Thesis focuses on studying a city brand of Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The aim is to discover whether the city brand of Seoul presented on YouTube by official place marketers, such as the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), differs from the city brand presented through user-generated content (UGC) created by the residents of the city. As a city brand consists of city perceptions of several diverse stakeholder groups, the differences and similarities between the Seoul presented on the promotional materials and the user-generated content have an impact on the city brand of Seoul. The research method used is qualitative video content analysis. The study includes a total of 59 videos, of which 28 are user-generated content on YouTube and the rest are official promotional videos of the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) and the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG). The analysis of these videos is based on six primary categories and 24 subcategories, constructed from existing frameworks created by Beerli and Martin; Aaker; Anholt; and Margolis and Pauwels. As a result, four major differences in the projection of Seoul city brand between UGC and the promotional videos are found: representation of different seasons, nature as a tool, diversity of the city, and shopping and café culture as experiences. Additionally, five minor differences include family-orientation; emphasizing events; the focus of food and cuisine; public amenities, public transportation and getting to places; and prices. Furthermore, six major similarities, as well as two minor similarities are found: connection of nature and urban life, social media-readiness, coexistence of history and modern day, coexistence of people, editorial choices, vitality of the city, overcrowding, and safety. The more commonalities between the place marketer videos and the videos created by the stakeholders, the more cohesive, interesting, unique, and accepted city brand is possibly built. If the UGC and the promotional videos only had differences, the Seoul city brand would likely not be recognized or accepted by the city’s stakeholders and could damage the already existing city brand. The found similarities indicate that the place marketers and internal stakeholders of Seoul share perceptions of Seoul city identity to an extent where a strong city brand can be built. Additionally, the found differences indicate that the place promoters have made decisions on which stakeholder groups they wish to cater to more than the others. This is good, since lack of consistency and an effort to suit all target audiences simultaneously leads to diluting and weakening the brand.
  • Saloranta, Sonja (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    In this thesis, I analyse Helsinki’s city strategy for 2017-2021 through questions of community membership, social inequality and immigration. Building on Benedict Anderson’s ‘imagined communities’ I analyse the community building and citizen-making processes that the city strategy describes. The purpose of the study is to unveil the underlying values of the strategy, which functions as a guide for political decision-making and thus is sociologically interesting. Through the theoretical framework of critical discourse analysis I illuminate how the city image, the city community and its residents are imagined. I argue that Helsinki is imagined as an international metropolitan forerunner, where social inequality is pictured as an economic problem, and immigration is pictured as a source of unemployment. Growth is an important factor of Helsinki’s identity as a leading city, and it is recognised that growth may increase social problems. Helsinki’s way of handling social differentiation is used for identity construction, where economic productivity rises as a central factor beside social welfare. Immigration, which counts for the positively perceived growth, is, however, mainly described as a problem. Immigrants are discussed in a very generalising manner and mainly in terms of employability, and it is further underlined that the residents’ worth is measured in their economic contribution to the community. My conclusions are that there is a conflict between the welfare society and the idea of economic productivity in Helsinki, as the strategy aims to please audiences interested in both functioning welfare services and innovative business possibilities. I argue that the prejudiced idea of problematic immigration and of integration as employment only does not contribute to the picture of Helsinki as an internationally attractive city for immigrants, and it contradicts the previously mentioned welfare society aspirations.