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6.4 Defining Originality and Contribution to Knowledge

Contextually, the research project is unique in that it took place within a period of time which is not repeatable (unless Paisley were to bid for UK City of Culture again, should that opportunity be available and the political will to support such an endeavour exist). Although Paisley did not win the title for UK City of Culture 2021 the actions taking place as part of the run up to the competition announcement and the initiatives and partnerships which formed as a result of the bid are to be continued, a press release for Paisley 2021 stated “The Paisley 2021 bid became a mass movement with more than 34,000 people involved in the conversation. It has transformed Paisley’s sense of self-confidence with Buddies now believing in Paisley again - and this journey will continue” (Paisley 2021, 2017). This attitude reflects research which examined the 2013 UK City of Culture bid process (Wilson and O’Brien, 2012) where Cultural Cities Research Network members were asked to articulate the impact which bidding had on their settlement, citing improvements in national

perceptions, and the competition had on actions towards meeting related goals (in the case of Norwich bidding to be a UNESCO City of Literature).

The limitations of the study and its vigour is presented in table 9, using the approach of Niedderer and Roworth-Stokes (2007, p.15), as follows:

Table 9 Defining the rigour of the research project

Using practice


Reliability (quality)





research with

generalisability and

regard to…



Questions generated

Research objectives

Objectives in section


in practice are

based on requirement

1.2 are met


reflected on in

to answer DCMS

chapters 3, 4 and 5

(2017, p.11) questions



Other researchers

Thesis provides


research, presented in

would be able to

research philosophy

practice portfolio and

follow the same

(chapter 2) and


method (chapters 2 -4)

review of practice

(chapters 3 -5)


Reflections given in

Method could be

Chapter 2 outlines


thesis to underline any

replicated by others,

research philosophy,

assumptions made

although not at exact

and follows Vee

(chapter 6)

time/ context, methods

Heuretic (Mintzes

are replicable

and Novak, 2005)


Transparency ensured




through open


explanation given in

presentation of

Reflections (chapter

reflections (chapter


6) and evaluations of

6) and evaluations of

research and thesis,

results given (chapters

results (chapters 3-5)

suggestions for

3 -5)

development given

(section 6.5)

Source: Adapted from Niedderer and Roworth-Stokes (2007, p.15)

In terms of an original contribution to knowledge my impact can be considered by assessing the theoretical, methodological and practice implications, together with considering the impact regarding the process of my community engagement.

Contribution to knowledge- Theory

Contextually my research argues that culture goes beyond the strict disciplinary boundaries suggested by Creative Scotland (2018) and DCMS (2017), and encompasses assets which would not traditionally fit in with these aspects (see section 5.2). The research argues that multi use assets are particularly important, as are temporal assets, places of self care and places of everyday interaction (see chapter five). The use of findings through my multi-modal methods represent a contribution to the debate around what cultural assets comprise, and the importance of multi-use assets, as currently being debated in the forthcoming Scottish Policy document (Scottish Government, 2018a) therefore these are relevant and timeous discussions.

Two original models for discussing cultural work represent original contributions to knowledge. The hidden heritage typology (table 1) and Scale of Meaning for Cultural Assets (figure 9) are both new models which contribute an additional understanding towards how to increase engagement in cultural narratives within the tourism, regeneration and cultural policy arenas by shifting the emphasis towards noting that “articulations of cultural value in policy need to take more account of the personal histories, social relations and local contexts of participation” (Miles, 2016, p.182). The models require further testing, in that they can be applied to other research projects in the social sciences and arts and humanities fields, and developed further from the findings in this research.