Wilks & Quinn [Abstract]

Linking social capital, cultural capital and heterotopia at the folk festival
[Full text]

Linda Wilks [1]
Bernadette Quinn [2]

Abstract: This paper investigates the role of folk festivals in transforming interconnections between people, space and culture. It interlinks three sets of theoretical ideas: social capital, cultural capital and heterotopia to suggest a new conceptual framework that will help to frame a deeper understanding of the nature of celebration. Qualitative data were collected at two long-established folk festivals, Sidmouth Folk Festival in southern England and the Feakle Traditional Music Festival in western Ireland, in order to investigate these potential links. Although Foucault did not fully develop the concept of heterotopia, his explanation that heterotopias are counter-sites, which, unlike utopias, are located in real, physical, space-time, has inspired others, including some festival researchers, to build on his ideas. This study concludes that the heterotopian concept of the festival as sacred space, with the stage as umbilicus, may be linked to the building of social capital; while it is suggested that both social capital and appropriate cultural capital are needed to gain full entry to the heterotopia.

Keywords: Folk festivals, social capital, cultural capital, heterotopia, space

[1] The Open University Business School, Milton Keynes, UK, linda.wilks@open.ac.uk
[2] Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland, bernadette.quinn@dit.ie