Place-based community events and resistance to territorial stigmatisation

David McGillivray*, Trudie Walters, Severin Guillard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Place-based community events fulfil important functions, internally and externally. They provide opportunities for people from diverse communities and cultures to encounter each other, to participate in pleasurable activities in convivial settings, and to develop mutual understanding. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the value of such events as a means of resisting or challenging the deleterious effects of territorial stigmatisation.

Design/methodology/approach: We explore two place-based community events in areas that have been subject to territorial stigmatisation: Govanhill in Glasgow, Scotland and South Dunedin, New Zealand. We draw on in-depth case study methods including observation and interviews with key local actors and employ inductive analysis to identify themes across the datasets.

Findings: We demonstrate how neighbourhood events in both Glasgow and Dunedin actively seek to address some of the deleterious outcomes of territorial stigmatisation by emphasising strength and asset-based discourses about the areas they reflect and represent. In their planning and organisation both events play an important mediating role in building and empowering community, fostering intercultural encounters with difference and strengthening mutuality within their defined places. They make use of public and semi-public spaces to attract diverse groups while also increasing the visibility of marginalised populations through larger showcase events.

Originality: This paper is the first to examine how place-based community events help resist narratives of territorial stigmatisation, which produce negative representations about people and their environments. The paper draws on ethnographic insights generated over time rather than a one-off snapshot which undermines some events research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 May 2023


  • territorial stigmatisation
  • place-based community events
  • community festivals
  • conviviality


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