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University of Queensland (2006)

Social Consequences of Rural Events : An Event Stakeholder Perspective

Reid, Sacha Louise

Titre : Social Consequences of Rural Events : An Event Stakeholder Perspective

Auteur : Reid, Sacha Louise

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy PhD 2006

Université de soutenance : School of Tourism University of Queensland.

Events have a range of impacts upon rural host communities. They have the ability to draw outside investment and financial resources into local communities, which can lead to positive economic benefits. This is particularly pertinent for rural communities undergoing difficult economic periods as a consequence of drought, reduced yield and profits, and outmigration. Events also play an important social role. An event provides the opportunity to bring people together within a social environment to celebrate their and others’ achievements, and thus is important for individuals as well as communities as a whole. Involvement in events can also contribute to empowering the community to begin the process of rejuvenating their rural area through community-driven development. In order to maintain and develop rural communities, particularly as a consequence of declining government funding, there is a need for these communities to foster their own development. Events may be viewed as a catalyst for facilitating community participation and skill generation and development, which may have significant implications for fostering community-driven development in the future. However, much of the event research has been predominantly focused on the economic impacts of events. It has only been in recent years that a shift in the focus of this research has occurred with greater recognition being attributed to the social consequences of events. A shortcoming of much of this research has been the focus on urban and large-scale events at the expense of smaller or rural-based events. This thesis seeks to understand the social consequences of rural events from a stakeholder perspective. In this thesis, five important issues are addressed : 1) who event stakeholders are ; 2) what the social consequences of events in rural areas are ; 3) what strategies would encourage community participation in organising and planning rural events ; 4) whether a community participation approach to event organisation in rural areas has an influence on an event’s social consequences ; and 5) the implications of this for sustaining events in rural communities. In order to explore these issues, the thesis is underpinned by theories derived from the areas of community participation, stakeholders and the social consequences of tourism and events. Data was primarily collected from 54 in-depth interviews within three rural communities of the Southern Downs region of south-west Queensland, Australia. The results of the research reveal that event stakeholders are diverse and hold multiple roles within rural communities, and are differentiated by risk. A number of social consequences were identified that had not previously been recognised within the literature which were specific to rural communities, such as trust/​respect, change, being affiliated with success, forgetting hard times and releasing stress and tension, awareness and utilisation of community skills and resources, costs associated with attending, expectations of government assistance and greed. Community participation is influenced by a number of factors such as size of the community, identification with the community and the existence of social trust, as well as individual, societal and organisational issues. This thesis presents a model for understanding the role of community stakeholder participation in organising and planning of rural events and the resultant social consequences of rural events.


Page publiée le 10 mars 2007, mise à jour le 3 juillet 2017