Iterative sequential mixed methods strategy in Regeneration research

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    I’m currently using an interative sequential mixing strategy within an exploratory mixed methods design (phew!) to investigate the socio-cultural impacts of cultural regeneration in British seaside towns. In doing this, I am grounding my work in the sociological models of Pierre Bourdieu, most particularly in the idea that the ‘cultural’ regeneration involves the strategic deployment of ‘cultural capital’ and that we can expect this to have specific impacts when compared to other forms of regeneration.

    The first phase of this research is qualitative and involves a content analysis of policy and strategy documents from the various tiers of government and regeneration agencies. This stage also involves semi-structured interviews with key informants chosen through a purposive sampling strategy, based on the results of the documentary analysis stage. The results of this first stage will clarify the economic, political, social, cultural and spatial context of regeneration in the seaside towns under study. Using this data, specific spaces for further investigation can be identified and a survey instrument developed to measure the distribution of cultural capital and local engagement with regeneration.

    The second stage of the research is quantitative and will use Multiple Correspondance Analysis techniques on a survey of residents, business and visitors in spaces of cultural regeneration. This survey will measure the distribution of cultural capital alongside local particpation in, and perceptions of, cultural regeneration developments. The results of this stage will allow us to describe the relationship between the distribution of cultural capital and the benefits of regeneration.

    The third and final stage is qualitative and will present the data from the second stage using visual techniques, to the local community in these regenerating spaces. This reflexive step in the research aims to validate the previous findings and will hopefully also add new findings to the study, giving primacy to community perceptions of the data.

    Taken together, the three stages should allow for a detailed picture of the extent and impacts of cultural regeneration development in seaside towns, with a main focus on the community level of analysis. Most research in this area focuses on policy issues or is based on small-scale qualitative studies.

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