The Mall Method: Applied in a Study of Inhabitants' Appreciation of Urban Cultural Heritage Areas

Grete Swensen, Oddrun Sæter


Criticism has been directed at traditional approaches to cultural heritage management, as reflected in legislation and policy, for ignoring elements integral to community perceptions of cultural heritage. Although discussions on the right to define are lively, there has been less focus directed towards the significance which personal affiliations and memory play in the processes of forming people’s conceptions of important cultural heritage assets and valuable places. But how does one achieve insight into the subjective appreciations of heritage environments? The point of this article is to show how new subjective methodological
approaches, tested by what is identified in this article as the Mall Method, can reveal subjective narratives and perspectives linked to inhabitants’ everyday life in urban contexts, and to their memories of places. This article searches for subjective meanings of places and landscapes, realized by a stall in a town mall. The method is evaluated in the light of the
importance of situated knowledge and subjectivity.

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