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Djabarouti, J., 2020.

Listed Buildings as Socio-material Hybrids: Assessing Tangible and Intangible Heritage Using Social Network Analysis

Output Type:Journal article
Publication:Journal of Heritage Management
Publisher:SAGE Publications
Volume/Issue:5 (2)
Pagination:pp. 169-190

Immaterial manifestations of culture have received increasing attention over the past two decades. This is of particular relevance to the contemporary built heritage professional who must not only consider intangible heritage within assessments but attempt to understand its relationship with the physical building fabric. Underpinned by a 'Practice Theory' ontology, this research explores how social network analysis (SNA) can reveal entanglements between tangible and intangible heritage by focussing on practices and relationships. Using the Grade II* Long Street Methodist Church and Sunday School, Greater Manchester, UK, the study demonstrates how the basic use of SNA for built heritage assessment can offer a deeper insight into the significance of a listed building. The study demonstrates how SNA can support: an equality of visibility across heritage domains, a better understanding of tangible-intangible relationships and the illumination of underlying practices that sustains these relationships. Perhaps most importantly, it emphasizes the dynamic and unpredictable nature of heritage by de-emphasizing the centrality of the building within heritage assessment processes and reconceptualizing it as an inherent part of social phenomena. In doing so, it suggests one must accept the notion that socio-material practices should be considered for conservation and safeguarding, alongside the physical building itself.