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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The alleged benefits of community participation in cultural resource management has been an article of faith in the international heritage community since the early 1990s, yet the ambiguous and multi-layered concept of community is commonly deployed uncritically. This chapter argues that “community” should be seen as an open-ended, never complete process rather than end-product. It suggests that heritage practitioners inevitably contribute to the creation of a sense of community at scales ranging from the local to the national. The projection of community identities can enhance or undermine social cohesion at and across geographic scales and the chapter argues that heritage practitioners need to work with a nuanced understanding of their role in the creation of community identities. The link between heritage values and community formation remains powerful but the power needs to be unleashed with due diligence.

Keywords: community participation, heritage values, multi-scale identity formation, social cohesion

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