LSE Consulting were asked by the Cultural Centre Oscar Niemeyer (CCON) to source an academic team to undertake a study on youth culture in Asturias to open up and enrich the ways in which CCON is defining its position at local and global level. The project's main objective was to inform CCON's understanding of its local and global positioning; and to explore the different senses of the terms (local and global) as they are understood by different people. Much of the research looked at the views of university and secondary-level students, as key figures in Aviles life. Additionally, the study evaluated the contributing role and impact of media technologies in constructing culture at both local and global levels. The overall output was a high-quality report and a forward-thinking presentation for the Cultural Forum on a number of the issues surrounding culture in the 21st century.
Approach and methodology
The project research used several qualitative methods. Firstly, focus group discussions with groups of secondary-school and university-level students to produce 'maps' of local and global culture, in particular looking at how technologies impact on them, and the role of culture. Secondly, LSE researchers conducted 'walking interviews', in which these students led the interviewer to specific areas within a town, which they felt to be of particular importance to youth and culture. Thirdly, the group were asked to use photo-documentation and to create a 'blog' to allow the research team to gain a wider range of culturally-rich material, and to encourage the participants to raise unexpected themes and ideas regarding their understanding of their cultural practices.
Solution and benefits
The project produced an original and informative paper that was made accessible to an audience of stakeholders within Asturias, Spain and the UK. This report further indicated potential areas for development by CCON to help their senior management when considering youth cultures. As well as a report, the project was developed to include a forward-thinking presentation for the Cultural Forum on the issues surrounding culture in the 21st century.