Social-Cultural Dimension

Save favourite 20 Dec December 2017

The Social and Cultural realms are grouped together in the Event Compass.

The reasoning goes that cultural expressions are an inherent part of the social life of all communities.

Part of this link can be found in physical cultural manifestations such as infrastructure, art exhibitions, performance art, theatre, music and so on. These are all represent tangible culture and they hold the inventory of a society’s signs and symbols. Signs and symbols are in turn powerful indicators of the values of said society. For example, the story, language used and props of local stage play will reflect the political and social values of the community (read cultural context) it was created in.

The other interface between the social and the cultural can be found in the identity of individuals and groups. Society is made up of an overlapping constellation of groups, all with their own cultural attributes that include the earlier mentioned signs and symbols, values, norms, customs and language.

Beyond the biological/psychological factors that influence their behaviour, each individual is also a product of a unique combination of group identities. The group identities one can be influenced by include national & regional (geographic), demographic, hedonistic (i.e. hobbies), urban/rural and the list goes on.

Event experiences are highly socio-cultural phenomena as they offer cultural capital to the consumers and an arena where they can share their interests. The value of this event experience and its potential cultural capital is gauged through the filter of the visitor’s unique cultural lens. Events also contribute to the social life of host communities, enhancing the ‘sense of place’ and boosting community pride.  

In light of the potential contributions of events to the lives of individuals and communities, there is need for a greater understanding amongst organizers of how to best use them to maximize societal gain.