“There is no other arrangement, which is bigger”. A qualitative case study of event meanings for local communities in rural areas
Events are significantly influenced by their host places. Simultaneously, events affect geographical locations as well. This dynamic can lead to both positive and negative outcomes for host places and their inhabitants. These outcomes may be especially difficult to describe when dealing with events that take place in broad geographical locations, such as is the case with the long distance sled dog race Finnmarksløpet. In this Master’s thesis project I use the case of Finnmarksløpet sled dog race to explore meanings of a regional-scale event for local people living in Finnmark County, in Northern Norway. Via its race trails, this event covers several municipalities in the county. In addition to start and finish line in Alta town there are 12 checkpoints along the route. Many of these checkpoints have their own festivities and entertainments which are timed to coincide with Finnmarksløpet. It means that even though the event is regional, it becomes truly local in every locality it crosses. In order to explore the meaning of Finnmarksløpet to local inhabitants, I conducted in-depth interviews with 13 informants regarding how they understand Finnmarksløpet as an event, in particular related to the place in which they live. The informants’ reflections were analyzed and translated into five main topics: Finnmarksløpet as the event to unite; Finnmarksløpet as a matter for pride; Finnmarksløpet as a source of information; Finnmarksløpet and its role for the tourism industry in the region; Finnmarksløpet is more than just a race. The research enriches our understanding of how residents of rural places and remote regions perceive and relate to event. The knowledge produced in the project is also relevant to the development of events and tourism in such regions and places.
PublisherUiT The Arctic University of Norway
UiT Norges arktiske universitet
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