Toward an Urban Sociology of Mega-Events

Topics: City, Urban planning, Urban studies and planning Pages: 35 (12591 words) Published: June 21, 2013
TOWARD AN URBAN SOCIOLOGY OF MEGA-EVENTS

Harry H. Hiller

INTRODUCTION
The density and diversity of urban populations has long been understood to provide a context for the expression of various forms of collective behavior in the public spaces of cities (Mumford 1961; Lofland 1998; Castells 1983; Jukes 1990; Jacobs 1961). From street festivals, parades, and pilgrimages to riots, marches of resistance, and demonstrations, such expressive and instrumental activities have been among the most observable aspects of urban social life. Juxtaposed next to more spontaneous behavior supported by large urban agglomerations were large planned gatherings of people for religious, sporting, or political purposes in cathedrals, coliseums, or state buildings. Special events provided occasions for celebration, commemoration, or declaration as emotions intensified, generating excitement that altered the daily routines of urban dwellers. Even special market days could draw crowds to specified locations in a congested city in a manner that altered the nature of urban living. Cities and their public spaces have always provided an environment for a wide range of special events that changed the daily rhythm of city life (Whyte 1980). Research in Urban Sociology, Volume 5, pages 181-205. Copyright © 2000 by JAI Press Inc. All rights of reproduction in any form reserved. ISBN: 0-7623-0540-1

181

182

HARRY H. HILLER

In the contemporary era, cities continue to be centers for special events that draw people like magnets from within the city as well as beyond. Some special events are primarily local, whereas others are deliberately planned to attract nonresidents, such as festivals, major sporting events, or conferences (Getz 1997). Some events are a regularized part of city life (e.g., taking place annually) while others are one-time events specially awarded to a city. Given the process of globalization (Sassen 1991), some special events have become so significant, as a result of either widespread recognition or perceptions of their meaning and impact, that cities have actually engaged in competitions with 6ther cities in a "bid" process to host these events. The larger the event as measured by the number of participants, the extent of media exposure, the potential revenue generation, and the international nature of the event, the more likely that cities will pursue the event as desirable (Zukin 1995).

THE CONCEPT OF MEGA-EVENT IN URBAN PERSPECTIVE
When a special event is a short-term, one-time, high profile event hosted by a city, it is referred to as a mega-event. The high profile nature of the event is related not only to some form of international or large-scale participation but specifically to the fact that in some significant sense, the mass media carries the event to the world. A special event habitually hosted by a city on a fixed time schedule (such as festivals or exhibitions) may attempt to draw international visitors, but it has become part of the rhythm and identity of that particular city (Getz 1997, p. 8). In contrast, a mega-event rotates among cities, occurs intermittently (which presumably heightens its importance), and generates intense global media exposure specifically for the duration of the event. 1 A mega-event is normally sponsored by a body outside of the city or country in which the event is hosted that establishes the parameters and ground rules for the event. Thus, in an important way, ultimate control of the mega-event does not rest with the host city, which is increasingly expected to provide financial guarantees and comply with other rules and timelines set by the sponsoring body. The awarding of a mega-event to a city is often contingent on the city meeting these external obligations in relation to a fixed date, which creates a sense of urgency that is not always conducive to urban democratic processes and established long-term planning goals. The best illustrations of mega-events are World's...

References: Allan, E.R.I. 1997. "International Expositions: Past, Present, and Future." Pp. 29-42 in The Challenges of International Expositions in the ThirdMillenium, edited by D. Anderson and J.R.B. Ritchie. Calgary, Alberta: University of Calgary Faculty of Management. Baade, R.A., and R,F. Dye. 1988. "Sport Stadiums and Area Development: A Critical Review." Economic Development Quarterly 2: 265-275. Benedict, B. 1983. The Anthropology of World 's Fairs. Berkeley, CA: Scolar Press. Bennett, T. 1991. "The Shaping of Things to Come: Expo '88." Cultural Studies 5: 30-51. Bounds, M.M. 1996. "Laying the Turf for the Spectacle: A Baseline Study for an Olympic Site." Unpublished manuscript, University of Western Sydney, Macarthur. Castells, M. 1983. The City and the Grassroots. London: Edward Arnold. Catherwood, D.W., and R.C. Van Kirk. 1992. The Complete Guide to Special Event Management. New York: John Wiley. Cochrane, A., J. Peck, and A. Tickell. 1996. "Manchester Plays Games: Exploring 'the Local Politics of Globalisation." Urban Studies 33:1319-1336. Craik, J. 1989. "The Expo Experience: The Politics of Expositions." Australian-Canadian Studies 7: 95-111. Crompton, J. 1994. "Benefits and Risks Associated with Sponsorship of Major Events." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 2:65-74 Crompton, J., and S.L. McKay. 1994. "Measuring the Economic Impact of Festivals and Events: Some Myths, Misapplications and Ethical Dilemmas." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 2: 33-43. Cunningham, M.H., and S.F. Taylor. 1995. "Event Marketing: State of the Industry and Research Agenda." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 2: 65-74.
Toward an Urban 5ociology of Mega-Events
203
Dean, A.O. 1986. "Evaluation: Habitat A Generation Later." Architecture 75: 52-55. de Lange, P. 1998. The Games Cities Play. Monument Park, South Africa: C.P. de Lange Publishers. Dimanche, F. 1996. "Special Events Legacy: The 1984 Summer World 's Fair in New Orleans." Festival Management and Event Tourism." An International Journal 4: 49-54. Euchner, C.C. 1993. Playing The Field." Why Sport Teams Move And Cities Fight To Keep Them. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.. Flanagan, W.G. 1993. Contemporary Urban Sociology. New York: Cambridge University Press. Fulford, R. 1969. This Was Expo. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart. Getz, D. 1997. Event Management and Event Tourism. Elrnsford, NY: Cognizant. Gordon, B.F. 1983. Olympic Architecture." Building for the Summer Games. New York: John Wiley. Gomey S.M., and J.A. Busser, 1996. "The Effect of Participation in a Special Event on Importance and Satisfaction with Community Life." Festival Management and Event Tourism." An International Journal 3: 139-148. Gottdeiner, M. 1994. The New Urban Sociology. New York: McGraw-Hill. Gottdeiner, M., and J.R. Feagin. 1988. "The Paradigm Shift in Urban Sociology." Urban P~fJ~airsQuarterly 24: 163-187. Gutstein, D. 1986. "The Impact of Expo on Vancouver." Pp. 65-99 in R. Anderson and E. Wachtel (eds.), The Expo Story, edited by R. Anderson and E. Wachtel. Madeira Park, British Columbia, Canada: Harbour Publishing. Hall, C.M. 1992. Hallmark Tourist Events. London: Belhaven. . 1994. Tourism and Politics. New York: John Wiley. . 1996. "Hallmark Events and Urban Reimaging Strategies." Pp. 367-379 in Practicing Responsible Tourism, edited by L. Harrison and W. Husbands. New York: John Wiley. . 1997. "Mega-Events and their Legacies." Pp. 75-87 in Quality Management in Urban Tourism, edited by P.E. Murphy. New York: John Wiley. Hall, C.M., and J. Hodges. 1996. "The Party 's Great, But What about the Hangover?: The Housing and Social Impacts of Mega-Events with Special Reference to the 2000 Sydney Olympics." Festival Management and Event Tourism." An International Journal 4:13-20. Hall, C.M., and J.M. Jenkins. 1995. Tourism and Public Policy. New York: Routledge. Hannigan, J.A. 1995. "The Post-Modem City: A New Urbanization?" Current Sociology 43: 155-214. .1998. Fantasy City. New York: Routledge. Harvey, D. 1989. The Condition of Postmodernity. Oxford, UK: B!ackwell. Hiller, H.H. 1989. "Impact and Image: The Convergence Of Urban Factors In Preparing for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics." Pp. 119-131 in The Planning and Evaluation of Hallmark Event, edited by GA. Syme, B.L Shaw, D.M. Fenton, and W.S. Mueller. Aldershot, UK: Avebury. . 1990. "The Urban Transformation of a Landmark Event: The 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics." Urban Affairs Quarterly 26:118-137. . 1995. "Conventions as Mega-Events: A New Model for Convention-Host City Relationships." Tourism Management 16: 375-379. _ . 1997. "And If Cape Town Loses: Mega-Events and the Olympic Candidature." Indicator South Africa 14: 63-67. ___. 1998. "Assessing the Impact of Mega-Events: A Linkage Model." Current Issues in Tourism 1: 47-57. . Forthcoming. "Mega-Events, Urban Boosterism, and Growth Strategies: An Analysis of the Objectives and Legitimations of the Cape Town 2004 Olympic Bid." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Hiller, H.H., and D. Moylan. 1999. "Mega-Events and Community Obsolescence: Redevelopment Versus Rehabilitation in Victoria Park East." Canadian Journal of Urban Research 8:47-81. Homa, J., and A. Olmsted. 1989. "Popular Festivities during the 1988 Winter Olympic Games: Olympic Pin Trading." World Leisure and Recreation 31: 32-34.
204
HARRY H. HILLER
Hughes, H.L. 1993. "Olympic Tourism and Urban Regeneration." Festival Management and Event Tourism." An International Journal 1: 157-162. Jacobs, J. 1961. The Death and Life of Great American Cities. New York: Random House. Jennings, A. 1996. The New Lords of the Rings. London: Simon and Schuster. Jeong, G., and B. Faulkner. 1996. "Resident Perceptions of Mega-Event Impacts: The Taejon International Exposition Case." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 4: 3-11. Jukes, P. 1990. A Shout in the Street: The Modern City. London: Faber. Kang, Y.S., and R. Perdue. 1994. "Long Term Impact of a Mega-Event on International Tourism to the Host Country." Journal of International Consumer Marketing 6: 205-225. Kantor, P., H.V. Savitch, and S.V. Haddock. 1997. "The Political Economy of Urban Regimes: A Comparative Perspective." Urban Affairs Review 32: 348-377. Kearns, G., and C. Philo. 1993. Selling Places: The City as Cultural Capital, Past and Present. Oxford, UK: Pergamon. Kidd, B. 1992. "The Toronto Olympic Commitment: Towards a Social Contract for the Olympic Games." Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies 1: 154-167. Kotler, P., D.H. Haider, and I. Rein. 1993. Marketing Places: Attracting Investment, Industry, and Tourism to Cities, States, and Nations. New York: Free Press. Law, C. 1993. Urban Tourism. London: Mansell. Lefebvre, H. 1991. The Production of Space. Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Ley, D. 1996. The New Middle Class and the Remaking of the Central City. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Ley, D., and K. Olds. 1988. "Landscape as Spectacle: World 's Fairs and the Culture of Heroic Consumption." Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 6: 191-212. Lofland, L.H. 1998. The Public Realm; Exploring the City 's Quintessential Social Territory. New York: de Gruyter. Logan, J.R., and H.L. Molotch. 1987. Urban Fortunes: The Political Economy of Place. Berkeley, CA: University Of California Press. Logan, J.R.., R.B. Whaley, and K. Crowder. 1997. "The Character and Consequences of Growth Regimes: An Assessment of Twenty Years of Research." Urban Affairs Review 32: 603-630. Lynch, P.G., and R.C. Jensen. 1984. "The Economic Impact of the XII Commonwealth Games on the Brisbane Region." Urban Policy and Research 2:11-14. Macintosh, D., and M. Hawes. 1992. "The IOC and the World of Interdependence." Olympika 1: 2945. Mules, T. 1993. "A Special Event as Part of an Urban Renewal Strategy." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 1: 65-67. Mules, T., and S. McDonald. 1994. "The Economic Impact of Special Events: The Use of Forecasts." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 2: 45-53. Mullins, P. 1991. "Tourism Urbanization." International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 15: 326-341. Mumford, L. 1961. The City in History. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World. Nixon, H.L. 1988. "The Background, Nature, and Implications of the Organization of the Capitalist Olympics." Pp. 237-251 in The Games in Transition, edited by J.O. Seagrave and D. Chu. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics Books. Olds, K. 1998. "Urban Mega-Events, Evictions, and Housing Rights: The Canadian Case." Current Issues in Tourism 1: 2-46. Paddison, R. 1993. "City Marketing, Image Reconstruction and Urban Regneration." Urban Studies 30: 339-350. Ritchie, J.R.B. 1984. "Assessing the Impacts of Hallmark Events: Conceptual and Research Issues." Journal of Travel Research 23:2-11.
Toward an Urban Sociology of Mega-Events
205
Ritchie, J.R.B., and B.H. Smith. 1991. "The Impact of a Mega-Event on Host Region Awareness: A Longitudinal Study." Journal of Travel Research 30: 3-10. Roche, M. 1992. "Mega-Events and Micro-Modernisation: On the Sociology of the New Urban Tourism." British Journal of Sociology 43: 563-600. .1994. "Mega-Events and Urban Policy." Annals of Tourism Research 21: 1-19. Rosentraub, M.S., and P. Helmke. 1996. "Location Theory, a Growth Coalition, and a Regime in the Development of a Medium-Sized City." Urban Affairs Quarterly 31: 482-507. Rosentraub, M.S., D. Swindell, M. Przybylski, and D.R. Mullins. 1994. "Sport and Downtown Development Strategy." Journal of Urban Affairs" 16:221-239. Rutheiser, C. 1996. Imagineering Atlanta.. The Politics of Place in the City of Dreams. New York: Verso. . 1997. "Making Place in the Non-Place Urban Realm: Notes on the Revitalization of Downtown Atlanta." Urban Anthropology 26: 9-42. Sassen, S. 1991. The Global City. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Schimmel, K.S. 1995. "Growth Politics, Urban Development, and Sports Stadium Construction in the United States: A Case Study." Pp. 111-155 in The Stadium and the City, edited by J. Bale and O. Moen. Keele: Keele University Press. Schultis, J.D., M.E. Johnson, and G.D. Twynam. 1996. "Developing a Longitudinal Research Program to Measure Impacts of a Special Event." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 4: 59-66. Simmons, D.G., and L. Urquhart. 1994. "Measuring Economic Effects: An Example of Endurance Sport Events." Festival Management and Event Tourism: An International Journal 2: 25-32. Sorkin, M. 1992. Variations on a Theme Park: The New American City and the End of Public Space. New York: Noonday Press. South Africa, Central Statistical Service. 1996. Bulletin Of Statistics 30: 3. Stone, C. 1993. "Urban Regimes and the Capacity to Govern: A Political Economy Approach." Journal of Urban Affairs 15: 1-29. Uysal, M,, and R. Gitelson. 1994. "Assessment of Economic Impacts: Festivals and Special Events." Festival Management and Event Tourism 2: 3-9. Walton, J. 1993. "Urban Sociology: The Contributions and Limits of Political Economy." Annual Review of Sociology 19: 301-320. Wamsley, K.B. and M.K. Heine. 1996. "Tradition, Modernity, and the Construction of Civic Identity: The Calgary Olympics." Olympika: The International Journal of Olympic Studies 5: 81-90. Whitson, D., and D. Macintosh. 1996. "The Global Circus: International Sport, Tourism and the Marketing Of Cities." Journal of Sport and Social Issues 23: 278-295. Whyte, William H. 1980. The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Washington, DC: Conservation Foundation. Zukin, S. 1991. Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World. Berkeley, CA: University ' Of California Press. . 1995. The Culture of Cities. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Urban Sociology Essay
  • Urban Sociology Essay
  • Sociology Essay
  • sociology Essay
  • Sociology Essay
  • sociology Essay
  • Sociology Essay
  • SOCIOLOGY Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free