- Capturing the imaginary: Students and other tribes in Amsterdam
W. van Winden
- Award date
- 8 December 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
This thesis wants to contribute to operationalize insights into student identities, urban images and city/educational marketing and management communication. Instead of harping on the discourse of managing and increasing the positive image of Amsterdam, this thesis aims to give insight into a more realistic and first-hand way of capturing current images of Amsterdam as shared by cohorts of young adults. Accordingly, its primary sources consist of a compilation of heterogeneous, existing (‘real-life’) material, produced by young adults as a part of their cultural communication rather than being especially generated for this research. The selection of cohorts also partly dictated the choice of medium through which to document their self-image, the image of the city and of their self-positioning in it.
The images and attitudes captured from the primary data reveal that the imaginary city map of Amsterdam is by no means a mere melting pot or emporium, but has some well-delimited boundaries in terms of who belongs where. Eventually, and on the basis of the findings, this thesis provides insights into how to develop a more sustainable and substantiated positioning of Amsterdam and its educational institutions as the hospitable and tolerant city, in which young adults can actually have the possibility of becoming a better version of themselves.
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