Rethinking Third Places
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Rethinking Third Places

Informal Public Spaces and Community Building

Edited by Joanne Dolley and Caryl Bosman

Ray Oldenburg’s concept of third place is re-visited in this book through contemporary approaches and new examples of third places. Third place is not your home (first place), not your work (second place), but those informal public places in which we interact with the people. Readers will come to understand the importance of third places and how they can be incorporated into urban design to offer places of interaction – promoting togetherness in an urbanised world of mobility and rapid change.
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Chapter 7: Understanding popular music heritage practice through the lens of ‘third place’

Lauren Istvandity, Sarah Baker, Jez Collins, Simone Driessen and Catherine Strong


While the traditional model for third places as devised by Oldenburg refers mainly to the neutral social conditions of meeting places outside work and home, such as cafes and bars, transformations in twenty-first century society pave the way for new ways of thinking about third place. In this chapter, the authors suggest a range of outlets connected with popular music heritage practices could be considered incarnations of third place. Case studies drawing on empirical data from individual research projects in the area of popular music heritage are presented, comprising do-it-yourself archiving, digital archives, walking tours, and pop music reunion tours. In doing this, the authors demonstrate the alignment of these activities with the majority of central third place tenets, suggesting the wider impact of both music heritage practices and the increasing currency of third place in current times.

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