The role of Petroleum in Portraying and Perceiving Stavanger
Not peer reviewed
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This master thesis explores the influence of the petroleum industry on the place identity of Stavanger, a Western Norwegian coastal city frequently called ‘the oil capital’. Based on interviews and focus groups including petroleum workers and people involved with regional image building in Stavanger municipality, this thesis explores the role of the petroleum industry in narratives on the past, present and future identity of Stavanger. This is conceptualised through a merged framework, where place identity is seen as both being constructed by the perceptions, feelings and meanings humans attach to places (sense of place) as well as the more structural and institutional place branding strategies (constructed place identity). A stated objective is now to alter Stavanger’s image, from the oil capital to the energy capital. This thesis shows how the new image is failing to gain resonance in the narratives of the petroleum workers, and suggest two possible solutions: The depolitisation of the image change and the lack of novel content in the ‘energy capital’ identity. It also shows how the change in image is presented as non-conflictual, non-political and non-sacrificial.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
SubjectPlace identityEnergy capitalSense of placeConstructed placeStavangerImagePetroleumRegional Branding
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