The analysis, presentation and sustainability of a past Northeast of Scotland "way of life" through video capture.
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CARNEY, D. 2003. The analysis, presentation and sustainability of a past Northeast of Scotland "way of life" through video capture. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.
The research upon which the outputs submitted as part of this thesis are based examines the socio-cultural environment of the Northeast of Scotland, from Aberdeen to Cabrach and from Portsoy to Laurencekirk. In total, five hundred and twenty hours of research data were collected as part of a project that began in 1987. This thesis investigates and visualises aspects of cultural identity representing the historical lifestyles of the "ordinary people" within rural Aberdeenshire circa 1890s-1950s. A unique feature of this research is the use of video as a tool for data gathering and presentation. The key themes are direct observations of the "ordinary people" and the author's rural ancestors. The use of the visual dynamic and the Doric dialect capture the ordinary person's testimony what a "past way of life" was like within Aberdeenshire. The research was initiated as a response to the author's cultural pride in his ancestors. It was not initially envisaged as a formal piece of academic research; the author conducted the research from a simplistic "desire to know". However, through reflective analysis of the research it can clearly demonstrate a rigorous research methodology, which has been replicated within the thesis. The procedures and methods engage with ordinary people in the real world, and help visualise and communicate material heritage. Through the identification of suitable topics, respondent selection, data capture, data analysis, critical review, post-production, archive management and research funding, aspects of the past are sustained. This new data has the potential to be future-proof and is unique in its content. The six topic videos, refereed conference papers, television features, and press articles have captured and sustained irreplaceable data. The research output has been utilised and subjected to critical peer review by diverse user groups locally, nationally and internationally. The work has credible and diverse endorsements and has also been accepted as authentic by the host community, going a long way to developing greater cultural pride. It captures a lost cultural identity in an innovative manner and presents output in a way which is both significant to user groups and also capable of furthering greater knowledge and understanding. This practitioner-based research has the potential to enhance future developments within the field of study through the embracing of modern visual technology in its widest sense.