De-marginalising, Marginalised Communities: The case of participatory arts events and the over 70s in rural Hertfrodshire, United Kingdom
This chapter provides an insight into a much larger longitudinal study into the potential benefits of participatory arts events for the over 70s in rural communities in Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom. In order to achieve this, the chapter gives an overview of literature into how older communities in the United Kingdom (especially in rural areas) are becoming increasingly marginalised. The chapter begins by introducing the reader to the current situation in relation to older people in the United Kingdom. Following this, literature is explored in relation to the particular psychosocial impacts faced by the over 70s, collective bonding and memory creation, and the potential of arts and creative events as critical intervention to degenerative diseases. Following the review of literature, the chapter explores suitable methodologies and methods to investigate the potential of participatory arts events for the over 70s including using reminiscence interviews and measuring electrodermal activity (EDA). The final sections of the chapter provide some intermediate findings from the case study on participatory arts events in rural areas of Hertfordshire, the United Kingdom; concluding remarks for policymakers in the United Kingdom with respect to the potential of participatory arts events and the over 70s; and a conceptual framework for future projects in this important area of research.