Producing Habitus: ITV Soap Operas and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’

Atkinson, Peter James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8638-9808 (2017) Producing Habitus: ITV Soap Operas and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’. In: Heading North. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 151-171. ISBN 978-3-319-52499-3

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This chapter examines the relationship between two ITV soap operas and the recent development of the cities where they are made. Coronation Street is produced in Salford, and formerly in Manchester, and Emmerdale is produced in Leeds. It is demonstrated that the two soaps contribute to the economies and cultures of these cities which have recently been promoted in political rhetoric as being at the seat of an emergent economic ‘Northern Powerhouse’. Atkinson argues that the impact upon these cities is apparent in four ways: through the profiling of brand, through processes of representation, through association with the heritage of the cities, and through their contemporaneous and regular delivery. In an interdisciplinary approach, he employs Bourdieu’s concept of the habitus and draws attention to the parallel between habitus as represented in soaps, and the use of this concept in some urban studies work which investigates the effects of gentrification in cities.

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