Urban boosterism, tourism, and ethnic minority enterprise in Birmingham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Like many another old industrial centre, England’s self-proclaimed ‘second city’ is engaged in a process of self-reinvention. In the new age of entrepreneurial local government – with each city striving to attract its due share of inward investment and tourist spending – Birmingham is attempting to make the surreal transformation from nuts-and-bolts-making to post-modernist hedonism. Such a makeover is more than usually difficult in this case, since this is a city whose image, elsewhere in the UK certainly, is emphatically negative. Moreover, it is negative in the worst possible way, for Birmingham is perceived as boring, a flat colourless amalgam of nothing particularly memorable, attractive or distinctive, a world of grey concrete canyons and high-rise social housing, a monument to regimented (and now obsolete) Fordism. Even the local ‘Brummie’ accent is ranked as the least popular of all the English regional dialects (Webster 2001). Clearly this last point is highly subjective, especially as one of the present authors actually speaks it. But subjectivity is, of course, the very name of the place promotion game. In the great interurban struggle for pleasure-consumers and spectacle-gazers, we might assume a place called Boresville might be last in the queue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTourism, Ethnic Diversity, and the City
EditorsJ Rath
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781134315956
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2006


  • tourism
  • ethnic diversity
  • ethnic minority business
  • urban boosterism


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