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PLACE BRANDING GOES TO THE NEIGHBOURHOOD: THE CASE OF PSEUDO-SWEDISH ANDERSONVILLE

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

As the centre of Swedish immigration to the United States, Chicago developed several neighbourhoods with a strong Swedish presence. However, the only Swedish neighbourhood that remains is Andersonville, although few Swedes continue to reside there today – it has become a “pseudo-ethnic” neighbourhood. Drawing from interviews with neighbourhood activists, commercial, and political interests, as well as fieldwork focused on the ethno-visual markers of the neighbourhood, we analyse attempts of these actors to commodify ethnicity at the neighbourhood level. The process of actively using a Swedish identity in Andersonville involves the use of branding, a marketing concept used by places to promote themselves. This article investigates branding on the neighbourhood level, and also the role of ethnicity in the branding process. Brand managers struggle to maintain the Swedishness of the Andersonville neighbourhood as demographic and economic forces threaten to weaken the Swedish brand.

Keywords: Chicago; Swedish neighbourhoods; branding; ethnic geography

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2010.00347.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Johnstown, PA, 15904, United States, Email: johans@pitt.edu 2: Department of Geology and Geography, Eastern Illinois University, 2120 University Drive, Charleston, IL, 61920 United States, Email: mwcornebise@eiu.edu

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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