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The view from inside the 'simulacrum': visitors’ tales from the set of Coronation Street

Couldry, Nick ORCID: 0000-0001-8233-3287 (1998) The view from inside the 'simulacrum': visitors’ tales from the set of Coronation Street. Leisure Studies, 17 (2). pp. 94-107. ISSN 0261-4367

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Identification Number: 10.1080/026143698375178


The social significance of visits to television and film locations has been little studied. This article concentrates on Granada Studios Tour (GST) - home of the external set of Coronation Street - and uses as its main source interviews with visitors to GST, conducted on site and in visitors' homes, to explore the complex significance of this site. Although sites such as GST have tended to be dismissed because of their ‘fictive’ status, a detailed examination of visitors’ experiences - in particular, their reactions to the Street set's status as an actual place of filming - suggests a more interesting picture. Visiting the Street set connects viewers to the ‘world of television’, a connection examined from a number of different perspectives: ‘aura’ (in Walter Benjamin's sense), social memory and symbolic reversals, pilgrimage and ritual place. The analysis of GST and the Street set as ‘ritual places’ draws in particular on the work of the anthropologist Jonathan Smith. It develops from the way the set connects two places and two worlds organized in a symbolic hierarchy: the ‘ordinary world’ of viewers and the ‘media world’. Such worlds are, largely, social constructions, but they are the basis of GST's particular ‘power of place’. The conclusion connects this analysis to Lash and Urry's recent (1994) analysis of the ‘resubjectivization of space’ in contemporary travel and reflexivity.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 1998 E. & F.N. Spon
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2013 14:59
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2024 17:48

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