Ms Laura Parsons

Job: PhD student

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Department of Politics & Public Policy

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: N/A



Research group affiliations

Publications and outputs

Parsons, L. and Granger, R. (2020), Problematising Hidden Culture in Granger, R (ed.), 2020, Value Construction in the Creative Economy. Palgrave MacMillan.

Research interests/expertise

Local Government; Cultural Policy; Cultural Economy; Food Culture; Phenomenology; Participatory Methods; Citizen Science

Areas of teaching

Executive Company Project - Global MBA; Business Management in the Creative Industries MSc

Creative Research Project - Business Management in the Creative Industries MSc


MA (Distinction) Cities Culture and Creativity - Liverpool John Moores University

BMus (Hons) Music - Lancaster University

Honours and awards

Arts and Humanities Research Council studentship awarded by Midlands 4 Cities

The Lynda La Plante Fund Prize for Outstanding Student, LJMU, 2018

Conference attendance

Early Career Writer's Workshop at Urban Creativity - Lund, May 2019

Hosted session ‘Hidden Culture in the City’ at Royal Geographical society - London, August 2019

CAMEO Conference - Leicester, September 2019

Rethinking, Resisting and Reimagining the Creative City Conference - UWE, Bristol, September 2019

PhD project


The Practice and Value of Hidden Culture - Commensality, Community and Identity in the City of Leicester


The hegemonic use of economic models to measure the impact of the cultural economy represents both a philosophical and methodological gap which does not adequately capture the rich value in tacit, symbolic, and intrinsic cultural forms. There is, as yet, no common usage of the term ‘hidden culture’ within culture scholarship, but there is considerable evidence that some culture remains in a hidden state. The idiosyncratic nature of cultural objects and activities which predominantly occur in the domestic or community spheres means that certain forms of knowledge remain uncodified and thus under-valued.

My research is a Collaborative Doctoral Award research project with Leicester City Council, looking to find more nuanced measuring tools for valorising cultural activity and documenting innovative methods for capturing value in diverse forms. Stemming from a heretofore little-used Realist Phenomenological approach and using food practices as a case study, this research uses participatory mapping, visual methods and phenomenological interviewing to illustrate the spatial-relational aspects of embodied knowledge transfer in the creation of cultural products. Phenomenological readings of culture using Ashworth’s ‘Fractions of the Lifeworld’ model as an analytical framework explore the lived experience of Leicester residents, with the aim of equipping city planners with improved understanding of diverse communities.

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Rachel Granger, Dr Claire Lerpiniere