Resources

RESOURCES


RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS

Author : Patricia Johnson
School/Work Place : University of Newcastle, Australia
Contact : Patricia.Johnson@newcastle.edu.au
Year : 2009

Introduction: Nurturing effective intercultural dialogue through tourism has been positioned to be an emergent challenge to tourism professionals working toward sustainability in a globalised world (Robinson and Picard 2006). This interdisciplinary study devises inroads into ways of addressing this challenge through ‘reading’ the language of cosmopolitanism as it appears in writings about tourism and travel. When one writes about travel a journey into the cosmos is documented which is a socio-cultural imagining of self and other. These writings can be highly influential on the reading (and potentially travelling) public and they are positioned as informing the development of global citizenry literacy. As cultural texts they recount an engagement in, and with, cosmopolitanism by way of a cosmopolitical gaze. This paper is drawn from a wider study which examines linkages between cosmopolitanism and cultural literacy by formulating a conceptual framework to ‘read’ cultural orientations through discourse and ideology. The study examines women’s travel writing to Iran in a specific time period: between 1979 (the Islamic Revolution) and 2002 (President Bush’s State of the Union address that positioned Iran in the ‘Axis of Evil’). This timeframe marks a period of uncertainty – a liminal period marred by crisis which gave rise to negative discursive frameworks that have been ‘normalised’ in Western cultural thought. Key discourses are identified by discerning patterns of convention in the ways the authors frame their narrative and position the foreign within this framework.

Method: This study adopts a poststructuralist, social constructivist research design which views travel and the travel text as sign, discourse and representation. The study draws from texts set within a chronological frame and uses the cultural studies lens of liminality to examine data. Liminality provides a way to explore the language of cosmopolitanism in that it has the potential to cast light on the cosmopolitical by revealing how the self and ‘other’ are imagined. This method positions ‘reality’ as socially constructed and studies discourse in historical and cosmopolitical contexts. Elements of a feminist paradigm are incorporated through its concern about relationships of gender and power. Scapes and scripts are used as conceptual tools to explore how imaginings of self and other are constructed in the travel text.

Findings: The findings identified key discourses by discerning patterns of convention in the various ways these authors frame themselves ‘in the world’ and how they position the foreign within this framework. These travellers were found to engage with place in ways that were oriented by Western viewing positions which form a rubric of discourses that positioned self, place and ‘other’. While all authors evoked values espoused in liberal democracy, these narratives are ethnocentric and reveal an element of rigidity in liberal democracy in that they cast judgement over the foreign from a position of ‘security’ and legitimate the voice through discourses of Western privilege and choice which appear as dimensions of Western internationalism as a narrow form of cosmopolitanism. Concerns are raised in relation to the rigidity of Western discourses because they impact on fostering improved intercultural relationships and, by extension, sustainable tourism practices.

Application of Results: This paper de-constructs the cosmopolitan gaze to forward a plan for revising a conceptual framework that can be used to ‘map’ culture by forwarding the idea that a cosmopolitical rubric (made up of discourses that commonly appear within cultural groups) would assist in defining the gaze from any cultural viewing position. The qualitative research method used in this study could also be applied to other forms of writings about travel and tourism to understand how other people and places are positioned to discern shifts in ways of thinking about authenticity of the foreign. This conceptual ‘tool’ could be useful to tourism planners, educators and other professionals as well as tourism media to understand how polemic positions are shaped and cultures are stigmatised through discourse. Awareness of how discourse operates in travel/tourism is crucial to understanding intercultural relationships as they impact on sustainable tourism practices.

Conclusion: These authors were found to mobilise notions of liminality and authenticity as discursive tools to provide authority to the voice, ground discourse and structure the gaze. The cosmopolitan gaze was found to be selective in its focus by drawing from widely held ‘legitimate’ Western discourse to construct ‘other’ by falling back on preconceived ideas of the foreign. The discussion raises timely and topical issues which address intercultural relationships between Western and Southwest Asian cultures in the context of tourism and travel. The paper addresses the scholarly conundrum of theorising cosmopolitanism and contributes in a useful way by forwarding a conceptual framework that can be applied to further understand the concept and the dynamics that characterise cultural exchange. In this way it contributes to tourism scholarship by focussing on issues which are immediate to questions which surround sustainable tourism.


List of Articles
No. Subject Viewssort Date
234 Think Tank X The Role of Face-to-face Communication and Networking ... file 2757 Oct 13, 2013

Despite the advent of improved electronic communications technology, face-to-face communication and networking remain the most effective means of enhancing business performance and innovation, particularly for more complex products. During ...

Author: Leo Jago & Margaret Deery 

Year: 2010 

233 Think Tank XI An introduction of the Global Sustainable Tourism Coun... file 2776 Oct 14, 2013

The purpose of this presentation is to introduce the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and Criteria, in an effort to encourage the Criteria as part of a framework for sustainable tourism education. The history of the GSTC and Criteria will...

Author: Kelly Bricker 

Year: 2011 

232 Think Tank V Tourism in Small Communities: Risks and Benefits file 2779 Oct 13, 2013

This paper presents the findings from a Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre study into the risks associated with the social impacts of tourism on a small community in the Australian state of Tasmania. This state is known for its...

Author: Leo Jago, Margaret Deery & Liz Fredline 

Year: 2005 

231 Think Tank VI Authenticity in Cultural Heritage Tourism as a means t... file 2793 Oct 13, 2013

This work aims through a clarification of philosophical assumptions to define authenticity in a dialogical perspective on the premise that there is a linkage between authenticity and sustainability. This paper will to discuss the development...

Author: Bente Bramming 

Year: 2006 

230 Think Tank XII Unsustainable Travel Development: The Case of Aviation... file 2802 Nov 06, 2013

Considering the apparent importance of low-cost aviation, and its dramatic development, there is remarkably little research done about its consequences on European mobility. A few studies have mapped the development of networks (cf. Dobruszk...

Author: Jan Henrik Nilsson 

Year: 2012 

229 Think Tank IX Tourism Price Competitiveness: a neglected ‘value’ in ... file 2815 Oct 13, 2013

Price competitiveness is one of the most important factors in the overall tourism competitiveness of a country or a destination. There is widely accepted evidence that prices are one of the most important factors in decisions about whether, ...

Author: Larry Dwyer & Peter Forsyth 

Year: 2009 

228 Think Tank VIII An Assessment of Efforts to Enhance the Quality of Lif... file 2835 Oct 13, 2013

Quality of life studies are usually either objective or subjective in nature. Objective quality of life studies concentrate on social indicators whereas subjective quality of life studies attempt to assess the perceived satisfaction that in...

Author: Turgut Var, Erhan Ada, Gökce Ozdemir & Deniz Hasirci 

Year: 2008 

227 Think Tank XII Residents' Perceptions on Event Impacts an Relocation ... file 2865 Nov 06, 2013

Social exchange theory and the mobility paradigm are used to understand residents’ perceptions on the impacts of the 2012 Olympic Games and their relocation intentions. Confirmatory factor analysis on a sample of 212 residents of London city...

Author: Girish Prayag & Talia Alders 

Year: 2012 

226 Think Tank IX The elusiveness of sustainability in tourism: The cult... file 2893 Oct 13, 2013

Sustainable tourism is perhaps the most prominent feature of contemporary tourism discourse. However, despite its prominence for several decades, achieving sustainability remains as elusive as ever. This paper explores the concept of the cu...

Author: Freya Higgins-Desbiolles 

Year: 2009 

225 Think Tank XII Does Migration Have a Bigger Impact on VFR than Total ... file 2900 Nov 06, 2013

As an important global market by purpose of travel, visiting friends and relatives, VFR, is closely associated with the history and development of international migration patterns which are a more permanent form of travel. Further, the impor...

Author: Larry Dwyer, Neelu Seetaram, Peter Forsyth & Brian King 

Year: 2012 

224 Think Tank XV A vacation from capitalism; what happens when the ‘mas... file 2900 Jul 27, 2015

Philosophical and theoretical debates in tourism must be situated not just within economic and cultural contexts, but also political and social ones (Ataljevic, Pritchard & Morgan, 2007). Tourism is more than an ‘industry,’ Freya Higgins...

Author: Amy Savener 

Year: 2015 

223 Think Tank XII Identifying Issues with Tourist Wayfinding: A Collabor... file 2902 Nov 06, 2013

This paper reports on a study that was conducted in conjunction with Destination NSW, the government tourism authority for the state of New South Wales in Australia. The purpose of the study was to examine tourist wayfinding behaviour in Syd...

Author: Tony Griffin & Deborah Edwards 

Year: 2012 

222 Think Tank VIII Tourism-led Amenity Migration and the Transformation o... file 2913 Oct 13, 2013

Global economic and political change has stimulated an explosion in tourism-led migration flows resulting in unprecedented transformation in the form and condition of impacted communities (Woods, 2006). This increase in human migration to ar...

Author: Alison M. Gill 

Year: 2008 

221 Think Tank XV The role of interpretation in mindfulness/mindlessness... file 2914 Jul 27, 2015

Cultural tourism is recently receiving increasing attention from southern African countries (The South African National Heritage and Cultural Tourism Strategy, 2012; Van Veuren, 2001). Cultural tourism is promoted as a local development stra...

Author: Haretsebe Manwa, Dudu Boemah & Emile Coetzee 

Year: 2015 

220 Think Tank XV Inclusive tourism business models: A comparative analy... file 2917 Jul 27, 2015

Mitchell and Ashley state that the “bulk of pro-poor tourism literature has not aimed at measuring impact… [and] is indeed recognized as a weakness in the pro-poor tourism literature by its proponents” (2010:5). The research paper aims to qu...

Author: Andrew Rylance 

Year: 2015 

219 Think Tank IX Using Social and Political Values to Assess Host Commu... file 2922 Oct 13, 2013

Tourism, like any other endeavour, operates within the social and political domains of a community, and it is therefore likely that residents with different social and political values would hold different representations of tourism. In the ...

Author: Margaret Deery, Leo Jago & Liz Fredline 

Year: 2009 

218 Think Tank XI Identifying Critical Issues in Designing Educational T... file 2952 Oct 14, 2013

Education is seen as an important way to contribute to development. The World Bank finances educational projects with large amounts of money every year because it is convinced that improving education can help alleviate poverty by raising i...

Author: Kerstin Freudenthaler & Anja Hergesell 

Year: 2011 

217 Think Tank IV The Benefits of Visitor and Non-Visitor Research in th... file 2978 Oct 13, 2013

Our premise in this paper is that if sustainable tourism development and management is to meet the needs of both the present and the future then it is equally important to prioritise research on those who visit tourism destinations (and incl...

Author: Pat Sterry & Debra Leighton 

Year: 2004 

216 Think Tank X Indigenous Values Help Shape a Universal Tourism Ethic file 2992 Oct 13, 2013

Indigenous communities from around the planet are defining common values in their tourism programs that attract visitors seeking authentic, transformational experiences. The Maori of New Zealand, Aborigines of Australia, Maasai of Kenya, Am...

Author: Ben Sherman 

Year: 2010 

215 Think Tank V Effects of SARS Crisis on the Economic Contribution of... file 2998 Oct 13, 2013

In a context of uncertainty over traveller security, tourism experienced two major crises in 2003- the Iraq War and SARS. While the relative impacts of a complex array of impacts on travel decisionmaking are almost impossible to dissect, thi...

Author: Larry Dwyer, Peter Forsyth & Ray Spurr 

Year: 2005 

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