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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
254 Think Tank VIII Enhancing the Quality of Life through Cultural Events:... file 2522 Oct 13, 2013

The Wadden Sea Festival in Denmark is based on the idea of integrating the coastal environment in the presentation of contemporary art. Specifically, unique tidal differences are utilized to stage a range of performances. The Wadden Sea Fest...

Author: Janne J. Liburd & Anja Hergesell 

Year: 2008 

253 Think Tank XII It's how you get there: Developing a Transportation Mo... file 2536 Nov 06, 2013

This paper examines the impacts of alternative modes of transportation utilized for an international study course in Ecuador during two consecutive summers. The analysis includes the perceived value of the student participants in relation to...

Author: Kenneth Cohen & John Bowen 

Year: 2012 

252 Think Tank XII Virtual Mobilities and Sustainable Tourism: Virtual Fi... file 2537 Nov 06, 2013

Due to the financial constraints on the part of the educational institution as well as the student, offsetting the GHG emissions generated by the fieldtrip is often not regarded as financially feasible, or subject to doubts about the integri...

Author: Christian Schott 

Year: 2012 

251 Think Tank XVIII Visitor management in protected areas file 2577 Jan 07, 2019

Key words: tourism management, tourism planning, visitor management, protected areas, New Zealand

Author: Julia Nina Albrecht 

Year: 2018 

250 Think Tank XII The Way Forward: Event Management Education and the Fu... file 2578 Nov 06, 2013

The 2011 BESTEN Think Tank XI highlighted a number of issues and themes related to education and learning for sustainable tourism. The themes addressed issues such as learning tools for sustainability, sustainability courses and curricula an...

Author: Olga Junek, Leonie Lockstone-Binney & Martin Robertson 

Year: 2012 

249 Think Tank XII Slow Travellers - Who Are They, and What Motivates Them? file 2585 Nov 06, 2013

Tourism’s contribution to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is estimated to be around 5% and is forecast to grow rapidly, to around 16% of global emissions by 2020. Future strategies for mitigation must address the levels of demand for t...

Author: Derek Robbins & Jaedong Cho 

Year: 2012 

OPA: 2012 Outstanding Paper Award Winner 

248 Think Tank IX Achieving Sustainability in Business Events; Challengi... file 2596 Oct 13, 2013

Achieving sustainability is a challenge for all of society, but one that may prove especially problematic for the business events sector. Tourism in general and the business events industry in particular may be even more susceptible than oth...

Author: Judith Mair & Leo Jago 

Year: 2009 

247 Think Tank XI Sustainable Tourism Labels: A Suitable Tool for Consum... file 2620 Oct 14, 2013

In an attempt to encourage businesses making an effort to reduce the negative impacts of tourism, and to maximise the positive outcomes of this activity an extensive number of sustainable tourism labels were developed worldwide. It has been...

Author: Sofia Reino 

Year: 2011 

246 Think Tank X Implementing Destination Governance file 2629 Oct 13, 2013

In the tourism management literature, several authors (Nordin, Beritelli et al, Pechlaner) have promoted the concept of destination governance, to define a coalition of disparate parties with common interests, as a productive approach to to...

Author: Loredana Padurean 

Year: 2010 

» Think Tank IX De-constructing the Cosmopolitan Gaze file 2632 Oct 13, 2013

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 interdisci...

Author: Patricia Johnson 

Year: 2009 

244 Think Tank VIII Education’s Impact on Cultural Distance Perception: Th... file 2648 Oct 13, 2013

As an international tourism destination, Turkey serves mostly European tourist markets due to her closeness to European markets. Turkey and Europe has a long shared history of relationships. However, Turkey and Turkish people have a rather b...

Author: Yasin Boylu, Asli D. A. Tasci & William C. Gartner 

Year: 2008 

243 Think Tank XIII Linking tourism with Sustainable Development in Post-R... file 2658 Nov 06, 2013

This paper examines relationships between tourism and sustainable development via a case study that took place in Egypt from September 2011 to March 2012. The study, hosted by the Planeterra Foundation and G Adventures travel and conducted t...

Author: Laura Carroll 

Year: 2013 

242 Think Tank VIII Assessing Whose Quality of Life: A Critical Examinatio... file 2659 Oct 13, 2013

Almost all the academic literature on tourism impacts has focussed on the consequences of tourism for the destination and its residents. Very little attention has been paid to the impacts of tourism on tourists. Virtually all cost-benefit an...

Author: Gianna Moscardo 

Year: 2008 

241 Think Tank IV Evaluating Environmental Initiatives of German Hotels file 2663 Oct 13, 2013

Following a vigorous environmental protection movement trigging in Germany over thirty years ago, the German hotel industry is gradually moving in line with other sections of its society. This study attempts to present a snapshot of the asse...

Author: Joseph S. Chen, Willy Legrand, Philip Sloan & Josephine Zho 

Year: 2004 

240 Think Tank IV Sustainable Tourism and Innovation in Mobile Tourism S... file 2674 Oct 13, 2013

This paper presents a joint public and private sector research project entitled Mobile Digital City and Nature Walks - the development of content and software for a mobile tourism device. Focusing on sustainable tourism, marketing and innova...

Author: Janne J. Liburd 

Year: 2004 

239 Think Tank VII Thematic Analysis of Sustainable Tourism and the Tripl... file 2708 Oct 13, 2013

The relationship between the themes in sustainable tourism publications and the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) was explored in this article. A categorised list of 3719 sustainable tourism articles was thematically analysed to determine the conten...

Author: Michael Hughes & Jack Carlsen 

Year: 2007 

238 Think Tank XIII The Politics of Community-Based Tourism Planning in th... file 2724 Nov 06, 2013

The management of protected areas has to deal with a wide range of challenges, amongst these, a growing array of social, political and economic expectations. In this regard, protected areas are increasingly expected to particularly serve as ...

Author: Anna Hübner & Truong Si Hong Chau 

Year: 2013 

237 Think Tank IV After the Sydney Olympic Games: Sustainable Infrastruc... file 2734 Oct 13, 2013

Olympic Games epitomize the definition of a mega event, due to the size and scope that these events have in terms of participation, worldwide viewing and infrastructure development. However with the commercialization of these events over the...

Author: Sacha Reid 

Year: 2004 

236 Think Tank IV Tourism focused NGO's - An Online Content Analysis file 2740 Oct 13, 2013

The number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) increased from 31,246 to 37,281 (19.3%) between 1990 and 2000, (Human Development Report, 2002). The importance of NGOs is documented in United Nations Local Agenda 21 Chapter 27, 'Strength...

Author: Meng-Mei Chen & James Holleran 

Year: 2004 

235 Think Tank IV Environmental Attitudes of Tourism Activity Providers ... file 2759 Oct 13, 2013

This paper looks at the issue of environmental awareness and the related topic of 'ecolabels' in a New Zealand context, adopting a supplier's perspective to gain a greater insight into the attitudes of those managing and providing tourism pr...

Author: Christian Schott 

Year: 2004 

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