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Unpacking the ‘Project’ of Place Professor Nigel Morgan, UWIC Inaugural and Professorial Lecture Series 2007-2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Unpacking the ‘Project’ of Place Professor Nigel Morgan, UWIC Inaugural and Professorial Lecture Series 2007-2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Unpacking the ‘Project’ of Place Professor Nigel Morgan, UWIC Inaugural and Professorial Lecture Series

2 Outline Positioning myself Locating tourism The origins of critical tourism studies – what is ‘new’ about it? The power of place – critical perspectives on place marketing An ongoing project: where next?

3 The shift to positionality Researcher positionality is a new trend in tourism enquiry; Researcher positionality is a new trend in tourism enquiry; Exposing the researcher’s autobiographical ways of knowing allows the reader to contextualise and interpret their work; Exposing the researcher’s autobiographical ways of knowing allows the reader to contextualise and interpret their work; Provides a more honest and stronger account of how knowledge is constructed and used. Provides a more honest and stronger account of how knowledge is constructed and used.

4 Positioning myself Degrees in history and economic history; Degrees in history and economic history; Early career in sports policy, tourism marketing and public relations; Early career in sports policy, tourism marketing and public relations; Spent 15 years teaching and researching destination development & marketing and ‘critical’ approaches to tourism studies; Spent 15 years teaching and researching destination development & marketing and ‘critical’ approaches to tourism studies; White, middle class, able-bodied, middle-aged man – typical of the tourism professoriate. White, middle class, able-bodied, middle-aged man – typical of the tourism professoriate.

5 Tourism – an industry and a field? The field is divided between business (tourism management) and social science (tourism studies) approaches; Tourism management is mainstream and dominated by objectivist and positivist management approaches; Tourism studies is fragmented & dispersed across a variety of different disciplinary audiences.

6 Locating tourism programmes Most tourism programmes world-wide were established in the early 1990s; The vast majority (over 70%) are located in business not tourism schools and this has had a major impact on the field’s research agenda; Tourism’s doctoral landscape is dominated by a drive to provide ‘useful’ contributions – industry-specific questions or policy-oriented studies which provide ‘safe’ rather than challenging scholarship. Sources: (Ateljevic and Hall, 2007; Botterill, Gale and Haven 2003)

7 The academy’s gatekeepers Gatekeepers ‘police’ knowledge creation. They are ‘leading scholars’, tourism’s professoriate - journal editors and manuscript reviewers, members of learned societies, doctoral examiners, book editors, conference organisers and members of university research degree and ethics committees.

8 Who are tourism’s gatekeepers? First-generation tourism scholars who made their reputations in the late 1970s – many members of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism are emeritus or close to retirement age; Geographically concentrated in the USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia – 75% of journal editors are based in these five countries; Men – only 9 of the 74 IAST members are women, only 6% of UK tourism professors are female and there are none at all in New Zealand. In essence, the tourism gatekeepers are first generation, white, male scholars grounded in Western, Anglo-centric research traditions. Source: Pritchard and Morgan, 2007.

9 The unchanging power of gatekeepers Editorial board membership of leading tourism journals remains heavily gender imbalanced at a time when the academy is almost gender-balanced: Annals of Tourism Research (1973) – 89% men; Tourism Management (1979) – 84% men; Tourism Analysis (1996) – 88% men; Tourist Studies (2000) – 73% men Journal of Sport & Tourism (2006) – 78% men.

10 The failure of tourism’s orthodoxy 40 years of business oriented work has not managed to establish tourism as a credible field with governments, industry or the wider social science academy - other fields see tourism as an intellectual lightweight; On the other hand the early pioneers of social science approaches to tourism study failed to significantly challenge this view (in contrast to fields like media and cultural studies).

11 Challenges to the existing orthodoxy Tourist is ideally placed to contribute to analyses of social injustice, disenfranchisement, human and spatial marginalisation, globalisation, political representation and cultural commodification. Tourist is ideally placed to contribute to analyses of social injustice, disenfranchisement, human and spatial marginalisation, globalisation, political representation and cultural commodification. As an inter/multi/trans-disciplinary field, it has much to offer the study of identities, relationships, mobilities, consumption, embodiment and subjectivities. As an inter/multi/trans-disciplinary field, it has much to offer the study of identities, relationships, mobilities, consumption, embodiment and subjectivities.

12 Philosophically: ‘New’ tourism enquiry moves beyond the Cartesian essentialist dualisms of: subject-object; mind-body; feminine-masculine; us-them; self- Other, etc. It embraces both/and thought. Through tourism we can explore the impacts of both structure ( the grand narratives of gender, race, class, etc.) and human agency (how individuals and groups experience and negotiate life).

13 Theoretically: ‘New’ tourism research or critical tourism research embraces new ways of theorising tourist experiences, processes and phenomena; ‘New’ tourism research or critical tourism research embraces new ways of theorising tourist experiences, processes and phenomena; It takes tourism to the forefront of social science as a research context in which the questions of seeing, making and experiencing the world can be teased out at a local and global level. We seek to disturb and challenge points of privilege created through race, class, gender, etc. It takes tourism to the forefront of social science as a research context in which the questions of seeing, making and experiencing the world can be teased out at a local and global level. We seek to disturb and challenge points of privilege created through race, class, gender, etc.

14 Methodologically: The embodied tourist and her/his dwelling/ involvement in the world and relational tourism mobilities becomes an innovative and progressive methodological point of entry to capture the spatiality of broader structures (both material and non-material). Here, autoethnography and embodiment are central to such approaches.

15 Politically: It challenges the political agenda of traditional disembodied Western masculinist academic (and non-academic) knowledge. It confronts Eurocentric discourses in academia as well as in the ‘real world’ which privilege and are connected with capitalism and linear thinking and seeks to play an active role in the fight for equity and social justice.

16 A critical lens on place marketing  Place marketing can fuse public and private sector interests;  Raise the economic value of produce and products;  Increase pride and confidence in places and change how they are seen internally and externally.

17  Developing countries account for a third of all global international arrivals;  Tourism is vitally important to the world’s poorest countries;  National strategies promote private sector investment, macro-economic growth and foreign exchange earnings.

18  For peripheral and especially for poor and developing places, nation branding is not an indulgence but crucial statecraft.  The decision is not whether to brand but how to brand themselves.

19 Place branding can:  Fuse public and private sector interests;  Raise the economic value of produce and products;  Increase pride and confidence in places and change how they are seen internally and externally.

20 The place-branding hexagon After Anholt, S. (2006). Place Brand TourismCulturePolicyPeopleBrands Investment & Recruitment

21 Where next? Over 130 tourism scholars worldwide are associated with our Critical Tourism Studies Network launched in Split in June 2007; This is a collectivity of scholars who want to produce social change in the academy and society; We are gaining footholds in the field through networks, conference organisation, a growing group of emerging doctoral and post-doctoral students; journal special issues and books.

22 Being a critical tourism scholar has an impact on every aspect of the research process – from your choice of topic, through to your research framework, to choosing particular methods and disseminating the work. Thinking about your research and those with whom you co-create knowledge (your participants, audiences, etc.) sharpens your approach in that your appreciation of the complexly spun web of academic power brings into focus the varied contexts in which research takes place.


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