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Imagining Tourist Spaces as Living Spaces: Towards a Relational Approach to Alternatives and Morals in Tourism
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Tourism Studies and Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0471-3748
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many actors are taking advantage of the flexible barriers to entry of the tourist industry to engage in the production of varied forms of tourism closely related to their lifestyle, professional and communal ambitions. With the increased popularity of forms of tourism bringing the guest close to the host, it becomes relevant to ask questions related to lived experiences and close encounters in tourism scholarship. This is a moral conviction that the plurality of human experiences and critical reflexivity matter in the conception of tourist spaces and their management. In this thesis, I look for new ways to conceptually embed local people in their living spaces by approaching forms of tourism displaying non-economic elements as phenomena that create new and complex relations imbued with various implications. Tourism geography highlights the negotiated and fragmented nature of tourism, and its performative and embodied character. I apply relational geography to apprehend the multiple relations that make up local spaces and identities. With its post-structural character, relational geography uncovers voices once neglected in research, and proposes new ways of being in the world. My two qualitative case studies reflect my interest in exploring the northern European context. Firstly, I investigate craft-artists on Bornholm, Denmark and their relation to the tourist season. I do this through interviews and narrative analysis. My second case study, a focused ethnography at Sólheimar eco-village, Iceland, centres on the management of host and guest interactions.  In terms of spatial formation, results show that local actors have the agency to form networks and redefine their identities in the wake of tourism development. They form a hybrid space by fulfilling goals related to their lifestyle, livelihood and professional ambitions simultaneously. Moreover, mundane practices are presented as an integral part of a tourist landscape. In terms of management, results show that the various spatial complexities faced by communities exacerbate host and guest relations. This will require a commitment from local coordinators and managers to promote a reflexive and critical exchange during these close encounters. I ultimately argue for the imagination of tourist spaces as living spaces, where I conceptualize tourism as a mundane, yet complex, material and social experience for those living in tourist spaces. I propose two new discursive anchors that reflect the metaphor of the living space: dwelling in the tourist landscape, and sincere encounters. I contend that researching living spaces finds its moral grounds in its openness to the various ways local people dwell and encounter during tourism, and to the diverse ways researchers make sense of these practices, and of their own.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University , 2017. , 108 p.
Series
Mid Sweden University doctoral thesis, ISSN 1652-893X ; 268
Keyword [en]
Rural tourism, Volunteer tourism, ethnography, narratives, Bornholm, Sólheimar eco-village
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-31403ISBN: 978-91-88527-24-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-31403DiVA: diva2:1133390
Public defence
2017-09-29, F229, Östersund, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-08-18 Created: 2017-08-15 Last updated: 2017-08-28Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Craft-art in the Danish countryside: reconciling a lifestyle, livelihood and artistic career through rural tourism
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Craft-art in the Danish countryside: reconciling a lifestyle, livelihood and artistic career through rural tourism
2017 (English)In: Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, ISSN 1476-6825, E-ISSN 1747-7654, Vol. 15, no 4, 339-358 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To contribute new insight related to the entrepreneurial strategies adopted by local actors involved in rural tourism, this article explores the array of dynamics and complexities faced by the members of the Arts and Crafts Association Bornholm, Denmark. Besides juggling a livelihood with a desired lifestyle, artists pursue the ambition of professional success, which adds a new and interesting dimension to the conceptualization of individual and collective strategies related to lifestyle entrepreneurship, rural identities, the commercialization of rural symbols and products, and new modes of production in the countryside. In their search for customers and spectators, these craft-artists have created a professional brand and work individually on various entrepreneurial strategies, allowing them to benefit from the short but intensive tourist season on their rural island. These strategies blur the line not only between their lifestyle aspirations, career ambitions and livelihood necessities, but also between the commercial, professional and rural nature of the space they present to tourists. This qualitative study was primarily conducted through open-ended interviews with members of the association. It is discussed lastly that these artists consequently create for themselves a hybrid space, strategized and redefined in relation to the complexities of residing in a countryside integrated within a global system.

Keyword
rural tourism, Bornholm, Denmark, rural geography, craft-art, entrepreneurship
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-27339 (URN)10.1080/14766825.2016.1154064 (DOI)ETOUR (Local ID)ETOUR (Archive number)ETOUR (OAI)
Note

Accepted 05 Feb 2016, Published online: 10 Mar 2016

Available from: 2016-03-29 Created: 2016-03-29 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved
2. Dwelling in the tourist landscape: Embodiment and everyday life among the craft-artists of Bornholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Dwelling in the tourist landscape: Embodiment and everyday life among the craft-artists of Bornholm
2017 (English)In: Tourist Studies, ISSN 1468-7976, E-ISSN 1741-3206Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Non-representational theories have gained popularity in the last decades, encouraging social scientists to study the production of everyday life. Inspired by Ingold’s (2011) dwelling perspective, I present my qualitative research on the arts and craft community on Bornholm, Denmark by exploring some of the bodily movements and mundane practices that shape a taskscape into a tourist landscape. This analysis defines the material and corporeal relations of Bornholm’s craft-artists with their island’s tourist season, and aims to contribute to the application of non-representational landscape theory in tourism scholarship. The everyday practices and embodied movements of these craft-artists fashion the emergence of a realm of dwelling, rather than an exotic site. The tourist landscape is the product of the skills and techniques these craft-artists have developed over time to work with their different materials, and of the creative spaces which they have built to pursue their art. The materials, techniques and creative spaces used by these craft-artists mediate their interactions with tourists, but also, these encounters mediate the craft-artists’ interactions with their materials, techniques and spaces. I ultimately argue that the taskscape, as a realm of mundane embodied practices, cannot be detached from the landscape the tourists encounter. I propose scholars can use the dwelling perspective in their analysis of tourism to embed local people in their cultural landscape.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017
Keyword
craft-art, cultural landscape, dwelling perspective, materiality, narratives, non-representational theories, practice, taskscape
National Category
Human Geography Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30772 (URN)10.1177/1468797617710598 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-05-19 Created: 2017-05-19 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved
3. Working towards sincere encounters in volunteer tourism: an ethnographic examination of key management issues at a Nordic eco-village
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Working towards sincere encounters in volunteer tourism: an ethnographic examination of key management issues at a Nordic eco-village
2017 (English)In: Journal of Sustainable Tourism, ISSN 0966-9582, E-ISSN 1747-7646Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article explores host–guest dynamics at Sólheimar eco-village, Iceland tocontribute to the conceptualization of transformative learning in volunteertourism. At the eco-village, the host and volunteers come together to sharesimilar goals and meaningful experiences. This interaction gets complicated,however: the eco-village exists within the global capitalist system and mustoperate using market norms. The idealist and educational expectations ofthe volunteers often clash with the practical short-term goals of thecommunity: there are also cultural and experiential differences between theparties. This clash is used to discuss the importance of sincerity in volunteertourism at the eco-village. Data were collected through fieldwork, primarilyincluding participant observations and interviews, to help interpret thepatterns of behaviors and perceptions of both parties in relation to the aim.Ultimately, the experience that binds host and guests cannot solely beabout learning to do things alternatively and sustainably; it requiressincerity, using Taylor’s 2001 sincerity concept, to tackle the difficulties inworking alternatively and sustainably to attain this experience. It is arguedthat transformative learning during the volunteer experience in alternativespaces should be conceptualized to include the promotion of sincereencounters, and adjusted to concern both the host and its guests.

Keyword
volunteer tourism, eco-village, Iceland, transformative learning, focused ethnography
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-30450 (URN)10.1080/09669582.2017.1297450 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-03-13 Created: 2017-03-13 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved
4. Contextualizing the complexities of managing alternative tourism at the community-level: A case study of a nordic eco-village
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contextualizing the complexities of managing alternative tourism at the community-level: A case study of a nordic eco-village
2017 (English)In: Tourism Management, ISSN 0261-5177, E-ISSN 1879-3193, Vol. 60, no June, 348-356 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

To shed light on the complexities of fostering sustainability through alternative tourism, we explore the managerial contradictions and difficulties that arise as alternative tourism is developed in the name of sustainability at Sólheimar eco-village in Iceland. Following a focused ethnographic approach, we establish that those behind the management of volunteers, students and other guests regularly struggle to coordinate these respective groups in a manner that balances economic objectives with those relating to the environment and social equity. This is because limited human resources and strategic knowledge exist to fulfill all the host community’s goals through alternative tourism. The findings reveal the need to conceptualize alternative tourism as a forum for discussion between host and guest over the complexities of generating sustainable development.  This highlights the need for knowledge transmission over matters such as conflict resolution, critical reflection and cultural communication associated with the tourist experience at the community.

 

Keyword
Sustainability, alternative tourism, Iceland, volunteer tourism, focused ethnography.
National Category
Human Geography Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29796 (URN)10.1016/j.tourman.2016.12.015 (DOI)000395599600037 ()2-s2.0-85007248633 (Scopus ID)ETOUR (Local ID)ETOUR (Archive number)ETOUR (OAI)
Note

Available online 27 December 2016

Available from: 2016-12-29 Created: 2016-12-29 Last updated: 2017-08-18Bibliographically approved

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