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Heritage and the Nation: An Exploration of a Discursive Relationship

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This conceptual article seeks to interrogate the relationship between heritage and the nation by utilizing some of the logics of a Foucauldian concept of discourse and that subsequently developed by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe. The article suggests that heritage and the nation might be perceived as discursive constructions that have been articulated together into a hegemonic discursive formation. This conceptualization of a discursively constructed heritage/nation relationship is important for tourism studies because in a postmodern, global era it is in and through tourism that this relationship is most readily apprehended. Indeed, such a conceptualization has implications for both the discourse and praxis of tourism. With regard to tourism discourse, this conceptual investigation can broaden the existing knowledge base in mainstream tourism studies insofar as it demonstrates the utility of adopting alternative methodologies in arriving at understanding of phenomena in tourism. With regard to tourism praxis, this conceptual investigation can open up understanding to those power/knowledge relationships at work in the representation of heritage in and through tourism and how this relates to a national concept. Such understanding can facilitate a rethinking of heritage construction for the tourism industry.
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Keywords: ANTAGONISM; DISCOURSE; HEGEMONY; HERITAGE; NATION; TOURISM

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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