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State Representations of the Other: The Case of China's Matriarchy

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Abstract:

Previous tourism representation research has primarily adopted an essentialist's approach in interpreting the construction of the self in contrast to the Other and treated both Other and self as holistic entities. Contrary to previous research, the current study takes a postmodern epistemology to uncover the complex and fluid nature of the construction of a Chinese identity through official tourism representations of the matriarchal Mosuo. Forty-six articles published between 1990 and 2010 in major Chinese newspapers were collected and analyzed with Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). Three major themes (i.e., feminized Other, economic growth, and authenticity) are identified and the analysis of the themes exposes the differentiating and dynamic nature in the construction of self identity in the state representations of the Mosuo people. Such results demonstrate the necessity of taking a more critical and nuanced approach in the examination of how states use tourism representations to construct national identities.

Keywords: CHINA; CRITICAL DISCOURSE ANALYSIS; MATRIARCHY; NATIONAL IDENTITY; REPRESENTATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/154427212X13431568321465

Publication date: September 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Tourism Review International is a peer-reviewed journal that advances excellence in all fields of tourism research, promotes high-level tourism knowledge, and nourishes cultural awareness in all sectors of the tourism industry by integrating industry and academic perspectives. Its international and interdisciplinary nature ensures that the needs of those interested in tourism are served by documenting industry practices, discussing tourism management and planning issues, providing a forum for primary research and critical examinations of previous research, and by chronicling changing tourism patterns and trends at the local, regional and global scale.
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