(Re)membering England : a discourse analysis of the governance of diversity
Studies on the representation of 'local' populations, in and through tourism, have tended to focus on 'traditional' peoples in 'developing' countries. In this study of the representation of ethno-cultural diversity in the discourse of Official Tourism Organisations (OTOs), by contrast, I focus on a 'developed' West European country: England. This study was carried out in order critically to inspect the representation/signification of 'minority' ethnic populations in the text and talk of OTOs in England within the period 2000-2003. The study is framed within an anti foundational dialogue of social constructionism. In analysing OTO discursive practices I use Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to explore the representation of ethno-cultural diversity in a number of 'interview', 'operational' and 'promotional' texts. The CDA framework employed is designed to reveal patterns of discourse in the text as well as to provide a basis for understanding the micro context (for 'operational' and 'promotional' texts) of text production and distribution. Also, the framework facilitates a consideration of the macro institutional context within which OTOs in England operate. From the analysis of OTO texts carried out in this study I propose a number of interpretative findings, including 'discourses' of denial, equality and otherness. Overall, the 'interpretative findings' suggest that OTO texts are produced and circulated within a discourse of silence on matters of ethno-cultural diversity in England. I conclude this study by suggesting a number of transforrnative actions for the development by OTOs in England of an ethical 'politics of articulation'. In addition I identify a number of problematic arenas within which tourism studies scholars might pursue future research agendas and to that end I propose some potentially useful points of entry into the broader social science literature.