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Title: Returning the gaze from the margins : decoding representations of gender, race and sexuality in tourist images of Jamaica
Author: Wilkes, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0001 3568 261X
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis adopts a post-colonial approach to examine the relationship between historical and contemporary visual representations of Jamaica and identifies the repeated visual associations made with blackness and servitude, and whiteness with luxury from the colonial period in Jamaica and the imperial context in Britain. The thesis addresses a range of tourist advertising images of Jamaica which are analysed in terms of their representations of race, gender, class and sexuality. The theoretical context of the thesis combines post-colonial theory with black feminist theory to make explicit the significance and relevance of conducting critical analysis of visual representations of Jamaica from a social, economic and politically marginal standpoint. Homi Bhabha's concept of ambivalence in colonial discourse, Foucault's approach to discourse analysis and Roland Barthes' semiotics were combined to establish the methodological framework of the thesis and to identify, historicise and deconstruct the repetition of familiar colonial relations constructed as privilege and servitude. The economic and social context, which led to the shift towards tourism in post-emancipation Jamaica, is discussed through the analysis of a selection of visual texts. The discussion notes the particular references to the essentialised categories which are retained in the accounts of Jamaica by nineteenth-century travellers and early twentiethcentury tourist promotion of the island. This informs the empirical analysis in the final chapters by centrally addressing the construction of racialised and gendered categories in the shift away from the black female body to the white female body to carry the discourse of sexualised desire. The empirical analysis focuses on the celebratory display of whiteness and heterosexuality in the form of the key signifiers of romance, white weddings and marriage in the Sandals visual texts and examines the use of the white feminised body as the legitimate recipient of luxury and pleasure. In conclusion, the thesis argues that post-coloniality is more complex and fluid than identifying post-colonial identities by the geographical location of former colonies. The thesis confirms then significance of the analysis conducted from a marginal position which identifies the central use of the white female body to promote themes of pampering and service, and conveys the central role that the white female plays in maintaining the assumed 'natural' association with whiteness and luxury as 'lady of the manor'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available