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Title: Food tourism in the 'Celtic' periphery: spatial, social and cultural resistance
Author: Everett, Sally
ISNI:       0000 0004 2669 1911
Awarding Body: University of the West of England
Current Institution: University of the West of England, Bristol
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis draws on the 'rematerialisation' debate in human geography to propose a similar reengagement with the social in tourism studies following its recent cultural and critical turns. In order to contribute new ways of conceptualising tourism experiences the thesis combines material and nonmaterial analyses by linking the spatial with the social and cultural. By tracing the evolution of tourism research and discourses of place, a theoretical approach that retains structuralist and poststructuralist influences in a both/and logic is advanced. This is achieved by utilising the concept of 'resistance' and employing 'third space' thinking to problematise the rigid dualisms that have traditionally characterised tourism research. Food tourism is employed as an innovative conceptual lens that can be harnessed to challenge prevailing theoretical positions within tourism research. Despite a significant rise in food-motivated travel, it is a multi-dimensional touristic activity that has been significantly under-researched (particularly from a social and cultural perspective). This thesis seeks to fill this gap in the research through undertaking an in-depth qualitative study of food tourism in an exploration of the interrelationships between placeidentity construction, consumption and production in the 'Celtic' periphery. The research generates extensive empirical data on the contested interests, attitudes and regulatory structures shaping food tourism development whilst simultaneously highlighting the non-representable dimensions of the phenomenon that include issues of embodiment, emotional semiotics and performativity. A multi-phased abductive case study strategy informed by a constructivist grounded-theory approach was undertaken to generate empirical data. The first phase comprised participant observation and 34 topic-led interviews with tourists (consumers) in six food tourism areas: West Cork and County Galway in Ireland; the Isle of Arran and the Outer Hebrides in Scotland; and two districts in Cornwall. These data subsequently informed 32 in-depth interviews with food producers and food tourism intermediaries in the four locations in Ireland and Scotland. This thesis makes a significant theoretical, empirical and methodological contribution to understandings of food tourism and conceptualisations of place. Moreover, the research illustrates the value of occupying the spaces 'in-between' actors and influences in order to pursue a form of 'intellectual resistance' against the orthodox approaches that have restricted the development of tourism studies. This study identifies a number of paradoxes that suggest that the power to influence often emanates from the margins; in the spaces between the local/global and the periphery/core. Concepts such as 'productive consumption', . 'performativity' and 'Iiminality' are employed in order to show how enhanced engagement with a 'triple nexus of resistance' (spatial, social and cultural) provides a more holistic and complete account of tourism experiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Not available Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available