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Title: A virtual ethnography of the Black Flag Cafe : a forum for people who travel to dangerous places
Author: Lindsay-Towner, Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 6588
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2011
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This research explores the followers of the book The World’s Most Dangerous Places. These tourists deliberately travel to dangerous destinations where there is a high level of violence due to civil unrest, conflict or war. The research has focused on the Black Flag Café, an online tourism-based community created by the writer Robert Young Pelton, author of the books Come Back Alive and The World’s Most Dangerous Places. This is a case study that has made use of virtual ethnography and descriptive content analysis to explore the forum and its members. The research has identified four factors which influence the forum members’ decision to travel to a dangerous place: a search for selfactualisation through “it” or peak experiences; a desire to improve self-image and to obtain status from travelling to dangerous places; a search for an “authentic” travel experience; and finally their awareness and perception of danger and acceptance of the residual risks involved in travel to dangerous places. The study shows that the forum members enjoy pushing the boundaries of risk, undertaking a form of edgework. The research also explores the forum members’ sense that travelling to dangerous places can result in other benefits including familiarity with death, gaining arousal from risk taking (flow) and the possibility of repeat travel to increasingly dangerous places. The conceptual framework developed from the research displays the danger tourist’s approach to travelling to dangerous places. This framework identifies five benefits which participants obtain from travelling to dangerous places: flow, self-actualisation, improvement to self-esteem, the achievement and/or maintenance of status and familiarity with death. While this framework has been developed for the tourists who travel to dangerous places, undertaking danger tourism, it could equally be applied to other high-risk activities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Tourism