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Title: Good tourismship in transformation : moral tales from the Masurian Lake District in Poland
Author: Wadle, Hannah
ISNI:       0000 0004 7655 3517
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis contributes to anthropological debates about tourism, transformation, and morality. It proposes the concept of tourismship to rethink identity in tourism and introduces the idea of moral work to understand people's repositioning in Poland and Germany, twenty-five years after the breakdown of socialism. A question that so far has been marginal in the academic discussion of post-socialist moralities concerns the relationship between being a moral person and living well. This research is situated in a popular tourism destination in the Northeast of Poland, where increasing inequality and social injustice are part of people's everyday experience. It is in tourism that people are confronted with the tensions between living well and being a moral person at the same time. In this thesis I argue that in tourism people find a space to address these tensions. The notion of moral work illuminates the diverse ways in which they engage with the tensions that ultimately concern the good life. Based on 13 months of participant observation and interviews in the Masurian Lake District, the moral debates of four ethnographic settings are explored: How to be a good host in rural Masuria? How to be a good sailing tourist in the "New Poland"? How to be a good German in Germany's former East? How to correctly engage with the materiality of a ruptured past? To understand the nature of these debates the concept of tourismship is introduced: tourismship transcends the host-guest binary and draws attention to the complex identity work done in tourism. It accommodates the multiple identities that are at stake in these touristic debates. This thesis provides extensive ethnographic insights into the reordering of post-socialist (tourism) societies in Masuria. It offers a fresh look at tourism in Europe as a changing set of cultural and social practises, the historical legacies of which extend into the present. Tourism as a setting for moral work makes us think about the ways in which people make sense of tourism experiences, and how they integrate those experiences into their social and cultural identities. Ideas of the good life, good tourism, and being moral person are shown to diverge, even in the very communities in which they are debated. Tourism in Masuria provides new insights into a broader social process of moral diversification and pluralisation across post-Cold War societies, showing that moral dilemmas run across society and do not only affect post-socialist but also former "Western" societies. Finally, this thesis shows that debates about morality and the good life in tourism must be seen in the context of emerging power relations and inequalities in these societies.
Supervisor: Reeves, Madeleine Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available