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Title: The worldmaking role of Sri Lankan travel writers : negotiating structure and agency in the study of travel representations
Author: Jayathilaka, Gauthami Kamalika
ISNI:       0000 0004 8509 0462
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2019
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This study is a critical enquiry into the worldmaking agency of travel writers and the underlying social implications. It adds to knowledge on tourism as worldmaking in an understudied postcolonial context of Sri Lanka. Engaging in a scrutiny of the social role of an everyday activity associated with travel and tourism, this thesis addresses the following key questions: (1) Who are Sri Lankan travel writers? (2) How do they represent Sri Lanka through their writing? (3) What are the social mechanisms underlying these representations? Finally, (4) Why are these representations created the way they are? The study primarily presents three distinctive ways locally produced travel writing in English represents Sri Lanka within tourism promotion, journalism and finally through the perspective of independent local travellers. As such, it broadens insights on the tourist gaze through the examination of three distinctive gazes: the promotional gaze, the journalistic gaze and the activist gaze constructed by local writers. Upon presenting the three resultant versions of representations and their worldmaking power, the thesis then enquires critically into the social intricacies underlying this production process. This is built upon the premise that worldmaking representations are contingent not so much upon initiation or illusion but ‘inculcation’. This is undertaken using the Bourdieusian field of cultural production. It applies the conceptual triad habitus, capital and field whereby the cultural histories including education, lifestyles habits, interests and tastes of writers are examined combined with constraints imposed by various fields they are positioned within society. Consequently, the thesis demonstrates the interplay between external social pre-arrangements underlying the construction of travel representations and the subjectivity of writers, extending knowledge on the critical link between worldmaking agency, the English language and social class. In that, this thesis contributes to the critical tourism studies paradigm by affording a compelling alternative to negotiating the duality between structure and agency in the study of travel representations and their worldmaking power within the particular context of Sri Lanka.
Supervisor: Tzanelli, Rodanthi ; Emmel, Nick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available