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Pre-print of Edelheim, JR 2007, 'Hidden messages: a polysemic reading of tourist brochures', Journal of Vacation Marketing, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 5-17.

The publisher's version of this article is available at

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It is self-evident that tourist brochures are selling a positive and attractive destination to travellers; what is not as self-evident are the hidden messages conveyed by the selection of certain pictures in the brochures produced. By coding each picture appearing in a series of tourist brochures according to their content this research aims at showing how the brochures are overtly aimed at different groups of travellers, while they simultaneously are reinforcing certain hegemonic views of society. The suggestion that hegemonic messages appear is not an accusation, against the producers, of the brochures of covert propaganda, but rather that taken-for-granted views of society as unproblematic truths portrayed in the brochures is not correct – the brochures should rather be viewed as highly sensitive polysemic constructs.

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