Sober on the holiday: is it un-Australian?

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Publication details

Edelheim, JR & Edelheim SM 2011, 'Sober on the holiday: is it un-Australian?', Annals of Leisure Research, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 22-42.

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Tourism media research is focusing on the nexus where two areas meet; either where tourism is impacted upon by media, or where the media is affected by tourism practices and industries. This paper will primarily be situated in the first of these categories by examining travelogues in women's magazines, in this case Marie Claire, and ask what influences the content of these can have on the consumers of the media. It could be argued that travelogues in actual fact would be part of the second category – simply subjective descriptions of actual tourist experiences. This paper will, however, suggest that the influence is to some degree mutual, and whereas the portrayals in travelogues do inform us about some experiences, they might simultaneously form a social tableau that readers are unconsciously emulating in their own behaviour. The extrinsic and intrinsic messages incorporated in travelogues will be examined here using qualitative content analysis and discourse analysis. The discussion of tourism and media influence will be related to debates regarding myths surrounding national identity construction, alcohol consumption, and Australianness. This paper rejects some of those constructs and raises further questions about the role media plays in naturalizing the link between alcohol and leisure, and about how Australian women might be shaping their beliefs, their identities, and their behaviour based on the media messages they are consuming.

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