The othering of food in touristic eatertainment: a netnography

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Publication details

Mkono, M 2011, 'The othering of food in touristic eatertainment: a netnography', Tourist Studies, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 253-270.

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Adjectives such as ‘scary’, ‘yucky’ and ‘bizarre’, used in connection with food in touristic experience, illustrate tourists’ propensity to ‘Other’. In this paper, I use netnographic tourist reviews of two cultural restaurants to explore tourists’ self-interpretation of the Other as represented in food. The findings are organized under four themes, namely, ‘scary, unusual food’, ‘eating the authentic Other’ and ‘the reassurance in mixing familiar with unfamiliar’. It is recommended that future research on food in tourism experience should explore contexts that have not previously been viewed as culinary destinations to create more ‘situated’ knowledge. Further, netnography offers a novel approach which could reveal tourists’ subjective realities that are provided more candidly than in traditional qualitative methods.

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