The meaning of a discovery: tourist gaze and tourist narratives in Southeastern Anatolia

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Finger, Sandra (2008) The meaning of a discovery: tourist gaze and tourist narratives in Southeastern Anatolia. [Thesis]

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The Southeast of Turkey, shaped by decades of violent clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels, represents a region of utmost military and political interest and thus is usually regarded with precaution and reservation. The encounter during culture tours in this otherwise troubled region that nevertheless presents a part of the Turkish Republic, serves here to scrutinize how Turkish tourists from the western part of the country perceive themselves and negotiate their belonging within Turkey. Given the tourist guide’s focus on culture as historical past, his silence about cultural plurality in the Southeast today and the lack of tourists’ inquiry, the personal narratives mirror a struggle with socio-cultural “otherness” within the group and within oneself. Due to this difficulty and felt restriction to articulate oneself in public, the examination of tourist behavior and their anecdotes disclose two individual agencies: the first one is the use of stereotypes to articulate control and moral superiority vis-a-vis the “other” in particular inside oneself. The second channel is produced by the core of social imagination: the membership of communities structured in terms of patriarchal kinship-like networks whose condition is again based on the silencing of individual “deviations”. The channels chosen serve furthermore to articulate other issues such a gender through Anti-Kurdish resentments as an otherwise “acknowledged” channel. The intertwining of highly individualized and isolated visions of oneself in society and society itself, produced by the lack of communication and the fear of being detected as “the other”, with the primary effort to secure one’s membership in society throughout networks, represent the key dynamics that shape the self-construction of the tourist and thus of the citizen in Turkey.

Item Type:Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords:Southeast Anatolia. -- Tourism. -- Identity. -- Güneydoğu Anadolu. -- Turizm. -- Kimlik.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
ID Code:11371
Deposited By:IC-Cataloging
Deposited On:10 Mar 2009 11:54
Last Modified:25 Mar 2019 16:58

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