Cultural representation in tourism brochures: a visual analysis
thesisposted on 2021-05-23, 09:49 authored by Melissa Medeiros
Craig & Muller (2006) assert that communication theory should take a critical approach because one of the main purposes of analysis from a communication’s perspective is to question assumptions caused by “unexamined habits, ideologies and power relations” (p. 425). By working within a critical framework, this project investigates the possible ideological perspectives and power relations represented in contemporary tourism marketing, specifically regarding cultural representations. The main research questions guiding the major research paper are: How do tourism images construct visual representation of culture? And what ideological values are depicted? I collected 71 images found in G Adventure’s North Africa/Middle East and Asia destination brochures and used Kress and van Leeuwen’s (2006) social semiotic and critical framework as a methodology for analysis. Findings reveal connections to postcolonial theory in particular, specifically how travel images participate in ‘othering’ foreign cultures from the perspective of the West. Images depict visual binary relationships, such as master/servant and traditional/modern, in addition to reflecting a level of detachment between the represented and interactive participants. Likewise, the viewer as the prospective traveller is encouraged to participate in a postcolonial bias upon the site.