Author: Dimache, Alexandru Octavian
Title: Identity construction of les milieux de memoire sombre : an interpretivist approach
Advisors: Song, Haiyan (SHTM)
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2019
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Dark tourism
Historical museums
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xi, 845 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Death and suffering have become integral parts of the contemporary popular culture. Peoples' ever-increasing interest in visiting sites associated with death and suffering is matched by the increasing popularity of this phenomenon in the tourism academia. Notwithstanding this popularity, researchers have not managed to reach an agreement on whether dark tourism is demand or supply-driven. The term 'dark tourism' itself has come under intense scrutiny mostly because of its pejorative undertones. Based on this, the current study hears scholars' calls for innovative interdisciplinary qualitative mixed-method experiential research which places analytical and introspective thought at its core by giving voice to previously overlooked stakeholders and placing the interpretation in the relevant socio-cultural context. In so doing, a dyadic hermeneutic-phenomenological and semiotic bricolage approach is employed to investigate the relationship between memory, narrative, place identity, and place construction at the Sighet Memorial Museum in Romania. To support the interpretive process, a framework of transgenerational collective memory called Romanianness is developed. The findings challenge the typical approaches focused on the dualities between supply-demand, push-pull, individual-collective, and material-immaterial. They also challenge Pierre Nora's long-lasting Les Lieux de Mémoire thesis by exposing experience with sites associated with death and suffering as imbued with ever-so-present memory. Through this process, two replicable experiential models are constructed, and the concept of les milieux de mémoire sombre (translated as places of somber memories) is added to the broader tourism theory.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: open access

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