Toward a Feminist Travel Perspective: Re-thinking Tourism, Digital Media, and the "Gaze"
AuthorWinet, Kristin Kay
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation project bridges the interdisciplinary fields of rhetoric and composition and tourism studies to examine both the reliance on and rejection of the patriarchal tourist "gaze" in digital travel stories composed by Western travelers. By using a combination of autoethnography and feminist rhetorical analysis, I begin by tracing contemporary conversations in tourism studies in order to contextualize this study within a more nuanced understanding of modern tourism, and then, I deconstruct John Urry's theory of the patriarchal tourist "gaze" in order to posit a theory of a feminist travel perspective, one informed by a postmodern approach to feminism I call "reciprocal feminism." From there, I analyze three rhetorical topoi from which many travelers compose their stories—food, bodies, and landscapes—from a feminist rhetorical perspective in order to advocate that the misinformed image of the "tourist," an outdated rhetorical construct, must be delinked from colonialism and reclaimed and reimagined in order to more effectively represent the diverse voices and subject positions of modern traveling subjects, subjects who are more often than not composed of multiple identities, languages, heritages, and cultures. I then turn to more practical applications of this theory, considering the ways in which travelers, teachers, and students might employ this approach to tourism both in the classroom and in their communities. By tracing the composing practices of contemporary Western tourists online and considering the opportunities presented by an approach to feminist travel, this project contributes to ongoing discussions of the ethics and politics of international travel and tourism, raises questions about representation, and hopes to support more ethical ways of being and interacting with and among Others in personal and academic contexts.
Degree ProgramGraduate College