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Ett land som inget annat: Bilden av Sydafrika före, under och efter en utbytestermin i Stellenbosch
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The mental constructions of other places are based on impressions from everything that surrounds us in our everyday life, e.g. pictures, videos, texts and narratives. The tourism industry is especially influential when it comes to creating the image of before “unknown places”. Furthermore, it has a tendency to embellish and idealize people and places located in what is commonly known as the Third World. The mental construction of South Africa, today a rapidly growing tourist country among Western tourists, is especially interesting to investigate given its very long and complex colonial history. The purpose of this paper was to describe and analyze the image of South Africa among a group of Western exchange students who each of them had spent one semester at the Stellenbosch University, situated in the Western Cape in South Africa. This was made through a text analysis which was based on open conversations/interviews with five former students. They were asked to tell about their time in South Africa regarding expectations they had, what they experienced on place and how their image of South Africa altered during time. The analysis was made based on post-colonial theory with the emphasis on Edward Said’s notions Orientalism and imaginary geographies. The analysis was also put in comparison to what other writers researching the similar issues have found. The analysis showed that all students had an imaginary Africa. South Africa’s small town Stellenbosch in its colonial appearance surprised them and wasn’t considered as “the real Africa”. The exotic animals and the locals though, were just as they’d expected them to be – very exotic respectively nice and friendly. The study indicates that the imaginary Africa is deeply rooted and that it takes much reflection to change or influence these imaginaries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 37 p.
Keyword [en]
Imaginary Geographies, Otherness, Postcolonial Theory, South Africa, Exchange Students
Keyword [sv]
imaginära geografier, ”den Andre”, postkolonial teori, Sydafrika, utbytesstudenter
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-31936OAI: diva2:693231
Subject / course
Human Geography
Educational program
Tourism Management Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2014-02-11 Created: 2014-02-04 Last updated: 2014-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Olofsson, Terese
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