Cultural Gaze? - Understanding Japanese and German Perceptions of Kiruna as a Tourist Destination (Applying Volunteer Employed Photography)
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Photography and tourism have been developing in parallel with each other and leaving memories of the trip in photographs still remains as a significant part of traveling today. Tourist photograph is an effective tool to display the way tourists see the destination they visited. However, while there are studies regarding general relationships between photography and tourism, what tourists see and photograph in each destination has not yet profoundly been investigated.This study first investigates images of Kiruna, Sweden, utilized in its promotion as atourist destination to understand how it is expected to be perceived by tourists. Then these images are compared with tourist photographs to understand how they actually respond to this expectation.Also, this thesis aims to add a new perspective to the concept of ‘hermeneutic circle’ proposed by John Urry (1990). Specifically, it takes particular note of ‘nationality’ and ‘culture’, and focuses on two specific tourist groups in Kiruna, Japanese and German tourists, to investigate differences between these nationality groups in the way they perceive Kiruna as a tourist destination. In order to fulfill this aim, Volunteer Employed Photography (VEP) was applied and photographs they took in Kiruna were collected. In order to enrich the photographic data, semi-structured interviews were also conducted with each study participant.The results revealed that the study participants photographed subjects that were both appeared and not appeared in the promotional images of Kiruna. The study also revealed that there were certain differences between Japanese and German tourists in the way they perceived Kiruna and each nationality group has its own hermeneutic circle.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 78 p.
Tourism, Photography, Volunteer-Employed Photography (VEP), Tourist Gaze, Hermeneutic Circle, Culture, Nationality, Northern Sweden
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106358OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-106358DiVA: diva2:841246
Master's Program in Tourism