The storied self in tourism spaces: Qualitative narrative methodology as a framework for understanding self-identity in Niseko, Japan

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Abstract

Although research documents tourism influences the lifestyles, values, behaviours, and self-identities of tourists and host-communities, the majority of tourism research remains focused on tourists. Niseko, in northern Japan, offers an example of a rural community transformed from a small agricultural-based economy into a cosmopolitan, international ski resort destination supported by foreign investment. Drawing upon Niseko’s experience, this paper engages with a growing body of research advocating advantages of qualitative methodology to augment the preponderance of quantitative tourism research, particularly for measuring progress, change, and experience. Using the case example of Niseko, we argue narrative inquiry offers a research method for understanding tourism as a dynamic, reflexive process negotiated by tourists and hosts within social environments. In synthesising tourism literature, we illustrate how a shift in methodological focus, from quantitative to qualitative narrative inquiry, shifts research focus towards issues and research questions of great pertinence in contemporary liminal tourism spaces, such as those characterised by Niseko’s ski destinations, and, by drawing upon Anthony Gidden’s theory, allude to the importance of prioritising identity construction in the provision of tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCAUTHE 2018: Get Smart: Paradoxes and Possibilities in Tourism, Hospitality and Events Education and Research
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 28th CAUTHE conference
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherUniversity of Newcastle
Pages257-268
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780994514127
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventCAUTHE 2018: 28th CAUTHE Conference - University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
Duration: 05 Feb 201808 Feb 2018
https://www.newcastle.edu.au/about-uon/governance-and-leadership/faculties-and-schools/faculty-of-business-and-law/conferences/cauthe-2018 (Conference website)

Conference

ConferenceCAUTHE 2018
Abbreviated titleGet Smart: Paradoxes and Possibilities in Tourism, Hospitality and Events
CountryAustralia
CityNewcastle
Period05/02/1808/02/18
OtherCAUTHE 2018 will provide a forum to explore how the rapid development of easily accessible information is transforming the ways by which visitors and tourists behave. It will also provide a forum for considering how tourism, hospitality and events might capitalise on opportunities that emerge in a world where smart technologies produce large data sets that can provide detailed insights into tourist mobilities and behaviours.

CAUTHE 2018 will consider changes that are occurring in the way future generations of tourism, hospitality and event professionals are developing their knowledge and expertise. CAUTHE 2018 will provide opportunities to share knowledge about how contemporary tourism, hospitality and event students learn, the various technologies that assist or hinder the learning process, and the role of educators in a context where information is only one click away.

At CAUTHE 2018 we acknowledge that the process of building knowledge and becoming smart about tourism, hospitality and events can generate a series of paradoxes, ironies, and juxtapositions. Not only does new knowledge challenge conventions in tourism contexts but alternative ways of knowing can disrupt how tourism, hospitality and events are developed and experienced.
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