”My meltdown on the plane” : Self-reflections in travel blogs from visits to Finland

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Title: ”My meltdown on the plane” : Self-reflections in travel blogs from visits to Finland
Author: von Martens, Anton-Oskar
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta, Maailman kulttuurien laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of World Cultures
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för världens kulturer
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201806132483
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus
Area and Cultural Studies
Region- och kulturstudier
Abstract: The objective of this thesis is to expand on existing reseach about tourist experience by uncovering how self-awareness and self-reflection is demonstrated in self-disclosed material – travel blogs. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the research questions are approached using grounded theory allowing for themes to arise during the research process. By applying Vincent Wing Sun Tung and J.R. Brent Richie’s concept of four dimensions of Memorable Experiences - affect, expectations, consequentiality and recollection - to a different type of data, the study explores how applicable the concept is to this material, and what similarities, differences and new dimensions can be uncovered. Drawing on quantitative data from 23 blogs, the study shows that the typical travel blogger is a 20-35 year old woman who is travelling alone. Quantitative data about the occurrence of the four dimensions across the blogs shows that consequentiality is the most often appearing dimension, whereas recollection is the least seen dimension. One of the subgroups of consequentiality. enhancing social relationships, is also clearly missing in most of the blogs. In-depth analysis of the blog texts reveals limitations to the applicability of Tung and Ritchie’s definitions. Suggestions are made on how these could be modified to better take into account the real experiences as seen in blogs. Closer inspection of the dimensions also shows how interconnected, or overlapping, they are, as aspects of many dimensions can be seen in one sentence or paragrah. As this study brings forward individual experiences, the diversity and examples of the many factor affecting those experiences is uncovered. What is also seen is a great difference in how people describe their experiences, and the extent to which self-reflection can be identified. Whereas some authors focus more on facts, others reflect on personal and even intimate experiences. The temporal and spatial aspect of travel-blogging, and its implications for research are also considered, as differences in frequency and style of writing are uncovered.
Subject: Memorable Experience
tourist experience
travel blogs
self awareness

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