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Title:The touristic text and sociopolitical struggle: An application of the principles of Mikhail Bakhtin to the study of tour guidebooks of Japan, 1955 to 1991. (Volumes I and II)
Author(s):Holt, George Richard
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Delia, Jesse G.
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, General
Speech Communication
Abstract:The critical theories of Mikhail Bakhtin and his circle are employed to analyze the texts of selected editions from two series of comprehensive guidebooks to Japan: the Fodor's guidebook series, 1962 through 1990; and the Japan Travel Bureau's Japan, the Official Guide, 1955 through 1991. The textual material in each of the guidebook series is considered as the product of communicative acts of cultural representation, and are analyzed according to five dimensions derived from the writings of the Bakhtin circle. The dimension of specificity states that all communication is always specific, performed by specific people in specific circumstances; it can never be truly described by abstraction, theory, or generality. The second dimension, the dimension of ownership, states that all communication is jointly owned by all social actors; it can never be held privately or limited to a subunit of society. Dimension three, the dimension of tension, holds that all communication simultaneously exhibits two tendencies: one which impels communication toward predictability and standardization, and another which impels it toward unpredictability and uniqueness. The fourth dimension, the dimension of open and closed perception, says that all communication is based on the belief of the communicator that his/her own system of perception is open and unfinished, but that the system of perception of those s/he describes is closed and finished. The fifth dimension is the dimension of uncompletedness; it states that all communication is fashioned in the awareness of a potential response from those for whom it is fashioned, and in the awareness of previous and subsequent communication on the same subject--hence, no communication can ever be said to be the "last word" on a subject.
Textual analysis of the guidebook series results in a detailed description of Fodor's and JTB's acts of cultural description of Japan, revealing that the tour guidebook--far from being simply an information vehicle or an example of public relations--is laden with ideological assumptions that reflect the sociohistorical development of the relationship between Japan and the Western world. Implications for further application of Bakhtin's principles to the study of international tourism are suggested.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Holt, George Richard
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9416370
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9416370

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