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Title:When East Meets West: Understanding Travel Experience in Transnational Space
Author(s):Li, Zhi
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stodolska, Monika
Department / Program:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Discipline:Recreation, Sport and Tourism
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:In the context of a fast changing world, everyday lives of people are increasingly impinged upon by an unprecedented compression of time and space. International travel, as one major force of contemporary mobility, not only generates large-scale human movements across national boundaries, but also facilitates the construction of dynamic and meaningful experiences. Taking international tourism as one important form of transnational practice, this study sought to explore international travel experience by determining, for a selected group of travelers from mainland China who visited the U.S. primarily for educational purposes, how they invested their experiences with meanings and how these meanings were reflected in their identity construction and development. This study involved 18 semi-structured interviews conducted in the U.S. in the summer of 2005. The findings of this study suggested that the travelers' international mobility afforded them an opportunity to experience the places they visited 'in the flesh,' to build new connections through the encounters between the self and the other, to gain a greater sense of knowing of different cultures at a more personal level, and to affirm a fuller sense of their identity. It is the hope of this study to expand the knowledge of tourism and leisure in a more connected world from a non-Western perspective and to provide a step toward the understanding of how travel contributes to the formation and development of identities among Chinese overseas travelers in the age of globalization.
Issue Date:2007
Description:211 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3269962
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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