Title: Utilitarian and abstract rhetorics in ecotourism and social constructionism: the power of language

Authors: Ismar Lima

Addresses: Department of Geography, Tourism and Environmental Planning, The University of Waikato, FASS, Room I 2.19, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3201, New Zealand

Abstract: This paper aims to show areas in which discourses in ecotourism collide, while arguing that |discursive interaction|, based on language used in collaborative schemes, can create new and consensual meanings and values for nature and for practices in nature tourism. Central to this investigation is the power of language and its use for socio-environmental discourses within the realm of ecotourism. The approach is to examine existing |competing discourses| in and about ecotourism. |Discourse| is used interchangeably with |power|, and in the follow-ups of the analysis, |deliberative collaboration schemes| are briefly introduced as avenues for |negotiation of discourse| (of power) among ecotourism stakeholders. Local Environmental Governance (LEG) is then mentioned as a final stage in terms of collaboration in ecotourism, with local stakeholders becoming more autonomous for decision making through a process of power devolution. To shed light on the problematique of competing discourses, power relations and meaning fabrication, social constructionism will be discussed.

Keywords: competing discourses; ecotourism; sustainable tourism; local environmental governance; collaboration; social constructionism; Brazil; New Zealand; sustainability; sustainable development; discursive interaction; nature tourism; power of language; decision making; power relations; meaning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2009.024990

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2009 Vol.10 No.3/4, pp.231 - 246

Published online: 06 May 2009 *

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