Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Shu-Ling Chen Berggreen

Second Advisor

Nabil Echchaibi

Third Advisor

Janice Peck

Abstract

International travel and tourism has increased dramatically over the past sixty years, causing it to become one of the largest global commercial industries. An increase in the prominence and quantity of travel journalism across various media platforms has accompanied the rise of the activity of international travel. This paper examines the discourse on "Other" cultures constructed through rhetorical strategies and representations in a web-based travel show, The Vice Guide to Travel. Although most travel research comes from an industry and market-driven point of view, there is a large body of research that critiques the implications of travel-related media, in particular the representations of "non-Western" people and places in travel journalism. This paper is informed by this critical body of research that comes from a postcolonial, cultural studies, and feminist perspective. The Vice Guide to Travel is an episodic web series that is targeted at a global youth and counterculture viewers. Although the series is produced by Vice Media, a commercially-driven transnational media corporation, its position as a niche media form directed at a specifically politically progressive audience allows it to push the boundaries of the travel television genre. Through a discursive content analysis, this paper critically analyzes The Vice Guide to Travel as a text produced within hierarchical society and industry structured by inequitable global power relations. It questions the show's ability to create subversive and alternative discourses, and the possibility of breaking free of hegemonic colonialist discourses when representing historically marginalized nations, cultures and people.

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