Archive for February 12th, 2017

Khodadadi, M., O’Donnell, H.
UK press and tourist discourses of Iran: a study in multiple realities
(2017) Leisure Studies, 36 (1), pp. 53-64.

DOI: 10.1080/02614367.2015.1085591


The aim of this article is to investigate the competing discourses of Iran currently circulating in British society, and their influence on the tourist destination image of that country. A mixed-methods approach was adopted within a social constructionist perspective: this consisted of a Foucauldian discourse analysis of news reports in a range of British broadsheet newspapers, interviews with tourists who had visited Iran, and analysis of travel blogs written by a second group of tourists who had also previously visited the country. The findings show that the leading British broadsheets examined exclusively circulate an extremely negative discourse of Iran-as-Polity, originating in US and mediated by the British political field, whose main components are nuclear issues, danger, hostility and terrorism. Though UK tourists to the country are often drawn there initially by a largely Orientalist discourse of Iran-as-Persia, i.e. as a site of historical monuments, during and post visit, they develop a counter-discourse of Iran-as-Society which concentrates on the modernity of certain aspects of the country and above all the hospitality of its citizens, a discourse which is then further disseminated in the form of travel blogs. The article also mobilises Bourdieu’s concept of academic capital to examine the role of education in providing resources to resist the discourse of Iran-as-Polity. In its range of sources analysed, the article offers a relatively novel approach to investigating the role of media discourse and the internet–the latter framed using Foucault’s ‘genealogical’ approach–in the formation of competing tourist destination images of Iran. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Author Keywords
cultural tourism; destination image; discourse; Iran; news media; social media


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sexographyNicholas de Villiers, Sexography.Sex Work in Documentary, University of Minnesota Press, Forthcoming 2017

A bold challenge to rethink the ways we view sex work and documentary film

The turn of the twenty-first century has witnessed an eruption of nonfiction films on sex work. The first book to examine a cross-section of this diverse and transnational body of work, Sexography confronts the ethical questions raised by ethnographic documentary and interviews with sexually marginalized subjects. Nicholas de Villiers argues that carnal and cultural knowledge are inextricably entangled in ethnographic sex work documentaries.

De Villiers offers a reading of cinema as a technology of truth and advances a theory of confessional and counterconfessional performance by the interviewed subject who must negotiate both loaded questions and stigma. He pays special attention to the tactical negotiation of power in these films and how cultural and geopolitical shifts have affected sex work and sex workers. Throughout, Sexography analyzes the films of a range of non–sex-worker filmmakers, including Jennie Livingston, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Shohini Ghosh, and Cui Zi’en, as well as films produced by sex workers. In addition, it identifies important parallels and intersections between queer and sex worker rights activist movements and their documentary historiography.

De Villiers ultimately demonstrates how commercial sex is intertwined with culture and power. He advocates shifting our approach from scrutinizing the motives of those who sell sex to examining the motives and roles of the filmmakers and transnational audiences creating and consuming films about sex work.

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