Master of Arts (MA)
Geography and Anthropology
Backpacker tourists are able to boldly lay claim to authenticity to local place—especially as they see themselves in relation to more (by their categorization) mainstream tourists—through the feeling of an authentic self that arises through backpacking tourism. Backpacker discourse about travel embodied travel experiences reflects and shapes sense of existential authenticity, a transformative travel euphoria in which the backpacker’s true identity is discovered through intense, sensuous experiences and perception of immersion in a foreign culture. This thesis uses ethnographic information and methods collected in a number of hostels—but primarily in Bogotá, Colombia—in order to demonstrate the relationship between the material, discursive, and phenomenological construction of identity and understanding of “authentic” local place. Through backpacking travel, these young travelers are constructing understanding of self, community, and the local, making backpacking a productive area of study for the study of tourist identity formation through language and bodily engagement.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Kerry, Emley, "Backpacker selves in a hostel: discourse, identity, and existential authenticity" (2013). LSU Master's Theses. 3759.