While considerable attention has been devoted to representation of destinations and hosts, less mention has been given to the ways tourists replicate and reinforce media depictions. Guided by postcolonial theory, this study analyzes photographs taken by participants in a study abroad program to determine whether they reveal the completion of a hermeneutic circle embedded with colonialist discourse, whose other component consists of representations of racial and cultural Others in Western tourism-related media. Five binaries of depiction are identified: traditional/modern, subject/object, master/servant, center/periphery, and devious-lazy/moral-industrious. The analyzed photographs are argued to complete a circle of representation that is inscribed with sociocultural ideologies of Western power and dominance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-26
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • discourse analysis
  • photographs
  • postcolonial theory
  • study abroad
  • the Other

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Marketing
  • Business and International Management
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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