This inquiry explores the manner in which tourists endow a former slave plantation with meaning by promoting or demoting its cultural authority. Drawing on the encoding/decoding model, this study utilizes interviews to examine the ways in which tourists decode the plantation by acquiescing or negating the preferred cultural text through the adoption of dominant, negotiated or oppositional readings. The findings indicate that as active recipients of the preferred reading tourists interpreted/decoded the plantation in dichotomous polarized ways based on the meaning structures and knowledge frameworks of the interpretive communities within which they are situated. In essence, the decoding process, much like the encoding process is viewed as constituting an array of dominant ideologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-458
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • decoding/encoding model
  • interpretative communities
  • slavery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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