Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 3, No 2 (2009)

The Political Economy of Texts: A Case Study in the Structuration of Tourism

Monica Heller, Joan Pujolar
Issued Date: 1 Feb 2010


The field of tourism, particularly in linguistic minority contexts, shows how texts are situated within struggles over the legitimization of symbolic and material resources. In order to understand this field, we distance ourselves from some of the prevailing assumptions in discourse analysis, which presents texts and contexts as separate entities for which a certain autonomy can be assumed. We offer instead a view of texts as some among many artifacts produced in communicative practice (and hence in social processes), and which therefore require apprehension as processual, and not as objects. We argue that an ethnographic approach to text production and circulation is central to such forms of analysis.
We analyze a sample of texts as embedded in their production by linguistic minority stakeholders in historically situated institutions. We interpret these texts as evidence of discursive and social changes brought about by globalization. We argue that behind texts that formally recall modernizing discourses of language and identity, what we encounter are processes of adjustment towards new economic and political conditions that lead minorities to commodify identity within global markets.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.v3i2.177


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