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Dr Ming Lin

Former Research Student

Ming Lin

Thesis Title

Networking Atmosphere!
Assembly Dancing at the Hualien United Harvest Festival

Thesis Outline

Drawing on contemporary theories in tourist studies, psychology, architecture, the arts, and human geography, this thesis explores the relationship between atmospheres and tourist experiences. In so doing I seek to: develop an embodied concept of atmosphere as a key term in examining tourists’ bodily participation experiences in tourism places; explore sensuous experiences above and beyond visual phenomena/ tourist gaze; overcome the dualistic way of thinking that exists in literature on festivals and tourist events; examine the relationships between local authorities, local economies, indigenous cultures and tourism events. This provides a useful theoretical framework for the exploration of a selected case study: of a Taiwanese indigenous peoples’ festival. Through the application of mixed research methods, my research on the festival exemplifies how we can develop a richer understanding of the complex social and cultural phenomena beyond notions of authentic/ inauthentic tourist experience. My research appreciates that tourists can experience an authentic atmosphere even in inauthentic circumstances. I also argue that, when people engage with the world through their bodies and senses, the atmosphere of the place can be “contagious”. Atmospheres influence how people feel and gain knowledge of a culture or a place. This thesis argues for the further development of theories, analyses and observations of “atmosphere” as part of the future sociological exploration of tourism, tourist practices, experiences and sites. 

Research Interests

Atmospheres/ Festivals/ Indigenous Cultures/ Recreated Traditions/ Tourist Studies/ Sensory Ethnography/ Emotional Geography

Supervised By

John Urry/ Graeme Gilloch