Accepted paper:

The green self - imageries, conceptions and the performance of sustainable tourism in a digital world

Author:

Ruth Weiand (University of Freiburg)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I would like to present the first results of my phd research project, that focuses on the circulation between digital imageries of sustainable travelling created by providers and the tourist's agency challenging hierarchies of interpretations and concrete travel practices.

Paper long abstract:

"Green travelling" and "sustainable tourism" are keywords of modern marketing strategies for urban settings, mountain sceneries as well as for coastal landscapes. On the one end, we find providers in tourism creating certain images of "the green traveller" on their webpages, giving advice for ethical travel practices and presenting destinations as hotspots for sustainable vacations, on the other end, we find tourists, with an opportunity to present themselves on social media such as Instagram, Facebook or travel blogs. New media gives tourists a way to demonstrate their perspectives, to make their interpretations public and to situate themselves in a wider context of sustainability as an element of lifestyle. In this paper I would like to present the first results of my phd research project, that focuses on the circulation between digital imageries of sustainable travelling created by providers. I also would like to shed light on to the presentation of a green self in social media and to the actor's agency challenging traditional hierarchies of interpretations and concrete travel practices. I suggest that these constructions and practices should not be seen as unpolitical or neutral (Salzar 2014) but rather as dynamic, flowing and as an embodiment of social values. Following this argument, the green self in the digital world can be seen as a (self) marketing strategy but also as an expression of world perceptions (Gerndt 2001) of political and social questions and of dreams of a better future.

panel Digi02
Changing features? Performing the self in digital culture [SIEF WG Digital Ethnology and Folklore] [P+R]