The present contribution aims at analysing tourism discourse and communication expressed in one particular institutional setting, the regional government of Sardinia, the second largest Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. As it is well known, the relationship between discourse, institutions and power has been researched thoroughly for the past 20 years or so (Cfr. among others, Van Dijk,1993a; Van Dijk, 1993b; Wodak, 1996; Fairclough, 2003; Mayr, 2008). Most of the studies have been concentrated on the rise of hegemonic power of specific institutional discourses over others and the consequences of such dynamics. The area of research known as critical discourse analysis, in particular, has dwelled on the impact of capitalist power in various institutional domains such as politics and economics, and the construction of identities in the several discourses being shared in such contexts (Fairclough 2003). Language, seen as the major vehicle of knowledge exchange in context and use, becomes as always fundamental even in institutional settings as they are the primary places where reality is constructed and communicated (Deetz 1982). Institutions and their members, both intrinsic — i.e, their employees — and extrinsic — i.e., the public with whom they interact — are constantly being constructed and reconstructed in the discourses they present. Studies on institutional discourses and communication should therefore concen- trate on how such dynamics and identities are formed and presented through language. The notion of institution is normally associated either with the building where a particular organization is located, or with the organization, establishment or foundation «devoted to the promotion of a particular cause or program, especially one of a public, educational or charitable character» (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/institu- tion). Consequently, institutions may not only be referred to the physical buildings but also to any powerful group, or centre of power, such as the media, or the government. Moreover, as Mayr points out, the two terms, organization and institution, are frequently used interchangeably, even in sociological and linguistic analysis, although the term ‘institution’ is more often associated with the public bodies of the state (Mayr, 2008, p. 6). This latter environment will be our concern in the present contribution. As mentioned above, studies on institutional discourse have mainly been about the construction and deconstruction of power discourses among their main protagonists, and the relationships between discourse, power and ideology in various fields of communication. The present contribution will be an attempt to describe the dynamics of identity construction and presentation in tourism discourse as communicated in institutions, in order to combine the traditional critical approach to promotional discourse with the one pertaining to the field of institutional discourse. Our paper will be divided into three main parts. After analysing the principal marketing functions applied to tourism discourse in institutional communication, we will concentrate on the creation of a specific cultural identity for the tourist product Sardinia. Lastly, we will give some examples of specific tourist sub–products as portrayed in the website of the Sardinian government, in an attempt to exemplify more clearly how a specific cultural identity is designed for tourist consumers. The conclusions will highlight how future research can be conducted in the framework of critical discourse analysis applied to tourism as communicated via the new media.

What is Sardinia’s destiny? Cultural heritage and cross–cultural tourist marketing constraints in institutional communication

Olga Denti
Co-primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Luisanna Fodde
Co-primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2017

Abstract

The present contribution aims at analysing tourism discourse and communication expressed in one particular institutional setting, the regional government of Sardinia, the second largest Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea. As it is well known, the relationship between discourse, institutions and power has been researched thoroughly for the past 20 years or so (Cfr. among others, Van Dijk,1993a; Van Dijk, 1993b; Wodak, 1996; Fairclough, 2003; Mayr, 2008). Most of the studies have been concentrated on the rise of hegemonic power of specific institutional discourses over others and the consequences of such dynamics. The area of research known as critical discourse analysis, in particular, has dwelled on the impact of capitalist power in various institutional domains such as politics and economics, and the construction of identities in the several discourses being shared in such contexts (Fairclough 2003). Language, seen as the major vehicle of knowledge exchange in context and use, becomes as always fundamental even in institutional settings as they are the primary places where reality is constructed and communicated (Deetz 1982). Institutions and their members, both intrinsic — i.e, their employees — and extrinsic — i.e., the public with whom they interact — are constantly being constructed and reconstructed in the discourses they present. Studies on institutional discourses and communication should therefore concen- trate on how such dynamics and identities are formed and presented through language. The notion of institution is normally associated either with the building where a particular organization is located, or with the organization, establishment or foundation «devoted to the promotion of a particular cause or program, especially one of a public, educational or charitable character» (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/institu- tion). Consequently, institutions may not only be referred to the physical buildings but also to any powerful group, or centre of power, such as the media, or the government. Moreover, as Mayr points out, the two terms, organization and institution, are frequently used interchangeably, even in sociological and linguistic analysis, although the term ‘institution’ is more often associated with the public bodies of the state (Mayr, 2008, p. 6). This latter environment will be our concern in the present contribution. As mentioned above, studies on institutional discourse have mainly been about the construction and deconstruction of power discourses among their main protagonists, and the relationships between discourse, power and ideology in various fields of communication. The present contribution will be an attempt to describe the dynamics of identity construction and presentation in tourism discourse as communicated in institutions, in order to combine the traditional critical approach to promotional discourse with the one pertaining to the field of institutional discourse. Our paper will be divided into three main parts. After analysing the principal marketing functions applied to tourism discourse in institutional communication, we will concentrate on the creation of a specific cultural identity for the tourist product Sardinia. Lastly, we will give some examples of specific tourist sub–products as portrayed in the website of the Sardinian government, in an attempt to exemplify more clearly how a specific cultural identity is designed for tourist consumers. The conclusions will highlight how future research can be conducted in the framework of critical discourse analysis applied to tourism as communicated via the new media.
tourism; cross-cultural dimension; institutional communication; tourism marketing; CDA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/247223
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