The politicization of place: chronotopes, authenticity, and semioscaping Fujialu as a site of “red tourism” in China

Songqing Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the linguistic and semiotic construction and transformation of Fujialu, a rural village in eastern China, as an “authentic” site of “red tourism” related originally to historical sites and places that record China’s revolution led by the Communist Party of China. Based on photographs and semi-structured interviews, this paper applies the concept of chronotope as an analytical and interpretive approach to examine processes of linguistic and semiotic authentication and acts of spatiotemporal configuration. Findings of this study unfold excessive constraints of sociopolitical ideologies in the sign activity as well as the village’s agency in this process, suggesting that the semiotization of space for tourism is not inevitably driven by economic but sociopolitical purposes. This paper thus adds a new insight to tourism literature that has not yet paid much attention to the influence of sociopolitical forces on place-making but is prevailingly taking commodification as a dominant factor structuring tourism discourse in today’s era of mobility and globalization.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Semiotics
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2023

Keywords

  • Chronotopes
  • authenticity
  • commodification
  • politicization
  • red tourism
  • semiotic landscape

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