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'Consuming' colourful characters: a Foucauldian perspective on the photographed subject.

By Richard Voase

Abstract

Tourists have a predilection to record, photographically, encounters with visually colourful characters whose pre-modern lifestyles are represented in their countenance and sartorial style. This paper analyses the contingent effects of the relationship between power and knowledge that arise when such photographs are taken. Foucauldian theory in the form of the 'medical gaze' and 'panopticism' is exposed and applied. Analysis of a specific promotional image and its anchoring copy reveals twin discourses by which affluent consumers are persuaded to purchase. A mutual dependency, rooted in the aspirational Westerner's need for cultural capital, is diagnosed as an outcome of the relationship between photographer and the photographed

Topics: L300 Sociology, N800 Tourism, Transport and Travel
Publisher: Presses de l'Universite de Quebec
Year: 2005
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:1226
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