Responsibility in tourism: A discursive analysis

Bryan S.R. Grimwood, Olga Yudina, Meghan Muldoon, Ji Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


This paper illuminates how norms associated with certain discourses of responsibility in tourism operate and to what effect. Drawing on discursive and postcolonial perspectives, we analyze meanings and practices of responsibility represented in qualitative and visual texts derived from 28 tourists of the Thelon River in Arctic Canada. Findings reveal that responsibility is primarily constructed around an ethic of leaving no trace, which is contingent upon nature as peripheral and anachronistic space, deference to scientific and experiential knowledge, and cycles of representation. This limits tourists' potential to more fully identify with the Thelon as Aboriginal homeland. The paper exemplifies the power of responsibility to normalize particular versions of truth, dismiss the presence of others, and reinforce social privilege and disenfranchisement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-38
Number of pages17
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Arctic
  • Discourse analysis
  • Nature
  • Power
  • Responsibility
  • Thelon River

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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