Tourists, Signs and the City: The Semiotics of Culture in an Urban Landscape

Title

Tourists, Signs and the City: The Semiotics of Culture in an Urban Landscape

Department

Global and International Studies

Document Type

Book

Files

Description

Drawing upon the literature of landscape geography, tourism studies, cultural studies, visual studies and philosophy, this book offers a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the interaction between urban environments and tourists, a necessary prerequisite for cities as they make themselves into enticing destinations and compete for tourists' attention. It argues that tourists make sense of, and draw meaningful conclusions about, the places in which they tour based upon the interpretation of the signs or elements encountered within the built environment, elements such as graffiti and lamp posts. The writings of the American pragmatist Charles S. Peirce on interpretation provide the theoretical model for explaining the way in which mind and world, or thoughts and objects, result in tourists forming opinions about place. This theoretical framework elucidates three applied studies undertaken with foreign visitors to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Based upon extensive ethnographic field work, these studies focus on tourists' interpretation of the urban landscape, with particular attention paid to the encounters with national culture. Over 220 visitors representing more than 16 countries were interviewed on the streets of the city and the 22 cameras returned resulted in over 350 photographs, creating a wide-ranging record of Hungarian culture as experienced in the landscape of the city.

ISBN

9780754678090

Publication Date

2011

Publisher

Ashgate

City

Farnham, Surrey, England

Keywords

Budapest, tourism, urban environments, signs

Disciplines

Tourism and Travel

Comments

Author is a geographer and teaches Global and International Studies.