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Presentation
Understanding Tourist’s Self-Identity Formation: A Q-method Inquiry
Conference in Hospitality and Tourism (2012)
  • Yinghua Huang, Oklahoma State University - Main Campus
  • Diane Montgomery, Oklahoma State University - Main Campus
  • Hailin Qu, Oklahoma State University - Main Campus
Abstract
Although the relationship between tourism and identity is frequently mentioned within the literature, limited studies have explored the process of self-identity formation through tourism. Using Q-methodology, this study investigated the different perspectives among tourists regarding the formation of self-identity during the journey to a favorite destination. Twenty-two participants completed a theoretically-grounded sorting procedure (Q-sort) beginning with the question: “How do you feel about yourself when visiting your favorite place?” Analysis followed Q methodology procedures (correlation, factor analysis, rotation) and resulted in three distinct subjective views of identity formation through travel: personal relief, personal assertion, and personal socialization. The findings provide valuable insights for deeper understanding the identity theory in the context of tourism within the postmodern society. Furthermore, the findings reveal useful information for tourism service providers on how the journey influences a reflection on the self from the tourist’s point of view, so that different marketing strategies and service packages would be developed. 
Keywords
  • Self,
  • Identity Formation,
  • Tourism,
  • Q-Method
Disciplines
Publication Date
2012
Location
Auburn, Alabama
Comments
Best Paper Award Finalist
Citation Information
Yinghua Huang, Diane Montgomery and Hailin Qu. "Understanding Tourist’s Self-Identity Formation: A Q-method Inquiry" Conference in Hospitality and Tourism (2012)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/yinghua-huang/57/