One Ring, Many Circles: The Hobbiton Tour Experience and a Spatial Approach to Media Power

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Abstract

This paper reports on fieldwork investigating the experience of visitors to the ‘Hobbiton’ film location site, a roughly 10-acre space in New Zealand co-opted for the production of The Lord of the Rings films. Based on participant observation of several tours of the attraction, as well as in-depth interviews with both visitors and guides, the data included herein engage with the draw of such a space, articulations of the visit experience, and the degree to which attitudes toward and behaviors within the space are indicative of an embodied assent to a particular kind of media power. In visiting the space, this paper suggests, actors respond to a repeating discursive structure that, by creating boundaries and sanctifying spaces, canalizes attitudes, behavior, and movement. Reified in the process is the normative centrality of media processes, people, and places.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-53
Number of pages17
JournalTourist Studies
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • anthropology
  • media power
  • media tourism
  • place
  • ritual
  • space

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