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.
- media power
- media tourism