Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies

By Jenny Phillimore; Lisa Goodson | Go to book overview

5

Ontological craft in tourism studies

The productive mapping of identity and image in tourism settings
Keith Hollinshead
Aims of the chapter
• To apply in tourism/travel settings many of the general ontological concerns which were given in Chapter 4.
• To draw attention to a number of particular ontological issues which are frequently encountered in tourism studies - such as occur with difficulties involved in contesting or interpreting 'values', 'realities' and/or 'cultural being'.
• To highlight a number of readings in the recent literature of tourism studies where commentators on tourism have already ventured capably into coverage or critique of ontological matters. These pioneer observers include Golden (1996), Sardar (1998), Wilson (1997) and McKay (1994).

Introduction: methodological thinking in tourism

In Chapter 4 it was emphasised that in qualitative research it is rarely ever sufficient or proper in making selections about the adoption of research approaches to make those choices upon methods-level decisions based upon 'technical accuracy' or 'instrumental procedure'. Rather, it was stressed that the choice of approach in most qualitative research settings necessarily involves investigators making their decisions at a foundational or methodological level where ontological concerns of being, meaning and identity are taken in concert with epistemological concerns of knowing. Thus, the preceding chapter underscored the point that ontological craft is fundamentally a situationally creative effort to use forms of reality-aware and context-appropriate 'human instrument' understandings to uncover 'the real cultural world' of the individual realm or the societal spectrum being explored.

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