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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Heritage, Tourism, and National Identity: An Ethnographic Study of Changdeokgung Palace

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2009, v.49 no.4, pp.163-186
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2009.49.4.163
(Middlesex University)
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Abstract

The heritage settings potentially play a significant role as a specific social space within which individuals are able to conceive, define, and reconstruct elements of national consciousness. This study involves an ethnographicbased examination of ways in which elements of the past are utilized to redefine and reaffirm national (cultural) identity within the context of contemporary South Korean society, where traditional norms and values are arguably influenced by globalized processes, norms, and values. It theoretically addresses and empirically substantiates the need for comprehensive and analytical insights concerning heritage and articulations of national identity, focusing on the intermediating roles of heritage tourism in establishing and facilitating the individual and contextual processes of identity reconstruction. Critical focus is placed on contextualizing ways in which South Korean nationals, particularly younger generations, encounter emotional attachments to the nation during heritage tourism experiences in Changdeokgung palace in Seoul. This study employs a range of ethnographic strategies including in-depth interviews and friendly conversations as an efficient tool to gain intimate and insightful knowledge of the specific social setting.

keywords
heritage tourism cultural primordialism national identity placebased identities Changdeokgung palace Koreanness

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