Emotional responses to identity affirming touristic vignettes in middle-class Chinese and American individuals

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Health
Department Parks Recreation & Tourism
Author Altschuler, Benjamin
Title Emotional responses to identity affirming touristic vignettes in middle-class Chinese and American individuals
Date 2010
Description Touristic experiences produce a wide array of emotions, which provide insight into the importance of these events. The Chinese outbound tourism market is expected to produce over 80 million tourists in 2013, fueled mainly by the Chinese middle-class. Tourism providers need to closely examine the emotional outcomes of this class to identify differences between Chinese and American tourists to better cater to the growing Chinese outbound tourism market. It is acknowledged that emotions are feelings that are universally felt across cultures. While emotions may be universal, culture does exert a subtle, but powerful effect. Collective cultures such as China's prefer pleasant low activation emotions as they support the group, and individual cultures such as the United States have a preference for pleasant high activation emotions, which support individual agency. Role-identity and identity control theory propose that identity affirmation is one avenue for understanding emotional outcomes. Identities act as "scripts," which individuals must follow; affirming identity results in positive emotions, while disaffirming identity results in negative emotions. With different forms of self, affirming identity in Chinese and American culture requires following different scripts. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of identity affirming and disaffirming touristic experiences, through the use of vignettes, on middle-class Chinese and American individuals. A total of 129 individuals, 63 Chinese and 66 American, took part in this study during the summer and fall of 2013. Participants were asked to read two vignettes, one affirming and the other disaffirming, and respond to a 16-item questionnaire that used a 7-point likert scale. The study yielded results supporting the universality of emotion, as well as the expected emotional outcomes from the identity affirming and disaffirming vignettes. A significant interaction between condition and nationality was found, with Americans experiencing greater pleasant and unpleasant high activation emotions. Americans were also found to experience greater unpleasant low activation emotions than their Chinese counterparts. This outcome was unexpected, and suggests that modernization may be influencing the younger Chinese generation. Tourism providers must take into account the collective orientation of potential Chinese travelers, as well as generational differences.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Asian Studies; Cultural Resources Management; Ethnic studies; Recreation
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management (c) Benjamin Altschuler
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 5,692,946 Bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2966
ARK ark:/87278/s6b88hcj
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2014-06-10
Date Modified 2020-03-30
ID 196535
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6b88hcj
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