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An Idiot Abroad: Cosmopolitanism, Idiocy, and "Political Correctness" in the Age of Neoliberal Globalization
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis examines the British travel show An Idiot Abroad. As indicated by its name, the show taps into well-entrenched patterns of association between on the one hand traveling, and on the other hand more or less enlightened states of mind. Examining how the discursive construction of idiocy is rooted in historical processes and how travel representations function as a site for such constructions, the present study provides insight into the meaning of idiocy in the age of neoliberal globalization. This is accomplished through a textual analysis of the show, in which it is treated as a historically situated narrative. The social practice of tourism is subjected to critical scrutiny and its role in relation to social hierarchies is highlighted. Uncovering definite meanings under layers of irony, the present study argues that An Idiot Abroad constitutes a form of meta-disparagement humor which sets out to mock the holder of bigoted views, but which in reality functions as a vehicle for the perpetuation of vicious stereotypes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 109 p.
Keyword [en]
cosmopolitanism, political correctness, neoliberalism, globalization, television studies, tourism studies, travel shows, travel journalism, travel narratives, intercultural communication, meta-disparagement humor, masculinities
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-104712OAI: diva2:725306
Available from: 2014-08-20 Created: 2014-06-16 Last updated: 2014-08-20Bibliographically approved

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