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The presentation of landscape: rhetorical conventions and the promotion of tourism in British Columbia,… Nelson, Ronald Ross 1994

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THE PRESENTATION OF LANDSCAPE:RHETORICAL CONVENTIONS AND THE PROMOTION OFTOURISM IN BRITISH COLUMBIA,1900-1990byRONALD ROSS NELSONB.A., The University of British Columbia, 1983M.A., The University of Waterloo, 1985A THESIS SUBMInED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFDOCTOR OF PHiLOSOPHYinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Department of Geography)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISHApril 1994© Ronald Ross Nelson, 1994COLUMBIAIn presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of pThe University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate Z7, /DE-6 (2/88)ABSTRACTThis thesis argues that landscapes are products of language, that the meaning of alandscape depends upon how it is presented and interpreted in the course of humancommunication. It is also argued that the field of rhetoric—as a body of theory, ideas,and methods for interpreting the persuasive use of language—can assist humangeographers in their attempts to interpret landscapes. These positions are put to work ina study of the promotion of tourist landscapes by the British Columbia government.Two time periods are examined: first, presentations of landscape during the 1920s and1930s, and second the 1970s and 1980s. These periods are similar in that they areperiods of transition—periods in which the tourism industry underwent significantchange. The first period is associated with the development of mass tourism, andspecifically with the emergence of the state as a major player in the tourist industry. Thesecond period concerns the recent development of postmodern (alternative environmentaland cultural) tourism. Postmodem tourism is characterized by the rejection of masstourism and by the quest for real places and experiences. The thesis uses both qualitativeand quantitative (computer-assisted content analysis) methods to examine how the statehas rhetorically responded to these changes in its presentations of landscape. Changesare found in both periods, but they are gradual and incomplete. It is consequently arguedthat the state’s character as an author limits its audience and the strategies it may use forpresenting tourist landscapes.11TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT.jjTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiLIST OF TABLES viLIST OF FIGURES ixACKNOWLEDGEMENTS xDEDICATION xiINTRODUCTION: ON NETS AND FISH 1CHAPTER 1: PERSPECTIVES ON LANDSCAPE 12Classifying Ideas of Landscape 13Dramatism and Kenneth Burke 15Perpectives on Landscape 28Traditional 30Humanist 35Marxist 40Communicative 45Future Perspectives7 51Notes 53CHAPTER 2: RHETORIC AND PRESENTATIONS OF LANDSCAPE 59Review of Interpretive Methods 60Starting Points 67Competing Ideas of Rhetoric 71Modernist Views of Rhetoric 71The Modernist View of Rhetoric in Geography 78The New Rhetoric 80Recent Trends in Rhetoric 86Rhetoric and Presentations of Landscape 95Conclusion 101Notes 102CHAPTER 3: TOURISM: A REVIEW OF THE MASS AND POSTMODERNLiTERATURE 108Tourism Geography: Problems and Prospects 110TheResortCycle 115Stages of Modern Tourism 119Mass Tourism 123Postmodern Tourism 138Conclusion 153Notes 155InCHAPTER 4: QUANTITATiVE METHODOLOGY .161The HyperDiction Program 163Word Lists and Indices 165Problems with Computer-based Content Analysis.. 177Sampling Procedure. 179Rhetorical Patterns in Tourism Advertising 183Conclusion 196Notes 199CHAPTER 5: TOURISM AND THE STATE, A CONTEXTUALDISCUSSION 201The Beginnings of Tourist Promotion.. 201The Origins of State Participation in Tourist Promotion . 202The Magnitude of Victorian and early Mass Tourism 222The Promotion of Mass Tourism 240Mass Tourism and the Growth of State Participation 240Mass Tourist Markets and Promotions 249Postmodern Tourism 253The State and Postmodem Tourism 253Adventure and Cultural Tourism in British Columbia 257Conclusion 270Notes 272CHAPTER 6: THE PRESENTATION OF MASS TOURIST LANDSCAPES 285Aristocratic Presentations. 288The Structure of Aristocratic Presentations 291Varieties of Embellishment in Aristocratic Prose 298Addressing the Aristocratic Audience. 305Summary 308Early Mass Tourism 309In Search of a Rhetoric of Common Currency 319Other Examples 324The Transitional Rhetorics of Other State Tourist Bureaus 331The CPR and the Persistence of the Picturesque 341Conclusion 343Notes 344CHAPTER 7: THE PRESENTATION OF POSTMODERN LANDSCAPES 347The Rhetoric of Mass Tourism 349The Dick and Jane Style of Mass Tourism 355The Rhetorical Qualities of Mass Presentations 363Summary 370Postmodem Presentations: A New Rhetoric’) 371Heritage Guides 389Adventure Presentations 400Conclusion 419Notes 421ivCONCLUSION ....,,. 423Cultural Geography, Landscape and Rhetoric. ,..,.•. .., . .. . .. .. .. 424Tourism, Landscapes, Advertising, and Technology 430Concluding Remarks 439Notes 442PRIMARY SOURCES 445B.C. Government 4-45Canadian Pacific Railway 453Municipal Tourist Organizations 456Vancouver 456Victoria 458Other State Tourist Bureaus 460Alberta 460Canada.461Others 462Adventure and Cultural Brochures 462Heritage Brochures 464SECONDARY SOURCES. 465APPENDICES 493A: HyperDiction Results: Raw Scores 494B: HyperDiction Results: Summary Tables 505Bi = Summary of All Samples 505B2 = Summary of Periodic Data 506B3 = Summary of Data by Author and Period 508C: WordLists 512D: Samples of the HyperDiction Interface 518VLIST OF TABLES1.1 Dramatist Chart, Perspectives on Landscape in Cultural Geography 291.2 Comparison of Agent and Purpose Terms in Humanist CulturalGeography 364.1 Rhetorical Comparison of All Sample Texts by Historical Period 1844.2 Rhetorical Comparison by Period of Texts Issued by the BC Government 1854.3 Summary Correlation Matrix 1864.4 Government Sample Correlation Matrix 1874.5 Significant Correlations Matrix 1884.6 Major Rhetorical Differences Between Historical Periods 1985.1 Government of British Columbia Immigration Expenditures 2045.2 British Columbia Bureau of Provincial Information Expenditures, 1901.1918 2075.3 British Columbia Bureau of Provincial Information Literature Distribution,1910 2085.4 British Columbia Bureau of Provincial Information Expenditures, 19 19-1946 2195.5 Source of Tourist Inquiries And Literature Distributed, 1939-1941 2215.6 Origins of Hotel Registrants in Banff, 1890- 1925. ,. . .2245.7 Canad&s Foreign Tourist Revenue 2255.8 Canada’s Foreign Tourist Revenue—1869 to 1955 2275.9 Tourists Entering British Columbia Through Ocean Ports 2295.10 British Columbia Fish and Game Licences Issued to Foreigners 2305.11 Canada Selected Exports 2325.12 Foreign Travel Expenditures in Canada, by Source and Mode of Travel,1900-1942 ,..2345.13 Origin of American Tourists and the Distribution of British Columbia’sGTB’s Print Advertising, 1938 2395.14 Expenditures by State Tourist Bureaus in Canada 241vi5.15 Promotional Expenditures by State Tourist Bureaus... . .2425,16 Estimates of British Columbia’s Tourist Revenues. . ..2455.17 Expenditures per Capita by State Tourist Bureaus in Canada .2485.18 Promotional Expenditures per Capita by State Tourist Bureaus in Canada 2505.19 Origins of Adventure and Cultural Tourists in British Columbia 2605.20 Annual Family Income of Marine Adventure Tourists in British Columbia,1990 2645.21 Annual Family Income of Heritage Tourists—Barkerville, 1979 2666.1 Rhetorical Character of Aristocratic Presentations, 19004920 2896.2 Rhetorical Comparison of All Early Tourist Presentations, 1900-1945 3116.3 Rhetorical Comparison of the Bureau of Provincial Information’sPresentations, 1900-1945 3126.4 Rhetorical Comparison of Other Early Tourist Presentations, 1900-1945 3136.5 Rhetorical Comparison of Aristocratic and Early Mass Presentations byTourist Organizations- BPI. .3156.6 Rhetorical Comparison of Early Mass Tourist Presentations, 1920-1945 3167.1 Rhetorical Comparison Early and Mass Presentations, 1920-1990 3507.2 Rhetorical Comparison of Aristocratic and Mass Tourism Presentations,1900-1990 3527.3 Rhetorical Comparison of Early and Mass Presentations by the BPI andGTB, 1920-1945 3537.4 Rhetorical Comparison of other Early and Mass Tourism Presentations,1920-1990 3547.5 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass Tourism Presentations, 1945-1990 3567.6 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodern Presentations, 1945-1992 3727.7 Rhetorical Comparison of Postmodern Presentations, Ministry, Adventure,and Heritage, 1980-1992 3747.8 Rhetorical Comparison of Postmodern Presentations by Adventure andHeritage Organizations 375vu7.9 Rhetorical Comparison of Postmodern Presentations by the Ministry andHeritage Organizations, 1980-1992........ .. .. .3767.10 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodern Presentations by Touristand Heritage Organizations, 1945-1992 3777.11 Rhetorical Comparison of Postmodern Presentations by the Ministry andAdventure Organizations, 1980-1992 3797.12 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodern Presentations by All Massand Adventure Organizations, 1945-1992 3807.13 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodern Presentations by the GTBand Adventure Organizations, 1980-1992 3827.14 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodem Presentations by Touristand Adventure Organizations. .3837.15 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodem Presentations by All MassOrganizations and the Ministry, 1945-1992 3857.16 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodem Presentations by the GThand Ministry of Tourism, 1945-1992 3867.17 Rhetorical Comparison of Mass and Postmodem Presentations by TouristOrganizations and the Ministry, 1945-1992 388VIIILIST OF FIGURES4.1 Sample Distribution by Period and Author. 1824.2 General Rhetorical Patterns 1976.1 Contrasting Styles, Tabloid Travel Talks (1933) 3216.2 Contrasting Styles of the Vancouver Tourist Association (1928, 1931) 3377.1 Contrasting Styles, Alluring British Columbia 3577.2 Contrasting Styles, British Columbia, Canada 3607.3 Rhetorical Comparison of Early and Mass Presentations by the BPI and GTB,1920-1945 3677.4 Contrasting Styles, The Ministry’s Heritage Presentations .3987.5 Adventure Tourism Presentations, Hard to Soft 4107.6 Adventure Presentations, BC Ministry of Tourism 415ixACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to acknowledge the assistance and contribution of the following persons tothis thesis:Dr. Trevor Barnes, for his interest, advice, knowledge, and persistenceDr. Glenn Deer, for his encouragement and insightDr. David Ley, for his understanding and exemplary contributions to humangeographyand Kenneth Burke, James Duncan, Roderick Hart, Erilc Cohen, DeanMacCannell, Mary Louise Pratt, and Harold Jnnis, Although I have only metthese scholars textually, their work has strongly influenced my own.xDEDICATIONTo G.M.N.Without Whom NotxiINTRODUCTIONON NETS AND FISH“The lesson is that our statements often reveal more about the language we are talking inthan about the things we are talking about” (Olsson, 1974: 53).“Not only does the nature of our terms affect the nature of our observations ... many ofthe ‘observations’ are but implications of the particular terminology in terms of which theobservations are made” (Burke 1966: 46).In the fall of 1985 and the spring of 1986 I had the opportunity to study in Stockholm,Sweden. One of the most memorable days of my year there was the day I met GunnarOlsson. I remember it well for a number of reasons, one of which was the rain.Although November, I had set out to meet Gunnar Olsson at his office at NordiskaInstitutet fOr Samhallsplanering wearing only a light windbreaker. Brittsommar,Swedish for Indian Summer, had lingered longer than usual. I took the subway from theUniversity downtown to KungtragArden, and walked along the waterfront past the GrandHOtel and the National Museum. As I crossed the bridge from Norrmalm toSkeppsholmen it began to rain. The rain came quickly and heavily, and I was soakedbefore I made cover in the vestibule of a church. There, I tried to dry off, but it was withlittle success. I subsequently decided to accept my circumstance, and squished onwardto meet the author of some of the most interesting work in geography.I also remember the day well because of the scenery. Skeppsholmen is a small,well-treed island in the middle of Stockholm populated by museums, institutes, and anold sailing vessel which now serves as a youth hostel. Olsson’s office looked southacross SirOmmen—the short water passage between Lake Mälaren and the Baltic—to thecliff of SOdermalm, and the large ferries and naval boats moored at its base. Smallerferries, operated by the local transit authority, slid by from time to time carrying12passengers between medieval Gamla Stan, its church spires pricking the sky to the southand west, and DjurgArden, the large island park just visible to the east. It was amagnificent location, one which quickly turned conversation from the weather to thescenic glories of Stockholm.I remember the day most, however, because of a question Olsson asked. Afterthe weather and the scenery, our discussion settled on geography. Probing mybackground and interests, he asked ‘What nets do you use and what fish do you expectto catch?” It was not an unusual question. Olsson’s writing is commonly punctuatedwith metaphors, puns, and other word plays. The question also reflected his perspectiveon how ideas and facts are formed in academic inquiry. Tn 1975, Olsson published amonograph with the curious title Birds in Egg in which he examines the language ofquantitative human geography. In it he argues that:there is no sharp difference between reality and the particular language inwhich we conceive, discuss, and change that reality. Thisinterdependence between reality, thought, language, and action ischaracteristic of both natural and artificial languages. The work whichany language can do is consequently dependent on the particularcategorical structures and life forms which it embodies. Thus, if twolanguages are radically different in these respects, then they can not do thesame work. Put differently, each language tends to illuminate someaspects of reality and leave others obfuscated or distorted ... What weusually treat as if it belonged solely to reality therefore belongs at leastpartly to the mode of analysis itself; the role of language is less to picturereality than to shape it ... As a consequence, it is the particular categoricalstructures and the particular reasoning rules within which I frame myinquiries that determine my view of the world, the analyses I undertake ofit, and the results I arrive at. (1975: 8-9)3Olsson was thus not inquiring after my technique and preferences as an angler. He wastrying to uncover my perspective on geography, and specifically the types of ideas,literatures, and vocabularies I use, and the types of observations that arise because ofthem.This thesis is an attempt to answer the question Olsson asked me on that rainyday in Stockholm. The nets, in this case, are the vocabulary of rhetorical analysis andthe fish are presentations of landscape. Specifically, the thesis examines changes inpresentations of landscape in promotional tourist literature over the last ninety years. Myargument is that the landscape is a symbolic construction whose purpose, meaning, andimportance can be unpacked through rhetorical interpretation. Over the past two decadesa growing number of cultural geographers have suggested that the idea of landscape, oneof the traditional themes of human geography, needs to be rethought (Wagner 1975;Duncan 1980; Cosgrove 1984; Jackson 1989). Greater attention they argue needs to bepaid both to the social practices that create landscape, and to the social relationships thatthey engender. I support the general direction of these changes. In particular, I believethat to understand the social relationships through which landscape is symbolicallyconstructed that we must, as Olsson recognizes, change the language of ourinterpretations. I am not suggesting that cultural geographers should duplicate Olsson’ssurrealistic experiments with brackets, hyphens, compounds, inventions, erasures,silences, rhymes, and puns. Even though we write in deconstructive times, basic tenetsof clarity and logic still place limits on how we communicate (Gregory 1978). I want tosuggest, however, that within these limits there is room to develop new perspectives onlandscape. if one uses the language of traditional cultural geography, with its emphasison the tangible and visual components of culture and their spatial patterns, then no matter4how symbolically charged the landscapes, one will produce, I suspect, traditionalinterpretations (Olsson 1974: 54).In pursuing this objective, I draw upon the literature of rhetoric. A rhetoricalperspective begins with the assumption that the function of language is to motivatepeople to action. To communicate rhetorically is an act: it is “the use of language as asymbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to synthols”(Burke 1969b: 43). Rhetorical analysis focuses on the persuasive aspects of language.It examines how word choice, symbols, syntax, imagery, form, logic, and ideas areused to appeal to an audience. From this stand-point, descriptions of landscape are betterthought of as ‘presentations of kindscape”: they are strategic attempts to presentlandscapes in such a way that they influence the thoughts, opinions, and behaviour ofpeople who live or perceive those landscapes. Names, monuments, architecture,advertising, planning documents, political reports, or any other symbolic means oflabeling and describing the environment are cultural invitations to readings of the ‘text’ oflandscape. Thus, when considering the presentation of a landscape in a tourist guide, arhetorical perspective focuses not just on the features that the guide highlights, but alsoon the way in which those features are written.The landscapes I wish to net with rhetorical analysis are found in tourismadvertising. For reasons which I suspect are primarily non-academic, culturalgeographers have not directed much scholarly attention to the place of advertising in themodem world. There are minor studies which criticize the role of advertising in thedestruction of place through the process of standardization and commodification. Thereare, however, few studies from a geographical perspective which examine therelationship between advertising and modem landscapes.’ The proliferation ofcommercial advertising over the last century and a half has fundamentally reoriented the5nature of communication in modem societies, and with it the nature of cultural and socialrelationships. As one scholar notes, “The ubiquity of advertising has punctuated evengeography”, both changing the spatial scale of our world and re-shaping the ways we seeour environments and each other (Wicke 1988: 155). The relationship betweenadvertising and tourism is particularly close. The emergence of tourism as a modemindustry in the mid 1800s coincides with the publications of the first widely availablecommercial guide books and the invention of package tours. Tourism and thepresentation of tourist landscapes in advertising have since moved thro