Therapeutic (Is)landscapes, Experiences of Digitality and Other Encounters with Place on Turtle Island, Fiji

ResearchSpace/Manakin Repository

Show simple item record James, Erin en 2019-04-16T01:54:05Z en 2018 en
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dc.description Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract As a site of archipelago tourism in the South Pacific, Fiji has become synonymous with the ‘island escape’ or ‘getaway’ phenomenon. Western tourists flock to its many islands in search of improved wellbeing. The island motif features heavily in the Fijian holiday experience. Increasingly, digital technologies and social media play a role in this experience. For some guests, an escape to ‘the islands’ offers respite from everyday pressures and an opportunity to ‘unplug’ and ‘get away’ from it all. Other guests want to stay ‘in contact’ and ‘connected’. The implications of this on place, identity and wellbeing are explored in this thesis using a case-study approach, centred on an exclusive private island resort, Turtle Island, Fiji. I ask how is place experienced on a private island resort in Fiji and what effect does this have on wellbeing? The research draws from a wide body of literature including island studies, therapeutic landscape research and digital geographies. I adopted a mixed-methodology informed by phenomenological theories to investigate this research question. The methods used included autoethnography, online surveys, digital talanoa-style interviews and thematic analysis of comments and ‘likes’ posted by guests on Turtle Island’s TripAdvisor and Facebook pages. The themes identified in the data included: privacy, paradise, escape, restorative, leaving, returning, home and mama/family. Some of these themes, such as privacy and paradise, resonated more with first time visitors, while others were indicative of place attachment and ‘second home’ experienced by repeat guests. The private island as ‘escape’ was a theme common to both. Understanding how ‘privacy’ is conceptualised on Turtle Island, particularly in relation to social media, was another key area of investigation. I conclude that the private island operates as a heterotopia, providing a space free from observation and a space dependent on observation. Guests are both empowered and disciplined by the social media gaze. Furthermore, the state of flux on Turtle Island (where guests and staff are constantly arriving, departing and returning); and the continual making and remaking of identity and place can be understood through the concept of ‘becoming’. In the context of the therapeutic (is)landscape, I propose that scholarly attention shift from well-being to a new concept of well-becoming which involves a dynamic, evolving and emplaced process of wellness. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265150802102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Full Text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
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dc.title Therapeutic (Is)landscapes, Experiences of Digitality and Other Encounters with Place on Turtle Island, Fiji en
dc.type Thesis en Geography en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 768751 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2019-04-16 en

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