The Social Construction of Swedish Nature as a Touristic Attraction

by Emelie Fälton

Institution: Linköping University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Nature - culture relations; Sweden; Text analysis; Tourism; Visual analysis; Social Sciences; Samhällsvetenskap; Humanities; Humaniora; Natural Sciences; Earth and Related Environmental Sciences; Environmental Sciences; Naturvetenskap; Geovetenskap och miljövetenskap; Miljövetenskap; Social Sciences; Other Social Sciences; Social Sciences Interdisciplinary; Samhällsvetenskap; Annan samhällsvetenskap; Tvärvetenskapliga studier; Master´s in Science for Sustainable Development; Master´s in Science for Sustainable Development
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2134705
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-130538


Sweden is a country with a lot of tourism that is dependent on nature as a touristic resource. Nature itself is a complex concept with different interpretations. In this thesis, the social construction of the Swedish nature as a touristic attraction is scrutinized. A total of 671 visual images with belonging descriptive texts has been collected from an online image bank where information about Sweden is available for foreign marketers. The material was analysed in order to answer questions about how the Swedish nature and the touristic approach to it are presented, how nature features are assigned to it and how the relationship between nature and humans is presented. The composition and portraiture of the images and prominent themes and patterns in the textual descriptions have been identified as well. The theoretical framework is based on discourse theory, while the methodological framework is based on inspiration from both discourse analysis and content analysis. The result revealed that Swedish nature is presented as part of the rural Sweden with mountains, forests and littoral areas as the main elements. Swedish nature is foremost portrayed as wild and authentic, but also as sublime and pristine to a lesser extent. It is also portrayed as a place for touristic activities with a focus on the outdoors and physical activity. The relation between nature and humans differ, but the Swedish people are portrayed as more connected to nature than tourists