|The Un/changing Face of the `Khomani: Representation through Promotional Media|
|Written by Kate Finlay|
The Un/changing Face of the ≠Khomani: Representation through Promotional Media.
By Kate Finlay (2009)
Submitted in partial fulfilment of the Master of Social Science Degree, Graduate Programme in Culture, Communication and Media Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
This dissertation involves a longitudinal study of the promotional materials of !Xaus Lodge, a community-owned lodge in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The study engages with stakeholders of the Lodge in order to assess its promotional materials in terms of marketing, identity and development issues.
The Circuit of Culture (Du Gay et al. 1997) covers and examines the process of meaning-making which forms the basis for understanding the textual and reception analyses. This, along with pertinent tourism theories, which discuss issues such as the concept of ‘authenticity’, the notion of the ‘other’ and various modes of representation, form the basis of the theory pervading the dissertation.
The textual analysis is based on Tomaselli’s Phaneroscopic Table (1996), through which the promotional materials are examined. The reception analysis thematically discusses target market and past visitors’ opinions about the materials and the Lodge, facilitated through the process of coding. The informants’ opinions were collected through a number of focus groups conducted with the target market of !Xaus Lodge and through online questionnaires sent to past visitors. A comparison between the textual and reception analyses is conducted in order to identify similarities found and explain divergences.
The analyses refer to all aspects of the promotional materials, but tend to concentrate on ≠Khomani representation within the materials and the feedback about the ≠Khomani cultural tourism experience at the Lodge. At the moment, the ≠Khomani express a romantic identity which relates well to similar expectations of many tourists, but the ‘reality’ of ≠Khomani society does not allow these !Xaus employees to meet the idealistic expectations of some visitors.