chapter  5
14 Pages

The semiotics of slow adventure: Narrative and identity

ByTRISTAN SEMPLE

Introduction This chapter extends the notion of adventure as a subjective (Weber, 2001) and socially constructed (Beedie and Hudson, 2003) practice by investigating the relationship between adventure narratives, the performance of adventure as leisure and the pro cesses by which identity is constructed. The notion of self or selfhood is engaged with as a creative project which is externally realised through symbolic acts and internally shaped by imaginative devices. Moreover, the performances, thoughts and feelings which constitute adventurous leisure, are presented as emerging in direct relation to the motifs and meanings embedded within certain narratives. The notion of slow adventure is introduced to help characterise this distinct sub-genre which articulates a particular constellation of emotions and semiotics. In extending the notion of the ‘self ’ as a raft of co-constructed selves (Goffman, 1959) and identity as a developmental project (Baumeister, 1986) the literature has proposed that the performance of tourism and leisure is set against a backdrop of identity experimentation (Desforges, 2000; Neumann, 1992). As a strand within this theoretical web, this chapter builds upon the work of Moscardo (2010) and brings greater focus to the central proposition that the tourist experience is concerned with the enactment, creation and recreation of stories. Moscardo’s framework (2010: 51) will be extended to include the influence of archetypal roles, mythologies, cultural scripts and narratives. Furthermore, McAdams’s (1985) concept of life chapters and Singer and Salovey’s (1993) theory of self defining memories are incorporated to explore the tripartite relationship between narrative, identity and adventure experiences.