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Framing a Supermantra: Ecotourism, Engagement and Conceptualisations of 'Good' Development
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1038-2412
2016 (English)In: Forum for Development Studies, ISSN 0803-9410, E-ISSN 1891-1765, Vol. 43, no 3, 463-487 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Ecotourism as a development strategy is often attractive - rather than exhausting natural resources, local communities can benefit from their conservation. Ecotourism-based conservation thus becomes conceived as a 'win-win' for local communities and narrative-based campaigns have emerged to promote it. This article investigates how a narrative of ecotourism and development is created and what social and political implications this has. Drawing on media studies and political ecology literature, this article looks at a global campaign, the Manta Ray of Hope (MRH), which utilises such a narrative to engender enthusiasm for the conservation of mobulids (manta and mobula rays) and to lobby for their protection. Multimodal analysis is employed to interrogate the MRH media materials, examining how threats to mobulids are framed. Through this framing a discourse is created, the discourse of the supermanta, which contains a win-win narrative asserting that mobulid fishing can be converted into ecotourism to the benefit of both fishers and mobulids. The supermanta is a supermantra: it presents a homogenised picture of diverse species and situations obscuring differences between the contexts and communities where mobulids are fished. This also hides the fact that any changes to resource usage will have winners and losers. This analysis shows that the supermanta reiterates the message of other, criticised, conservation campaigns. The article concludes by suggesting that conservation campaigns like the MRH utilise a more open, inclusive approach to framing, allowing a wider range of voices to contribute to the supermanta.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2016. Vol. 43, no 3, 463-487 p.
Keyword [en]
ecotourism, conservation, fisheries, supermantra, sustainable development, political ecology, mobulids
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-55089DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2016.1157517ISI: 000390944000005Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84961204004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-55089DiVA: diva2:1070002
Available from: 2017-01-31 Created: 2017-01-31 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • vancouver
  • Other style
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