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Access Type

Open Access

Document Type


Degree Program

Hotel & Tourism Management

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

January 2008

Month Degree Awarded



social construction of reality, interdependence of place and identity, role of language in meaning making, epistemology, place-making in hospitality and tourism


This thesis puts forth a model for analyzing and understanding the social construction of the concept of place. The Place Deconstruction Model (PDM) consists of a decentered and a centered perspective. The decentered perspective identifies three instances of sense making, at the levels of perception (crude place), meaning making (constructed place), and the building of artifice (commodified place). The centered perspective accounts for the subjectivity of the observer, as determined by memory, expectations, and the experience of the here and now. The method of analysis involves the juxtaposition of spatial (space, place identity, place image), temporal (time, history, heritage), and social (being, self identity, self image) lenses that require adjustment of parameters such as perspective and unit of analysis. The findings derived from the application of this model have both academic and practical applications.


First Advisor

Linda L Lowry