The commodification of culture in the Thai tourism context: a study of culinary experiences in touristic traditional markets

Lunchaprasith, Thanya (2016) The commodification of culture in the Thai tourism context: a study of culinary experiences in touristic traditional markets. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service.
Printed Thesis Information:


The purpose of the thesis is to examine the relationship between tourism and the local culture expressed in culinary
experiences offered in the traditional, nostalgic-themed markets that have arisen as popular attractions in the 21 st century. Central to the thesis is an examination of how the traditional cultural values are articulated in the production, promotion and consumption of culinary experiences in order to understand the value of culture when
embedded in the process of commodification, as well as to understand influential socio-cultural factors. The thesis investigates the potential of traditional markets to promote food as the main attraction in the market. Field studies were conducted from December 2012–March 2014 in eight traditional markets in the central region of Thailand. Based on the ethnographic approach in studying the narratives in the markets, a variety of methods were implemented in the process of data collection. Besides observational analysis of the venue, semi-structured interviews and the self-administered questionnaires were used to collect data from actors who engage in food experiences, including management team members, food traders and visitors. Data was also collected from interviews with officers working for Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).

Keys findings of the thesis reveal that the cultural expressions of food experience in each market is an outcome of both the interactions of worldviews expressed by actors involved in the traditional market and the socio-cultural condition of Thailand. The relationships between stakeholders’ attitudes towards food experiences and the commercial potentials and limitations of food were analysed. The analysis of the cultural value of culinary experiences demonstrates that the existing academic discussions of the authenticity of tourism are insightful in explaining the character of food experiences offered in this tourism scenario. Most importantly, authenticity in tourism experiences, being a desirable element in culinary experiences, is a reflection of the how the pre-modern aspect of Thai society is embraced in a contemporary context. In addition, the commodification of culinary culture generates multidimensional consequences on the value of traditional culture and local lives. Moreover, the performance of culinary experiences can be viewed from the perspective of how Thai society interacts with globalization. The thesis also points out that it is possible to compare the situation of the traditional markets with the marketing positioning of food in Thai tourism marketing policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Cultural tourism, culinary tourism, heritage tourism, heritage marketing, gastronomic tourism, food tourism, gastronomic experience, gastronomic marketing, community-based tourism, tourism in Thailand, culture in tourism, commodification of culture, culture for sale, authenticity, cultural involution, revival of traditional culture, consumption of nostalgia, globalization, interpretations of culture, interpretation of heritage, stakeholders in cultural tourism, marketplaces, ancient communities, traditional markets, Thai traditional markets, nostalgic-themed market, traditional markets in the 21st century, food in traditional markets, Thai food, Thai food in tourism, local wisdom, one-tambon-one-product scheme (OTOP), creative economy
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social & Environmental Sustainability
Precurrent Departments > School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Funder's Name: The Royal Thai Government
Supervisor's Name: Macleod, Dr. Donald and Gillespie, Dr. Steven
Date of Award: 2016
Embargo Date: 11 October 2019
Depositing User: Ms Thanya Lunchaprasith
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-7632
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2016 13:25
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2023 13:02

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item