Elite Mobilities

Arising from my work on tourism discourse (see past projects), this project examines the discursive production of elitism and social privilege in the context of so called high-end or luxury travel. The project was initially supported by start-up grant from the University of Washington's Royalty Research Fund and also a Society of Scholars fellowship from the university's Simpson Center for the Humanities. Through the analytic lenses of critical discourse analysis and social semiotics, my collaborator Adam Jaworski (Hong Kong University) and I have been documenting some of the linguistic, visual, spatial and material resources commonly deployed in the elitist performances of individuals and in the stylizations of elitism by marketers and other commercial agents. At the heart of the project is a multi-sited discourse-ethnography of four different spaces or modes of luxury travel, representing a series of what we dub “global”, “retro”, “imperial” and “egalitarian” high-end travel. This work will culminate in a book-length manuscript scheduled for 2015/2016, provisionally titled "It's All About You: The Language of Luxury and Super-Elite Status". In the meantime, indicative publications arising from the project include: