Backpacking Gallipoli : international civil religious pilgrimage and its challenge to national collective memory

West, Brad. (2002). Backpacking Gallipoli : international civil religious pilgrimage and its challenge to national collective memory PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.

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Author West, Brad.
Thesis Title Backpacking Gallipoli : international civil religious pilgrimage and its challenge to national collective memory
School, Centre or Institute School of Social Science
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2002
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Dr Philip Smith
Total pages 255
Language eng
Subjects L
430101 History - Australian
370199 Sociology not elsewhere classified
750901 Understanding Australia's past
Formatted abstract
The burgeoning activity of Australian backpackers touring the WWI Gallipoli battlefields in Turkey allows us to explore the workings of national collective memory in an era of international travel. Global tourism is not limited to experiences of cultures and places alien to the guest's national history and identity. Frequently it is also an avenue through which the traveller can access sites sacred to their own national history. The activity of visiting such hallowed ground when it is located on foreign soil is referred to in this dissertation as international civil religious pilgrimage.

International civil religious pilgrimage is less regimented than the national rituals that sociologists are familiar with analysing. In this activity actors are empowered through being in the direct presence of the sacred place or object, yet this occurs at a time when they are being exposed to a wide range of differing social and geographic conditions. For backpackers who participate in this ritual there are additional contributing factors that are pivotal to the backpacking tourist aesthetic: the search for authenticity in foreign culture, lengthy periods of time abroad, avoidance of conventional tourist destinations and voluntary adoption of a frugal lifestyle.

Drawing on a variety of data including field interviews, participant observation and historical sources, the thesis understands the Gallipoli pilgrimage in relation to prevailing theories on the effect that international travel has on the nation. Working between critical and postcolonial and postmodern literatures, it is argued that nationalist and cosmopolitan ideologies can coexist in new forms of international travel. In the case of the Gallipoli pilgrimage, Australian backpackers attain a renewed sense of nationalism at the same time as accepting and gaining empathy for the Turkish perspective on the campaign. This occurs through the integration of Australian and Turkish collective memories into a single metanarrative. Such a finding contributes to sociological debates over globalisation and the demise of the nation state and forces us to find new ways of conceptualising national collective memory in order to appreciate its "dialogic' and narrative basis.
Keyword National characteristics, Australian
Memory -- Social aspects -- Australia
Gallipoli Peninsula (Turkey) -- Description and travel

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
Citation counts: Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Wed, 18 May 2011, 18:48:32 EST by Ling Yan on behalf of The University of Queensland Library