The role of multicultural festivals in a society in transition: From being ethnically homogeneous to becoming multicultural

Insun Sunny Lee (2012). The role of multicultural festivals in a society in transition: From being ethnically homogeneous to becoming multicultural PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

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Author Insun Sunny Lee
Thesis Title The role of multicultural festivals in a society in transition: From being ethnically homogeneous to becoming multicultural
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2012-03
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Charles Arcodia
Timothy J. Lee
Total pages 257
Total colour pages 8
Total black and white pages 249
Language eng
Subjects 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
Abstract/Summary While there are numerous studies focusing on various aspects of festivals in general, research on particular types of festivals, including multicultural festivals, remains limited. However, with the emerging cultural diversity of many societies worldwide, the importance of building well-integrated multicultural societies, as well as understanding this process, is increasing. Multicultural festivals have emerged in many locations, in particular in societies still at the beginning of becoming multi-ethnic, as a useful instrument for promoting social harmony and integration. The evaluation on this role, however, remains poorly explored. This study aimed to explore the role of multicultural festivals in a society in transit from being ethnically homogeneous to multicultural, and to offer insights into the contribution of multicultural festivals as an instrument within a multicultural policy to the development of successful multiculturalism. To evaluate the role of multicultural festivals as an instrument for the development of multiculturalism, the experiences and benefits visitors gain from attending a multicultural festival, and how these experiences and benefits contribute to building better multiculturalism must be considered. By adopting a Benefits-Based Management (BBM) framework to the multicultural festival field, this study explores the festival experiences that visitors had at a multicultural festival, the benefits gained from those festival experiences, and what particular experience leads to which benefit. To achieve the aim and objectives of this study, a mixed method research approach was used in the research design. Quantitative data were collected and analysed in the first phase, followed by qualitative interviews that helped to elaborate the initial findings. In the first phase, a total of 420 valid questionnaires from 176 Koreans and 244 ethnic minorities were collected at three multicultural festivals: the ‘Open multicultural festival’, ‘Siheung multicultural festival’ and ‘Colourful multicultural festival’, in South Korea, from April to June 2010. In the second phase of the qualitative study, a total of 44 visitors, 24 Korean and 20 ethnic minority visitors, were interviewed after the festival from April to June 2010. Findings from the quantitative data revealed that visitors had emotional experience as the most common experience, followed by social and learning experiences at multicultural festivals, and transformational benefit was identified as the greatest benefit the majority of visitors gained, followed by cognitive, social and affective benefits. It was also found that different visitors across the ethnic and behavioural variables had different experiences and benefits. Visitors gained transformational benefit mostly from social experience at a multicultural festival, cognitive benefit from emotional and social experiences, affective benefit from social experience, and social benefit from having learning and emotional experiences. It also appeared that the impacts of experiences on benefits were different for different ethnic and behavioural groups. By demonstrating the use of multicultural festivals as a socio-political strategy for the development of successful multiculturalism, this study encourages governments and policy makers to consider multicultural festivals as an important instrument for the development of successful multiculturalism. Identifying visitor experiences and benefits from a visit to a multicultural festival can be used as a barometer to measure the development of multiculturalism, and may indeed demonstrate that such festivals assist in enhancing social integration. The understanding of what experience leads to which benefit is of use in the management of festivals, providing additional information to event organisers for the planning and implementation of strategies to strengthen specific visitor benefits at future festivals. This study also has significance examining the festival experience and benefit from visitor perspective by adopting a BBM approach to the festival context, the multicultural festival setting in particular. Testing a BBM approach to festivals in this study with quantitative data enables research on understanding festival visitor experience to be advanced, and qualitative study in this study contributes to expand the knowledge and understanding of visitor experiences and benefit at multicultural festivals in a society in transition from being ethnically homogeneous to becoming multicultural in particular. As the findings of this study are delimited to multicultural festivals in societies in transit from ethnically homogeneous to becoming multicultural, future research may compare the roles of multicultural festivals in different societies, one in a society in transit to becoming a multicultural society, and one in a society in which multiculturalism is well established. As the BBM approach has been initially applied to the festival context in this study, continued applications of the BBM approach in a broad range of festivals and events are also valid topic for future festival visitor studies.
Keyword Multicultural festival
Multicultural society
South Korea
Visitor experience
Visitor benefits
Visitor study
Benefits-based management
Additional Notes * Individual page numbers that should be printed in colour: p.18; p.19; p.69; p.70; p.72; p.97; p.102; and p.116

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Created: Wed, 28 Mar 2012, 15:44:44 EST by Ms Insun Sunny Lee on behalf of Library - Information Access Service