Sea World - Gold Coast, Australia's discourse of legitimation: signage and live animal shows (2015-2018) as indicators of change in messaging

Scollen, Rebecca Jane and Mason, Andrew (2020) Sea World - Gold Coast, Australia's discourse of legitimation: signage and live animal shows (2015-2018) as indicators of change in messaging. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28 (10). pp. 1686-1701. ISSN 0966-9582


Abstract

Observation of Sea World – Gold Coast, Australia’s 2015 and 2018 onsite signage and live animal shows provides indication of a significant shift in legitimating rhetoric. The keeping of animals in captivity has become an increasingly contentious issue requiring zoos and marine parks to reposition themselves to remain viable as tourism enterprises to be sustained into the future. Recent protests by animal rights activists in Australia exemplifies the ideological challenges to the keeping of marine animals in captivity. To survive and thrive all organisations including marine parks must present an ideologically sustainable position which is consistent through their messaging and practices. Participant observation and discourse analysis are applied in this study to reveal the messaging employed by Sea World – Gold Coast, Australia in two separate years, and by doing so to identify the changes in legitimation framing over the period. Examples of onsite signage and live animal shows at the theme park, demonstrate that the legitimating discourses have shifted from its role in educating the public about marine animals and conservation in 2015, to highlighting its role as authorised, expert facility understood as a place of refuge to care for individual animals in 2018.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Creative Arts (1 Mar 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 Mar 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 19 May 2020 22:49
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2021 01:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sea World, Australia, discourse, legitimation, signage, live shows
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200101 Communication Studies
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): B Economic Development > 90 Commercial Services and Tourism > 9003 Tourism > 900302 Socio-Cultural Issues in Tourism
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09669582.2020.1750620
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38568

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