Developing a new transformatory cultural tourism experience model
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The research question addressed by this thesis is: To what degree the results of the statistical analysis will corroborate the main theoretical assumptions of the proposed theoretical model of new authentic transformatory cultural tourism experience as transmodern phenomenon of equality of two Cartesian levels of reality, material (objective authenticity) and experiential (constructive authenticity) in informing the intrapersonal existential authenticity as outcome transformatory tourist experience. The main reason for undertaking this study is to resolve the evident crisis of postmodern authenticity discourse arising from a failure of postmodern theoretical framework to integrate three social authenticity theories into a coherent authenticity discourse. The research design adopted in the study is theory-testing theory-building paradigm which incorporates both deductive and inductive logic and was applied in three successive phases. In the first phase the new theoretical model of transformatory cultural tourism experience was proposed, underpinned by transmodern flat ontology and philosophy of the Speculative Realism. In the second phase the main theoretical assumptions of equal contribution of objective and constructive authenticity as independent variables in informing the transformatory experience as dependent variable were empirically tested by standard multiple regression analysis. In the last deductive phase the results of all empirical tests were inferred onto initial theoretical assumptions of the original model and new modified model of transformatory cultural tourism experience has been proposed with an addition of two newly identified transmodern experiential constructs, epistemological and ontological authenticity. For a primary data collection the instrument was a self-administered questionnaire and the sampling strategy was a non-probability sampling. The data was collected during the period 01st and 18 April 2011 at two sites, Constitution Hill and Hector Peterson Memorial in Johannesburg. The sample size from two sites was N=406. The scales of measurements were already developed in the earlier questionnaire and the confirmatory factor analysis was used to confirm the variables contained in each factor, namely objective and constructive authenticity as independent variables and transformatory experience as the dependent variable. The results of a standard multiple regression analysis confirmed the importance of the model as independent variables explained 30.7% of the variances (R2=.307) in the model. An unexpected result was that objective authenticity explained 34.5% of the variance in the model (β = .345) which is significantly higher than 30.5% of variance explained by constructive authenticity (β = .305). The results of standard multiple regression analysis confirmed the main theoretical assumption of the model of equality of material and experiential levels of Cartesian duality in informing the new transformatory experience regarded as a transmodern phenomenon. The standard, stepwise and hierarchical multiple regression tests were further conducted to establish if any moderating variables should be added into the original model containing two independent variables. The tests included five demographic variables (gender, place of residence, connection with culture, and two items of education (pre-tertiary education and Bachelors degree) and none of the variables explained a level of variability which warranted their inclusion into the model. Consequently, the results of the retests of the model did not change its initial conceptualisation. Finally, the t-test and Mann-Whitney U tests identified a significant difference between the two groups in the level of authenticity of their experience derived from two sites. A group having stronger inclination for authenticity is identified as Cultural Creatives, who are known as the forerunners of transmodernism. Based on the results of all statistical tests the final model was modified to reflect the important theoretical findings pertaining to two new types of transmodern authenticity. Epistemological authenticity denotes combined effects of objective and constructive authenticity in feeding the ontological authenticity of transformatory experience. The ontological authenticity is further identified as a confirmation of authentic-self which is required by Cultural Creatives. With proposition of new modified model the theory-testing theory-building research design came to its conclusion. The importance of research findings presented in this study lies not only in resolving the current crises of authenticity discourse in tourism but in the proposed New theoretical and conceptual model of transformatory cultural tourism experience underpinned by objective ·and constructive authenticity which will open a whole new field in tourism research arising from new transmodern experiential paradigm.