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Ocean Travel and Cruising: A Cultural Analysis [Hardcover]

Kaye Sung Chon , Arthur Asa Berger

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Book Description

April 26 2004 0789021978 978-0789021977
A one-of-a-kind analysis of ocean cruising!

In Ocean Travel and Cruising: A Cultural Analysis, noted author Arthur Asa Berger turns his critical eye to the phenomenon of ocean cruising. This academically solid yet reader-friendly book brings a multidisciplinary cultural studies approach to the subject, examining ocean cruising from economic, semiotic, sociological, psychoanalytic, and marketing perspectives, and offering insights not provided by the more traditional sociological approaches to the subject. You'll explore cruise demographics, the relationship between cruising and gender, the sociology of dining on cruise ships, hedonism and pleasure seeking, the “compulsion to cruise,” consolidation in the industry, the exploitation of workers on cruise ships, and a great deal more.

Here's a section-by-section rundown of what's in store for you and your students in this one-of-a-kind new text:
  • “The Economics of Cruising” examines cruise categories, industry consolidation, worker exploitation, and ways that cruise lines make money aside from ticket sales. This section also compares the costs of cruises vs. land-based vacations and fills you in on the typical weekly food and beverage consumption of the Carnival line's complement of ships, which sheds light on how a cruise line can, for a mere $10, provide a food array that would cost a restaurant or hotel $33 to $40.
  • “Signs at Sea—The Semiotics of Cruising” provides you with a quick primer on semiotics and then discusses the cruise ship as a sign system and then breaks the system down to its component parts, discussing dining rooms, cabins/staterooms, dress codes, spatiality, luxury signifiers, the perceived elitism of the cruise experience, the role of photography, and more.
  • “A Sociological Analysis of Cruising” explores cruise demographics and their meaning, time budgeting on cruises, the sociology of dining, new trends in cruising, and the meaning of gender in relation to ocean cruising.
  • A particularly intriguing chapter is “A Psychoanalytic Interpretation of Cruising.” Beginning with a look at the compulsion to cruise, this section explores cruising's relationship with the unconscious, the paradise myth, hedonism and pleasure seeking, the desire for unconditional love, psychological regression, and more.
  • In “Selling Smooth Sailing: Advertising and Marketing Cruises,” you'll examine print advertisements from eight major cruise lines, look at what they have in common and what the differences are between the messages each cruise line hopes to convey via the style and content of their ads and brochures.
  • “Cruising (on) the Internet” looks at the intersection of the information superhighway with the world of cruising. You'll learn about the cruise lines' own Web sites, travel agency sites, Internet sites designed to rate and review cruises and cruise ships, and more.
  • “Notes from a Cruise Journal” shares the author’s on-site reflections and impressions of a weeklong cruise from Los Angeles to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and back.
Written in accessible, jargon-free language that will appeal to students at all levels, Ocean Travel and Cruising: A Cultural Analysis is the most recent of a very small selection of scholarly studies of ocean cruising available in English. Make it a part of your cultural studies, leisure studies, sociology, travel/tourism/hospitality, popular culture, or American studies course this semester!

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The cruise industry is an $8 billion industry now, with a 1,400 percent growth rate since 1970. Read the first page
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