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Article: The alchemy of the upwardly mobile: Symbolic capital and the stylization of elites in frequent-flyer programmes

TitleThe alchemy of the upwardly mobile: Symbolic capital and the stylization of elites in frequent-flyer programmes
Authors
KeywordsDiscourse
Elitism
Globalization
Identity
Semiotics
Stylization
Tourism
Issue Date2006
PublisherSage Publications Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journal.aspx?pid=105519
Citation
Discourse And Society, 2006, v. 17 n. 1, p. 99-135 How to Cite?
AbstractFrom a sample of 51 major international airlines, we offer a critical discourse analysis of so-called loyalty or frequent-flyer programmes and their related business-class services. As examples of cultural capital par excellence, these seemingly innocuous discursive formations act as significant agents of, and channels for, globalist relations of power in the context of international travel and tourism. The principal logic of frequent-flyer programmes hinges on establishing a synthetically personalized (see Fairclough, 1989) framework by which 'loyalty' is defined and rewarded, and by which privilege is then awarded and regulated. However, what actually sustains this commodified interpersonal appeal is the airlines' skilful reworking of symbolic capital, their manipulation of the illusion of distinction, and the exploitation of social anxieties about status. This is all achieved through a series of discursive strategies that stylize (see Cameron, 2000a) 'preferred' passengers as elite. Our analysis of frequent-flyer programmes and business-class services exposes some of the ways social privilege and superiority are nowadays measured, as well as the normative production of luxury. We argue that, for the sake of global marketability and profit, the semiotic realization of super-elitism by the airline industry powerfully 're-organizes' anachronistic modes of tourism while also reformulating very traditional notions of class distinction. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/147151
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 1.137
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.720
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorThurlow, Cen_HK
dc.contributor.authorJaworski, Aen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2012-05-29T03:24:18Z-
dc.date.available2012-05-29T03:24:18Z-
dc.date.issued2006en_HK
dc.identifier.citationDiscourse And Society, 2006, v. 17 n. 1, p. 99-135en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0957-9265en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/147151-
dc.description.abstractFrom a sample of 51 major international airlines, we offer a critical discourse analysis of so-called loyalty or frequent-flyer programmes and their related business-class services. As examples of cultural capital par excellence, these seemingly innocuous discursive formations act as significant agents of, and channels for, globalist relations of power in the context of international travel and tourism. The principal logic of frequent-flyer programmes hinges on establishing a synthetically personalized (see Fairclough, 1989) framework by which 'loyalty' is defined and rewarded, and by which privilege is then awarded and regulated. However, what actually sustains this commodified interpersonal appeal is the airlines' skilful reworking of symbolic capital, their manipulation of the illusion of distinction, and the exploitation of social anxieties about status. This is all achieved through a series of discursive strategies that stylize (see Cameron, 2000a) 'preferred' passengers as elite. Our analysis of frequent-flyer programmes and business-class services exposes some of the ways social privilege and superiority are nowadays measured, as well as the normative production of luxury. We argue that, for the sake of global marketability and profit, the semiotic realization of super-elitism by the airline industry powerfully 're-organizes' anachronistic modes of tourism while also reformulating very traditional notions of class distinction. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherSage Publications Ltd. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.sagepub.co.uk/journal.aspx?pid=105519en_HK
dc.relation.ispartofDiscourse and Societyen_HK
dc.subjectDiscourseen_HK
dc.subjectElitismen_HK
dc.subjectGlobalizationen_HK
dc.subjectIdentityen_HK
dc.subjectSemioticsen_HK
dc.subjectStylizationen_HK
dc.subjectTourismen_HK
dc.titleThe alchemy of the upwardly mobile: Symbolic capital and the stylization of elites in frequent-flyer programmesen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailJaworski, A: jaworski@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityJaworski, A=rp01597en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltexten_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1177/0957926506058066en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-31044436326en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-31044436326&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume17en_HK
dc.identifier.issue1en_HK
dc.identifier.spage99en_HK
dc.identifier.epage135en_HK
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000234831800004-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdomen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridThurlow, C=6602367480en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridJaworski, A=7005806898en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike7899506-

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