Neo-tribalism through an Ethnographic Lens: a Critical Theory Approach
Vorobjovas-Pinta, O, Neo-tribalism through an Ethnographic Lens: a Critical Theory Approach, Research Paradigm Considerations for Emerging Scholars, Channel View Publications, A Pabel, J Pryce, and A Anderson (ed), Bristol, UK, pp. 112-129. ISBN 9781845418281 (2021) [Research Book Chapter]
There were no road signs, nor bright, vivid, pleading resort billboards along the highway. And all-knowing Siri seemed to be lost as well, off the grid, up here in Far North Queensland. As I drove the tiniest rental car up and down Captain Cook Highway, just me and my bright red Hyundai, I had no way to find my destination other than the brief, cryptic text message I received from the resort manager: ‘3km past Rex Lookout look for a M30 road sign and after 50m turn right’. I felt like I was trying to find Platform 9¾, except I was lost on the beach. Worse, there was barely any phone signal - every traveller’s nightmare. As I learned later, my idyllic and remote destination relies on a satellite phone system, and - cut off from the ease of modernity’s ubiquitous, unceasing connectivity - I abruptly felt as if I was adrift in time, as well as space. At the end of a journey of almost eight hours from Hobart, Tasmania, I finally reached my destination: the one and only gay and lesbian resort in Australia. As I entered the reception area, I was greeted with a warm salutation: ‘Welcome to the family, we’ve been waiting for you’. Although the tiny building housing the reception desk, and its welcoming occupant, sat right behind the main hotel building towering above it, this space felt distinctly like an inviting gateway to a truly idyllic resort life. As I walked through the reception, and entered the main resort area - the bar, the restaurant, the ocean! - I noticed this space was filled with friendly gay men, all seemingly enjoying perfect relaxation. It felt immediately as though they had known each other for a long time. I soon discovered I was wrong. How do they know each other? I wondered. How did they find this place? Why, of everywhere on Earth, did they travel here?
Research Book Chapter
neo-tribes, theory, ethnography, tourism, epistemology, research methods