The socio-cultural and psychological effects of tourism on indigenous cultures
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This research addresses the socio-cultural and psychological effects of tourism on the indigenous people of a developing nation. The Cook Islands served as a case study. Quantitative and qualitative methods were used to collect data on four islands which had experienced varying degrees of tourism and other acculturative influences. The data were then analysed using a methodology informed by grounded theory. It was found that although residents on all four islands had experienced acculturative influences including tourism, (a highly visible, contemporary form of acculturation), there was no significant indication of psychological dysfunction associated with this. It is suggested that this is due in part to the characteristics of Cook Islands culture, the type of tourism currently experienced in the Cook Islands, and specific ethnopsychological features of Cook Islanders which act to moderate the stressful aspects of intercultural contact resulting from tourism. A conceptual model is proposed outlining this process and its subsequent outcomes.