, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 491–498 | Cite as

Lobster is big in Boston: Postcards, place commodification, and tourism

  • Corkery Celia K. 
  • Bailey Adrian J. 


An analysis of picture postcards from Boston, Massachusetts shows that, in 1977, Boston was portrayed as a center of heritage and science and technology. In 1990 more postcards featured more views of more sights, emphasising shopping and academe. A new class of novelty cards conveyed images of Boston which did not refer to any particular geographic sites. We interpret these shifts using the idea of place commodification and by situating tourism in the culture industry.


Environmental Management Culture Industry Geographic Site Place Commodification 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Albers, P.; James, W.: Travel photography: a methodological approach. Annals of Tourism Research 15, 134–158 (1988)Google Scholar
  2. Allen, R. F.; Molina, L.E.S.: People and places on picture postcards: a high interest source for geographic education. Journal of Geography 91, 3, 106–112 (1992)Google Scholar
  3. Arato, A; Gebhardt, E. (eds.): The essential Frankfurt School reader. Urizen, New York 1978.Google Scholar
  4. Baudrillard, J.: Simulations. Semiotext, New York 1983.Google Scholar
  5. Botterill, D.; Crompton, J.: Personal construction of holiday snapshots. Annals of Tourism Research 14, 152–6 (1987Google Scholar
  6. Bourdieu, P.: Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1984.Google Scholar
  7. Britton, S.: Tourism, capital, and place: towards a critical geography of tourism. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 9, 451–478 (1991)Google Scholar
  8. Buck, R.: The ubiquitous tourist brochure: Explorations in its intended and unintended use. Annals of Tourism Research 4, 195–207 (1977)Google Scholar
  9. Culler, J.: The semiotics of tourism. American Journal of Semiotics 1, 127–140 (1981)Google Scholar
  10. Culler, J.: Framing the sign: Criticism and its institutions. Basil Blackwell, New York 1988.Google Scholar
  11. Dann, G.; Nash, D.; Pearce, P.: Methodology in tourism research. Annals of Tourism Research 15 1–28 (1988)Google Scholar
  12. Dilley, R.: Tourist brochures and tourist images. The Canadian Geographer 30, 1, 59–65 (1986)Google Scholar
  13. Featherstone, M.: Perspectives on consumer culture. Sociology 24, 1, 5–22 (1990)Google Scholar
  14. Feiffer, M.: Going places: the ways of the tourist from Imperial Rome to the present. Macmillan, London 1985.Google Scholar
  15. Fodor, E.: Fodor's New England. Fodor's Travel, New York 1977.Google Scholar
  16. Fodor, E.: Fodor's New England. Fodor's Travel, New York 1988.Google Scholar
  17. Giordono, M.: Camden Yards and the “Condition of Postmodernity”. Gnosis, Spring/Summer 1993, 1–12 (1993)Google Scholar
  18. Glennie, P. D.; Thrift, N. J.: Modernity, urbanism, and modern consumption. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 10, 423–443 (1992)Google Scholar
  19. Goldberg, V.: Images of catastrophe as corporate ballyhoo. New York Times, May 3, 33–35 (1992)Google Scholar
  20. Hall, C. M.: Hallmark tourist events. Halsted, New York 1992.Google Scholar
  21. Harvey, D.: Consciousness and the urban experience. Basil Blackwell, Cambridge 1985.Google Scholar
  22. Harvey, D.: The condition of postmodernity. Basil Blackwell, Cambridge 1989.Google Scholar
  23. Held, D.: Introduction to critical theory: Horkheimer to Habermas. Macmillan, London 1980.Google Scholar
  24. Jameson, F.: Postmodernism, or the cultural logic of late capitalism. The New Left Review 146, 53–92 (1984)Google Scholar
  25. Lash, S.: Discourse or figure? Postmodernism as a “regime of signification”. Theory, Culture, and Society 5, 311–336 (1988)Google Scholar
  26. Lash, S.: The sociology of postmodernism. Routledge, New York 1991.Google Scholar
  27. Lash, S.; Urry, J.: The end of organized capitalism. Polity Press, Cambridge 1987.Google Scholar
  28. Logan, J.; Molotch, H.: Urban fortunes: The political economy of place. University of California Press, Berkeley 1987.Google Scholar
  29. Lyotard, J.-F.: The postmodern condition. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1984.Google Scholar
  30. MacCannell, D.: The tourist: A new theory of the leisure class. Shocken Books, New York 1976.Google Scholar
  31. MacCannell, D.: The tourist: A new theory of the leisure class. Second Edition. Shocken Books, New York 1989.Google Scholar
  32. MacPherson, G. D.: A postmodern rumination on cows: Post-Fordism commodifies Vermont. Thesis, Department of Geography, Dartmouth College, Hanover 1993.Google Scholar
  33. Marsh, J.: Postcard landscapes, an exploration in method. The Canadian Geographer 29, 3, 265–267 (1985)Google Scholar
  34. Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.: Travel and tourism in Massachusetts: Economic impact report, visitor demographics and profile for calendar year 1988. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston 1989.Google Scholar
  35. Mitchell, L.; Murphy, P.: Geography and tourism. Annals of Tourism Research 18, 57–70 (1991)Google Scholar
  36. Page, S.: Tourist Development in the London Docklands in the 1980s and 1990s. GeoJournal 19, 291–296 (1989)Google Scholar
  37. Pearce, P.: The social psychology of tourist behavior. Pergamon Press, Elmsford 1982.Google Scholar
  38. Pearce, D. G.: Tourism and regional development in the European community. Tourism Management, March 1988, 13–22 (1988)Google Scholar
  39. Pearce, D. G. (ed.): Geography of Tourism and Recreation. GeoJournal 19,3 (1989) (special issue)Google Scholar
  40. Pearce, D. G.; Butler, R. W. (eds.): Tourism research. Routledge, New York 1992.Google Scholar
  41. Relph, E.: Place and placelessness. Pion, London 1976.Google Scholar
  42. Renwick, H.; Cutter, S.: Map postcards and images of place. Landscape 27, 30–38 (1983)Google Scholar
  43. Rojek, C.: Capitalism and leisure theory. Tavistock, Andover 1988.Google Scholar
  44. Shields, R.: Social spatialization and the built environment: the West Edmonton mall. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 7, 147–164 (1989)Google Scholar
  45. Shields, R.: Places on the margin. Routledge, New York 1991.Google Scholar
  46. Soja, E.: Postmodern geographies. Verso, London 1989.Google Scholar
  47. Urry, J.: The tourist gaze: Leisure and travel in contemporary societies. Sage, London 1990.Google Scholar
  48. Waters, S. (ed.): Travel industry world yearbook. Child and Waters, New York 1991.Google Scholar
  49. Zukin, S.: Socio-spatial prototypes of a new organisation of consumption: the role of real cultural capital. Sociology 24, 1, 37–56 (1990)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corkery Celia K. 
    • 1
  • Bailey Adrian J. 
    • 2
  1. 1.2nd LT, OD, US ArmyTacomaUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeographyDartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

Personalised recommendations