Discourse Analysis of Blogs: Analyzing Language to Maximize the Value of Consumption-Oriented Blogs as Data Source

  • Carmela BosangitEmail author
  • Scott McCabe
  • Sally Hibbert
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9844)


The value of blogs to consumer research has been established; however, its full potential is still to be realized as empirical analyses into their use have been dominated by quantitative studies. There is a fundamental research gap in the range of methods adopted by researchers which has limited blogs as a source of valuable insights. This paper asserts the importance of language and the rhetorical functions of blogs as social interaction contexts where meanings are created and channeled; thus, offering a route to develop better understandings of authors and their narratives. Using discourse analysis to examine blogs, the paper demonstrates how a focus on language can provide rich insights to understand consumption experiences. Discourses of travel that emerged from the analysis were presented and theoretical and practical implications were outlined.


Blogs Discourse analysis Consumer narratives Travel stories 


  1. 1.
    Lu, W., Stepchenkova, S.: User-generated content as a research mode in tourism and hospitality applications: topics, methods, and software. J. Hosp. Mark. Manag. 24(2), 119–154 (2015)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zhao, X., Belk, R.W.: Live from shopping malls: blogs and Chinese consumer desire. Adv. Consum. Res. 34, 131 (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Banyai, M., Havitz, M.E.: Analyzing travel blogs using a realist evaluation approach. J. Hosp. Mark. Manag. 22(2), 229–241 (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Tussyadiah, I.P., Fesenmaier, D.R.: Marketing places through firstperson stories—an analysis of Pennsylvania roadtripper blog. J. Travel Tour. Mark. 25(3–4), 299–311 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Berger, I.E., Greenspan, I.: High (on) technology: producing tourist identities through technologized adventure. J. Sport Tour. 13(2), 89–114 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bosangit, C.: Understanding consumption experiences: a discourse analysis of travel blogs. Doctoral dissertation, University of Nottingham (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bosangit, C., McCabe, S., Hibbert, S.: What is told in travel blogs? Exploring travel blogs for consumer narrative analysis. Inf. Commun. Technol. Tour. 2009, 61–71 (2009)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Banyai, M., Glover, T.D.: Evaluating research methods on travel blogs. J. Travel Res. 51(3), 267–277 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kulmala, M., Mesiranta, N., Tuominen, P.: Organic and amplified eWOM in consumer fashion blogs. J. Fash. Mark. Manag. 17(1), 20–37 (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Chenail, R.J.: Ten steps for conceptualizing and conducting qualitative research studies in a pragmatically curious manner. Qual. Rep. 16(6), 1713 (2011)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bosangit, C., Hibbert, S., McCabe, S.: “If I was going to die I should at least be having fun”: travel blogs, meaning and tourist experience. Ann. Tour. Res. 55, 1–14 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wakeford, N., Cohen, K.: Fieldnotes in public: using blogs for research. In: Fielding, N., Lee, R.M., Blank, G. (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Online Research Methods, pp. 307–326. Sage, London (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ward, R.: Blogs and wikis a personal journey. Bus. Inf. Rev. 23(4), 235–240 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hookway, N.: Entering the blogosphere’: some strategies for using blogs in social research. Qual. Res. 8(1), 91–113 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    McGregor, I., Holmes, J.G.: How storytelling shapes memory and impressions of relationship events over time. J. Personal. Soc. Psychol. 76(3), 403–419 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Moscardo, G.: The shaping of tourist experience: the importance of stories and themes. In: Morgan, M., Lugosi, P., Ritchie, J.R.B. (eds.) The Tourism and Leisure Experience: Consumer and Management Perspectives, pp. 3–26. Channel View Publications, Bristol (2010)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Carù, A., Cova, B.: Small versus big stories in framing consumption experiences. Qual. Mark. Res. Int. J. 11(2), 166–176 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Parker, I.: 5.19 Discourse anaIysis. In: Flick, U., von Kardoff, E., Steinke, I. (eds.) A Companion to Qualitative Research, p. 308. Sage, London (2004)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jørgensen, M.W., Phillips, L.J.: Discourse Analysis as Theory and Method. Sage, London (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Potter, J.: Discourse Analysis and Constructionist Approaches: Theoretical Background. British Psychological Society, Leicester (1996)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Burr, V.: Social Constructionism. Routledge, London (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ausgustinos, M., Every, D.: Contemporary racist discourse: taboos against racism and racist accusations. In: Watson, B., Galloise, C.A. (eds.) Language, Discourse and Social Psychology, pp. 233–255. Palgrave MacMillan, Hampshire (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jaworski, A., Pritchard, A.: Discourse, Communication and Tourism. Channel View Publications, Bristol (2005)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    McCabe, S., Foster, C.: The role and function of narrative in tourist interaction. J. Tour. Cult. Change 4(3), 194–215 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Dann, G.: The Language of Tourism: A Sociolinguistic Perspective. CAB International, Oxon (1996)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Willig, C.: Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology: Adventures in Theory and Method, 2nd edn. Open University Press, Berskshire (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Potter, J., Wetherell, M.: Discourse and Social Psychology: Beyond Attitudes and Behaviour. Sage, London (1987)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Langdridge, D., Hagger-Johnson, G.: Introduction to Research Methods and Data Analysis in Psychology. Pearson Education Limited, Essex (2009)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Billig, M.: Ideology and Opinions. Sage Publications, London (1991)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wiggins, S., Potter, J.: Discursive psychology. In: Willig, C., Stainton-Rogers, W. (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research in Psychology, pp. 73–90. Sage, London (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Antaki, C., Billig, M., Edwards, D., Potter, J.: Discourse Analysis Means Doing Analysis: A Critique of Six Analytic Shortcomings (2003).
  32. 32.
    Desforges, L.: Travelling the world: identity and travel biography. Ann. Tour. Res. 27(4), 926–945 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Noy, C.: The trip really changed me: backpackers‘ narratives of self-change. Ann. Tour. Res. 31(1), 78–102 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wickens, E.: Licensed for thrill: risk taking and tourism. In: Clift, S., Gabowski, P. (eds.) Tourism and Health. Pinter, London (1997)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Tsaur, S., Tzeng, G., Wang, K.: Evaluating tourist risks from fuzzy perspectives. Ann. Tour. Res. 24(4), 796–812 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Laing, J., Grouch, G.: Extraordinary journeys: an exploratory cross-cultural study of tourists on the frontier. J. Vacat. Mark. 11(3), 209–223 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Berglas, S., Jones, E.E.: Drag choice as a self-handicapping strategy response to noncontingent success. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 36, 405–417 (1978)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cziksenthmihalyi, M.: The Evolving Self. HarperCollins, New York (1993)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Danziger, P.: Shopping: Why We Love It and How Retailers can Create the Ultimate Customer Experience. Kaplan Publishing, Chicago (2006)Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Falk, J., Dierking, L.: Learning from Museums: Visitor Experiences and the Making of Meaning. AltaMira Press, Walnut Creek (2000)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Pearce, P.: Tourist Behaviour: Themes and Conceptual Schemes. Channel View Publications, Clevedon (2005)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Cohen, E.: Towards a sociology of international tourism. Soc. Res. 39(1), 164–182 (1972)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Jasinski, J.: Sourcebook on Rhetoric: Key Concepts in Contemporary Rhetorical Studies. Sage, Thousand Oaks (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Poulsson, S., Kale, S.: The experience economy and commercial experiences. Mark. Rev. 4, 267–277 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Toffler, A.: Future Shock. Bantam Books, New York (1970)Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Murphy, L.: Exploring social interactions of backpackers. Ann. Tour. Res. 28(1), 50–67 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    McLaughlin-Volpe, T.: Understanding stigma from the perspective of the selfexpansion model. In: Levin, S., van Laar, C. (eds.) Stigma and Group Inequality: Social Psycholgical Perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., New Jersey (2008)Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Riley, P.: Road culture of international long-term budget traveler. Ann. Tour. Res. 15(3), 313–328 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Sorensen, A.: Backpacker ethnography. Ann. Tour. Res. 30(4), 847–867 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Cohen, S., Taylor, L.: Escape Attempts: The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Everyday Life. Routledge, London (1993)Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Valtonen, A., Veijola, S.: Sleep in tourism. Ann. Tour. Res. 28(1), 175–192 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK
  2. 2.Nottingham University Business School, University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations