Exploring the role of dark tourism in the creation of national identity of young Americans

Julie Tinson, Michael Saren, Brigitte Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
168 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of dark tourism in constructing narratives and stories which co-create and reinforce national identity. By focusing on the voice of the tourist and their consumer experience, we develop an understanding of youth behaviours and motivations associated with dark tourism and the effect of social influences in forming narratives. This empirical study comprises 20 interviews with young American dark tourist site visitors, 11 of whom were re-interviewed. The emic insights suggest dark tourism experiences can be used to (re)affirm individual roles, enhance feelings of national identity and co-create a self as well as a national identity. An etic conceptual model is proposed that is specifically designed for dark tourism sites. It provides a novel explanation of national identity co-creation and recognises the relationship between tourist motivation, experience and co-creation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)856-880
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


  • co-creation
  • national identity
  • dark tourism
  • narratives
  • youth


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