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Holocaust heritage digilantism on Instagram

Wight, Craig; Stanley, Phiona



Discursive, netnographic and visual methods have been applied in the past to critique self-images, providing insight into the behaviours of tourists. However, such studies have ignored reactions to self-image posts on social media, and particularly to those that are captured within sites of atrocity. Based on an analysis of Instagram, and drawing on Scheurich’s grid of social regularities, this article critiques the practice of digilantism, coding the identity variables that shape punitive attitudes towards perceived morally transgressive behaviour at Holocaust tourism sites. We propose that the presence and richness of visitor interpretation shapes the extent to which self-images are consciously organised, and where respectful consumption is deemed important, behavioural expectations should be communicated to visitors. We suggest there is a need for greater recognition that visitor behaviours are challenging to enforce, particularly in the backdrop of a public culture that embraces self-images, and the practice of sharing on social media.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 27, 2022
Online Publication Date Dec 12, 2022
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 12, 2022
Journal Tourism Recreation Research
Print ISSN 0250-8281
Electronic ISSN 2320-0308
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Digilantes, netnography, Holocaust heritage, self-images, tourism behaviours, social media
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