High (on) technology: Producing tourist identities through technologized adventure

Ida E. Berger, Itay Greenspan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This study explores how adventure mountain tourists and their local hosts relate to, benefit from, and are influenced by, technology. It examines the impact of technology on the everyday lives of climbers, hikers, and service providers, and considers the capacities of technology to facilitate social behavior, interactions, and relationships. A narrative analysis of a Web log (blog) of an expedition to Mount Everest provides an understanding of the roles of technology in the construction of adventure mountaineer identities. The study positions mountaineering as a consumption experience used by participants to create and manifest social identities. As such, it integrates and extends theory from consumer culture and tourism, in order to trace the impact of technology on tourist identities, social outcomes, and social behavior. The study reveals the system-wide technologized lens through which Western tourists view the world and the ways in which technology simultaneously facilitates and inhibits identity construction. It points to the heterogeneous and paradoxical influences of technology: whereas technology breeds new tourist identities (hikers, climbers, and mountaineers), it simultaneously strengthens pre-existing identities (Westerners, professionals). The analysis also demonstrates how technology supports the enactment of multiple identities wherein actors function in multiple roles and contexts. Implications regarding the interconnectedness among tourists and hosts as technology users are highlighted.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)89-114
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Adventure Tourism
  • Consumer Identity
  • Everest
  • Technology
  • Weblog


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