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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Chosen traditions influencing tourism, policy-making, and curriculum in Lao People's Democratic Republic: A critical hermeneutic study in development
by Nelsen, Laura M., Ed.D., University of San Francisco, 2010, 179; 3415990
Abstract (Summary)

This study explored tourism as a way to retain chosen traditions while imagining new possibilities for future policy-making and curriculum for tourism programs and development studies in Lao People's Democratic Republic. The researcher held conversations with various leaders throughout the country to discuss in depth possible ways to aid Lao PDR's development efforts while retaining the best of traditions. The following broad questions served as the research directives: How will people's traditions change with the continuing influence of tourism? How will tourism as a medium for development influence policy-making? What curriculum needs to be developed for tourism in development studies in light of current policy? This study followed a data collection and data analysis protocol designed within the critical hermeneutic tradition (Herda 1999). Data were drawn from transcribed conversations, photographs, and videos taken throughout August and September 2009 throughout Lao PDR and analyzed using theory drawn from Paul Ricoeur (1984, 1988, 1992), Richard Kearney (1988, 2003), and Jurgen Habermas (1975, 1981, 1984, 2004). The findings of the research fall into the sections of (1) tradition's roots, (2) education's consequences, and (3) ecotourism as future. The data concluded that these revered customs are of great importance to the future of Laos as the country continues to grow economically and develop through tourism. The extreme poverty has dampened educational efforts because the very real need for survival supersedes the ability to send children to school. The future for Laos is one with ecotourism at its helm, thereby allowing for the possibility of responsible advancement. With ecotourism as the purported future, the infrastructure or lack of it must be addressed so that ecotourism can have a sustainable future. The following implications are addressed to the governmental leaders who have the authority to implement regulations and create policy. They include: (1) joining tradition's narratives with policy-making, (2) establishing curriculum for tourism guide programs working with the rural poor, (3) developing rural leadership with oversight by communities.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Herda, Ellen
School: University of San Francisco
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Social structure, Curriculum development, Recreation
Keywords: Critical hermeneutics, Curriculum, Imagination, Laos, Policymaking, Tourism
Publication Number: 3415990
ISBN: 978-1-124-10680-9
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