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Transcript of 380MC Magaluf
The recent history of Magaluf sees the town as a place for nightlife and partying, which became increasingly popular in the 1990's. However, close to the town is the town of Palma, which has a deep history. With attractions including the Cathedral, the Royal Palace and Es Baluard museum.
The first day of our trip saw us visiting Palma, the capital of Majorca. The town has a deep and rich history, especially in regards to royalty and religious conquests. Surrounded by a growing leisure economy, Palma has been totally changed by the effects of neo-tribalism as it moves to accommodate the diverse populations who frequently come to indulge in the cities historical past. It is the seat of the areas culture. Here symbols like museums and ancient cathedrals reflect and restate the islands history and cultural past while serving a tourist economy.
Is a theory in which society has formed together as a mass tribe and there is no longer space for the individual. Maffesoli (1996) believes that modernism will fail and instead we will look back and take influence from tribes. He believed that this sense of tribalism will be influenced also by territory.
A mixed methodology, fusing interviews and participant observation, was used at various sites to study and understand how Magaluf is centered and framed by media narratives. Through different ways of seeing and understanding, the study relied on photography, especially to shape meaning and capture the variations in the differing aspects of Magaluf and its culture.
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Turner, V (1967) The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Van Gennep, A (1960) The Rites of Passage. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Krippendorf J. (1987) The holiday-makers: Understanding the impact of leisure and travel, Oxford: Heinemann professional Publishing
Veijola S. Jokinen E. (1994) the body in tourism. theory culture and society. Vol.11 Sage:London
Braidotti R. (1991) Patterns of dissonance
Innis, H. A. (1991) The Bias of Communication. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Carey, James W. (1989) Communication as Culture: Essays on Media and Society [online]. Boston: Unwin Hyman. available from <http://www.hu.mtu.edu/~jdslack/readings/Carey_Space_Time_Communications.pdf> [18 April 2016]
JL: How's alcohol consumed in local bars compared to British dominated area?
Sandra (Bar staff) : In here, alcohol is not usually consumed like Punta Ballena. Locals are going on a night out to a merely outside of Magaluf in the season.
JL: How's local Spanish' nightlife compared to British' in Magaluf?
Carlos and Manuel aged 25 : Summer season is the worst visiting Magaluf for local Spanish. We go out to some particular places out of season and local Spanish from Palma come to Magaluf for night out.
Before leaving we looked into some representation that films and reality TV shows such as Sun Sex and suspicious parents and Magaluf weekender say about Magaluf, and do these shows continue to entertain the representation that still stands. These shows show the ‘reality’ of what goes on behind closed doors and looks into the lives of young holidaymakers.
Logic of Sense
The understanding of proposition is suggesting a plan for a better result or outcome. In relation to Magaluf we already have a conceived notion of what to expect because of the media and stories told by family and friends however the proposition is to agree with Deleuze in this circumstance and find if there are any truths to the ideologies linked to denotation and manifestation and signification.
Liminality means ‘betwixt and between’, has been developed in social anthropology (Turner, 1967). It is a period of inter-structural situation of human being and can be developed into the reconstruction of identity that new identity is meaningful for the individual and their community. Liminality is a team that in the ritual subject or ‘liminar’ is ambiguous and passes through a realm that has few or none of the attributes of the ‘before’ and ‘after’ states (Van Gennep, 1960).
LOCATING THE LIMINAL BODY IN TOURISM THROUGH REFLEXIVITY
It was Braidotti, who famously said 'Cogito is all seeing; as it sees and sees itself in the act of seeing in a unique space according the subject immense reflective power'. Understanding Magaluf through direct experience of tourism and indulgence in its varied leisure producing sites underpins the reflexive capacity required to grasp the body besides its interaction in social processes. Thru reflexivity we were able to understand the meaning of our own experiences in Magaluf, 'in order to interpret the experiences of others' (Elis 1991:27).
'Groups define themselves in terms of both territory and of an affectual sharing. Whatever the territory in question or the context of the affection- cultural pursuits, sexual tastes, clothing habits.. This is what best characterizes the intense communication ground for what I am calling neotribalism' (Maffesoli 2013: 135)
Palma and neotribalism
A sense of sharing in terms of tribes has always been present on the island of Majorca, it was historically present in Palma and now in Magaluf. Historically it was present through religion in Palma and the public forming a tribe to view the royal family.
Neotribalism and Magaluf
Neotribalism developed further into modern day society and is evident within the clubbing culture of Magaluf. There is a shared territory that takes place within the space of a nightclub. There appears to be a shared understanding of wanting to get drunk and take part in unruly behavior, in this regard there is a formation of a tribe.
Nightclub itself associated with masculine drinking and sexual culture. Magaluf is a place that familiar with their city nightlife culture.
Interviewer: How long have you been living in Magaluf for?
Worker: 3 years and 2 months
I: What made you want to move to Magaluf?
W: The lifestyle.
I: Why? What is important about the lifestyle?
W: If I bring people into this bar I get free drink all night?
The sense of neotribalism forms in the fact that the bar worker feels a sense of belonging by people wanting to a looking to drink. Throughout this interview neotribalism was displayed.
[Interview was then interrupted by another worker, who encouraged worker to lift up his top and pull down his trousers to reveal scratches given to him by a female]
There appears to be a tribe within 'lad culture' where the reps encourage each other to boast of their sexual conquests all while drinking alcohol.
The town has earned itself the nick name of 'Shagaluf' due to the fact that the behaviours that take place on the island are centred around excessive drinking and casual sex.
Interview with a taxi driver
Interview with DJ
KP: Why are you here in Magaluf?
DJ: Cause I work here
KP: How long have you been working here?
DJ: It’s my third year
LB: Do you stay here all year round? Or did you just get here?
DJ: I work here for 8 months and then I travel around Asia
LB: You’re here in March, and in March it’s dead. So when is everywhere open?
DJ: Everywhere opens around April time. It picks up around April, but at the moment it is not
We also need to consider if Bradleigh does represent all workers in Magaluf, as some may live there all year round.
But by him informing us ‘everywhere opens around April time’, this may translate to be that Magaluf operates on a punctual manner in correspondence to the tourist. Once the tourists land in April, that is when businesses open.
DM: How do you feel about Tourists
Taxi Driver: Tourist here are English, on the other side, east eden is Germany but here is England.
DM: Do you think the partying is too much here, or?
Taxi Driver: Here in the summer, too much [waves her hand and laughs]
DM: do you live here when its too much or do you go to Palma?
Taxi Driver: I live here in Son frère, Santa Ponça, you know Santa Ponça?
Taxi Driver: Santa Ponça, Magaluf town. Here living in the summer, impossible
‘Post-adolescence’ and ‘middle youth’ (Irwin, 1995) often characterised by liminality or experimentation in youth cultural activity for an extended period of time. While the youth culture founding in the city space with specific culture, it gradually develops into a lifestyle.
Our brief was to study how liminality and outsiderhood are present within Magaluf and how the space of Magaluf aids the establishment of neotribalism.
Zavalla stated 'contemporary cultures become contemporary to their historical possibilities, through simultaneous dialogues amongst different languages and cultures at various historical stages. Palma's historical past has become the face of its new contemporaneity and modern tourist economy. Cultural historical myths are hence linked to the formation of cultural identity. 'Liminal cultures as a result of their self-conscious historical condition tend to make carnivalistic use of their traditions and traditonal boundaries' (Zavalla 1997:10).
JL: How do you think local's view of seeing British young tourists' drinking culture in Magaluf?
Anonymous 23aged man : We disapprove the English tourists' culture in Magaluf and don't participate their drinking culture.
Jose aged 26 : Local Spanish were not even impressed when we faced all the negative news about British tourists' drinking culture in Magaluf because the actual events happening every summer in Magaluf are worse than how it is represented by media.
JL: Do you welcome this vast tourism as a local business owner?
Sarah, self-employed, aged 34 : Local business people want more people to come to Magaluf but not only for clubbing like now and I hope this culture and reputation about Magaluf would change in the future.
Time and Space
Magaluf as a destination is a place where time as a concept becomes forgotten and instead there is a focus on the "now". In regards to space within Magaluf- it is almost as if those who visit the island forget of any other culture before it and instead lose themselves in the space of night life and drinking. However, both time and space are temporary.
Innis (1991), a Canadian economist and communication theorist asserts ‘we must appraise civilization in relation to its territory and in relation to its duration … on the time-concept or the space-concept’ (Innis 1991: 64).
There must be a popular time for tourists to be overflowing the beaches of Magaluf as Bradleigh only DJ’s for 8 months.
Outsiderhood is defined as not belonging in certain places or situations.
Interviews that took place with locals were an example of the 'outsiderhood' that is present within Magaluf. It appears that British culture is now so prominent in Magaluf that locals now feel like outsiders.
For Magaluf this is evident through the excessive drinking culture, this youth culture has transgressed into a lifestyle where drinking is at the forefront of Magaluf's culture.
Overall, in linking back to the brief, Neotribalism, Outsiderhood and Liminality became evident from interviews, observation/reflexivity and visual ethnography. A reflexive approach allowed us to uncover the diverse ways of seeing and research which has been redefined and implicated by our digital lives. By visual ethnography we explored the various ways meaning is both made and structured in Magaluf as tourist and local engage in a changing cultural space; which also constitutes our digital globalization thru social media. Hence Facebook, Twitter and Instagram i.e communication mediums, as situated premises to an unfixed future, ultimately puts the new subject, into a novel and variable space and time.
Bradliegh travelling around Asia, supports Innis’ (1991) notion of time and space.
He later added ‘everywhere opens around April time. It picks up around April'. This again characterizes the temporal political participation of workers in Magaluf.
Locating the liminal body through our own experience of tourism in mallorca enables an authentic understanding of the subject shaped by the result of our lived-experiences. 'The reflective seeing subject conquers the truth according to Descartes' (n.d). For veijola and Jokinen in locating the subject, it is critical to not ignore the body; as a central object of the liminal affect (1994).
Kripendorf avers that tourism has persistently had one reason through time, i.e 'to escape the rigor and reality of everyday life' (1987:75). its liminal experiences reference, the body away from its daily habitat; engaging and indulging in a new social life. Is it possible then that the rigors of living, make social life a routine or dull monotony we do not really partake in?
In Magaluf, were we experienced the body in various stages of indulgence, tourism might not be a counter-culture for other tourists; who could far from seeking affective and adventurous social practices, are actually looking for serenity and quiet, opposed to the hedonistic subject.
What is Magaluf?
Magaluf is a town on the island of Majorca, which is an island off of Spain. It is known as a party town. From our preliminary research we established that there is a negative representation surrounding the town- this is something that we examined further.
Sa Dragonera and Outsiderhood
Popular with young Brits, its ‘distinctive character of Magaluf is one of a ‘party’ destination with its numerous café-bars and nightclubs that attract youthful tourists in the style of Club 18-30’ (Andrews 2011:5). Its reputation has been built over many years and now young people travel to the destination so they can ‘party, sleep, repeat’.
The Magaluf season starts around the beginning of April and continues through the summer until the closing parties in September. It can be seen as a 'right of passage' for those finishing their A levels to travel to these party destinations for a 'lads' or 'girls' holiday.
This picture is from the internet of a bar crawl in season.
We took this image during our stay there. Although going only a month before the season began Magaluf felt almost abandoned, with many bars, shops and restaurants closed up.
The Inbetweeners Movie
We used informal interviews throughout our studies. The informality of the interviews interlinked with the informal environment of Magaluf.
These interviews allowed for an investigation into neotribalism, outsiderhood and liminality.
Participant Observation (methodology)
Participant observation was used as it is an unintrusive research method . It allowed us to witness the themes of the research brief as they occurred within certain spaces naturally.
The temporal political participation of tourists in Magaluf withholds qualities of Bakhtin’s (1941) term of carnivalesque.
This term is characterized by freedom, equality and abundance as ‘Bakhtin portrays carnival as an expression of a ‘second life’ of the people, against their subsumption in the dominant ideology. It replaces the false unity of the dominant system with a live unity of contingency’ (Robinson 2011).
Tourists essentially get to be freed from societal norms and values whilst partying in Magaluf.
However we need to consider if Magaluf is promising them utopic freedom, whilst also driving their consumption patterns.
Therefore by tourists visiting Magaluf, they may not be separating from ruling class ideology, but conforming to it in another way.
This complicates the idea of the freedom and joy carnival is supposed to bring.
The notion of ‘grotesque realism’ by Bakhtin is defined in the terms of degrading the body and having sex, urinating and eat excessive amounts at carnival in public.
These definitions are also prominent in Magaluf to. New types of ‘grotesque realism’ may include neon face paint, excessive makeup and revealing outfits.
The acts of rebellion from societal norms are found in Magaluf that are rooting from the ideas of carnival, whilst having the freedom to do so.
Living in the digital world has expanded the archive and our abilities to rebuild and create it through new social networks that have shifted the ways we engage and experience. More than historical collections, the archive has become a current and moving preservation of our daily and lived experiences rewired by technology. From snapshots, facebook to Youtube we created an archive instantly allowed us to reinterpret and analyse data before, during and after Magaluf.
Sa Dragonera is an uninhabited islet near west Mallorca. In relation to Sa Dragonera’s history, there were watch towers built here to watch out for Barbery pirates.
Me and Dolline visited this islet from a trip from the hotel we were staying at.
As me and Dolline were with a group of pensioners on this short trip, and we were the only young people, it was very interesting seeing their reactions to us being there. Most of their faces were surprised and shocked that we joined them. We went on a hike here to visit a lighthouse and was given a tour of the island. We were all staying in Magaluf, however the space of Sa Dragonera was populated by pensioners and the nightclubs were populated by young people, this shows the distinction between the interests of young people and older tourists in Magaluf.