Ioanna Samakovlis, supervised by Dr Alessandro Inversini, was awarded the Master Thesis Excellence Award at the ENTER2017 conference in Rome.
Ioanna explored the ways how tourism development interventions can utilise social media.
The purpose of this research is to demonstrate how mechanisms of dominant narratives lead to marginalisation at the example of the Brazilian favela and how new media can give marginalised communities a voice by providing opportunities for disseminating knowledge democratically and re-shape existing belief systems.
The findings of the research showed that, indeed, within the sample community voices were represented and thus, social networks such as Twitter provide a platform to disseminate marginalised narratives. Additionally, tourism as an intervention tool is clearly identifiable as a topic on social networks. Therefore, by utilising the data provided on social networks, this research demonstrates how in particular Twitter can help identify social realities and give marginalised groups a voice. Additionally, tourism businesses such as favela tours were found to be portrayed very negatively on Twitter by locals. Tourists, however, could be identified as interested in social realities of the favela. On the other hand, intervention projects with a clear community-based approach and a community origin were also seen by favela residents as an opportunity for improvement of livelihoods.