Localism and attitude, ‘it’s all good’: a surf tourist’s story analysis of simultaneous contradictory prosocial and anti-social interactions at an off-limits place

Paul Cook*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Localism is framed as intimidatory anti-social behaviour designed to persuade tourists that a surf spot is off-limits. Hitherto, cultural studies have combined a top-down intersectionality lens with a priori Western-centric negativity to explain the consequences for those who ignore the warnings. Thus, there is a paucity of studies explaining why surfers experience nothing of consequence in these off-limits places. A critically balanced and complex analysis of localism is emerging in sport tourism literature. However, generalizations that entire places are offlimits for surf tourists prevail. Accordingly, in this innovative accidental ethnography of localism at a categorically off-limits surf spot on O‘ahu’s South Shore, I adopt a talk-story methodology to provide a micro-level grounded analysis of empirical observations explaining the prevalence and consequences of the constant contradictory choice between anti-social and prosocial behaviours that locals and tourists make in every interaction. Findings draw attention to the anti-social and prosocial behaviours performed simultaneously by locals and tourists, and the experiences of tourists with similar intersectionality identities, but distinctly different attitudes. The article concludes by asking the reader to consider the complexity of contradictory choices, before making a moral judgement on performances of localism and deciding whether and why places are off-limits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Early online date13 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 May 2024

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