Language, affect, and carnivalesque: Tourism encounters and transgressive narratives on a party island


Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education


Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Document Type


Source Title

Social Semiotics

Publication Date



Party island tourism is construed as a type of tourism that heavily relies on sensory and intimate encounters that evince structures of inequality. In this paper, I investigate how the notion of the party influences the negotiation of sociolinguistic relations on party islands. By employing a linguistic ethnographic approach, this paper attempts to examine the affective dimensions of the narratives of “tourism frontliners” about their tourism encounters in Boracay from the perspective of the party. The party dynamics in Boracay can be described as carnivalesque, which shows “ … life turned inside out … the reverse side of the world” (Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1984. Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Translated and edited by Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 122). I argue that the coalescence of different participants, emotions, and linguistic practices in the Boracay party enables tourism frontliners to subvert various forms of inequality (e.g. occupational norms, precarity, and discrimination) through their accounts of getting even and getting by. This results in a suspension of reality–a space where transgressive behavior can potentially disrupt or reconfigure unequal sociolinguistic relations. This paper argues that while carnivalesque behaviors are inherently suspensions of reality, their iterability can lead to the establishment of sustainable transgressive spaces. © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)



Language and Literacy Education


Tourism--Philippines--Boracay Island; Tour guides (Persons)--Philippines--Boracay Island--Psychology; Tourism—Employees--Psychology

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