‘Cultural icons’: media representations of second homes in New Zealand
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New Zealanders have a long history of second home ownership, and the second home landscape is an important part of the New Zealand culture. Traditional second homes are known colloquially as the ‘bach’ or ‘crib’, and it is part of the New Zealand psyche to ‘escape to the bach’ for the weekend, especially over the summer months. However, since the 1960s these traditional second homes have been replaced in many areas by second homes that are indistinguishable from urban homes. They have become much larger, are often architecturally designed and with more modern conveniences and technology than the traditional bach. Over the last two decades, perhaps as a response to these changes, the media has valorized traditional second homes, and the ‘bach’ has been increasingly constructed as a form of ‘cultural icon’. This study utilises a thematic discourse analysis of popular media articles on second homes to examine how the notion of the bach as a cultural icon has been constructed. Findings show that the media utilises the idea of a (collective) great New Zealand dream as the basis for its construction, with three identifiable themes coming through in the discourse; living the dream, losing the dream, and clinging to the dream. Each is examined in turn. This study shows that popular media provides a rich source of empirical material for research into second home culture and thus also has relevance for other countries where second homes are imbued with cultural significance.
Walters, T. (2014) '‘Cultural icons’: media representations of second homes in New Zealand', Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice, 6(1), p.81-103