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Jennifer Radbourne, PhD: THE AUTHENTICITY OF ANZAC COVE

natisni E-pošta

 

Abstract

Authenticity is usually associated with truth, reality and believability. In the context of the global or cultural tourist, authenticity is associated with a quest for truth and a personal experience at historical sites. This chapter uses an Authenticity Scale to measure the authenticity of the visitor experience to ANZAC Cove. It tests evidence in the literature for factors of authenticity and the new consumer's need for self-actualisation. The findings describe an inextricable link between authenticity of place or event, and personal experience and self-actualisation.

Key words

Authenticity, ANZAC Cove, self-actualisation

 

Introduction

Recent research (Petkus 2004, Scheff Bernstein 2007, Rentschler & Radbourne 2008, Radbourne et al 2009) on the audience experience in the arts, and the consumer experience in tourism (MacCannell 1973, Cohen 1988, Wang 1999, Goulding 2000, Prentice 2001, Slade 2003, Grayson & Martinec 2004, Basarin & Hall 2008), points to the consumer quest for authenticity. Definitions of authenticity focus on self-authentication (Arnould & Price 2000) and the personal experience (Grayson & Martinec 2004), often associated with personal needs and expectations reflected in a consumer demand for self-actualisation. An Arts Authenticity Scale developed by Radbourne in 2008 to describe and evaluate the critical factors in multicultural arts events, has application in measuring the authenticity of places and events where the audience or visitor experience is the data source. Authenticity is a self-referential label, built on personal interpretation of truth, reality and self identity during a particular experience. By surveying individuals on their experience at an event or place (where that event or place has iconic meaning) it is possible to use measurement of the attributes of that experience to calculate a numerical score for achievement of authenticity for that event or place.

 

This research defines and describes authenticity and self-actualisation and uses the iconicism of ANZAC Day and ANZAC Cove to test the Authenticity Scale as the means of measuring the visitor experience.

 

Authenticity and self-actualisation defined

Authenticity has been used in different ways to imply different meanings (Grayson & Martinec 2004, Leigh et al 2006) and while accepting that authenticity is associated with truth and believability, the definition used for this chapter is closer to Prentice's evoked authenticity (2001). Evoked authenticity is seen to be offering an experience that has provenance in providing knowledge and liminal experiences of the world, whether old or modern, such that a true engagement with culture or an event or place is evoked in visitors or audience members (Rentschler & Radbourne 2008). Previously authenticity has been defined as 'a higher level of cultural experience for the audience provided by spiritual fulfilment and self-actualisation through participation in arts events and experiences' (Rentschler & Radbourne 2008: 241). Chong (2005) argues that the more the consumer knows, the deeper the appreciation, rationalised through personal tastes and values and stakeholder involvement. Further, to view some performance, object or place as iconic, perceivers must have some pre-existing knowledge or expectations, which create a 'photograph' memory or representation against which they assess their experience (Peirce in Grayson & Martinec 2004: 298). 'Authoritative performances are cultural displays like festivals and rituals that make explicit what the membership of the community of participants regard as significant life moments and that invite adherence to the values portrayed' (Arnould & Price 2000: 146-147). Authenticity establishes social boundaries in communities adding social meaning and social constructs to the collective experience, just as it is the degree of the individual's experience. If the object or event cannot demonstrate relevance to the community or individual, then their sincerity belief diminishes, as does the authenticity (Leigh et al 2006; vom Lehn 2006).

 

Arnould and Price (2000) claim that authenticating acts are those that produce flow between thought and action, peak experience or intense joy, and peak performance or superior functioning. These authors stress that an experience is authentic if the individual endows the experience with authenticity, not whether the experience is actually authentic. To endow authenticity, consumers either creatively alter consumption experiences into productions or appropriate consumption experiences by imbuing them with individual meaning. This action is a concept of idealisation where individuals select from diverse sources and reify desirable values as their link to the performance or event.

 

Evoked authenticity follows the same process, where personal and subjective feelings activated by liminal experiences, allow audiences and visitors more able to express and be true to themselves than in everyday life. They are, in fact, intersecting their real selves with their ideal self. This is self-actualisation, the highest of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Self-actualisation is the outcome of the individual's quest for authenticity. Such a quest is also a search for identity.

 

Research with tourism visitors to heritage and cultural sites reinforces this quest for authenticity. This is explicit in the research on visitors to ANZAC Cove in Turkey (Hannaford 2001; Slade 2003; Basarin & Hall 2008). Slade claims that 'the idea of Gallipoli was transformed into a more profound experience, which is different from a traditional battlefield visit' (Basarin & Hall 2008: 48). He writes, 'most Australians and New Zealanders who visit Gallipoli are engaged, to some extent, in a journey of discovering who they are, where they came from, and what the meanings of their nations might be in the modern world' (Slade 2003: 793). Hannaford endorsed this quest with his finding that a trip to Gallipoli can be seen as a 'true pilgrimage' (2001: 156), which describes 'a way of marking generational links and continuity through their families as well as being personal quests for casting and re-creating their self and national identities in a global era' (2001: 128).

 

This scan of the literature on authenticity and self-actualisation confirms the Arts Authenticity Scale authenticity dimensions as valid for research measuring the authenticity of ANZAC Cove. Six dimensions are used: knowledge transfer, collective experience, place acceptance, social meaning, sincerity belief and identity recognition, and self-actualisation. The following table illustrates the literature source for each dimension of authenticity.

 

Table 1.          Authenticity and literature sources

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These dimensions have impact indicators which, as described in the following table of the Scale, provide cues to behaviour and are used to prompt audience or visitor experiences across all dimensions. Such an analysis would support an expectation that being at ANZAC Cove on ANZAC Day and sharing the experience with others, was memorable, emotional, uplifting in relation to the effort of the Australian soldiers, and gave increased meaning to the history of war.

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An interval scale of 1-5 has been used for each dimension, to facilitate easy transfer of the median result of survey questions using a Likert Scale of 1-5. Each dimension can be then given a numerical score out of 5 or the entire event can be given a score out of 30. Therefore it is possible to determine strong and weak authenticity dimensions of a particular event.

 

Hypothesis

ANZAC Day researchers who address consumer visits to the site of ANZAC Cove generally focus on event tourism, motivations for visiting, and the historical, political and economic impact of such popularity. Basarin and Hall (2008: 45) claim that up to 20,000 people now attend the ANZAC Day event at ANZAC Cove to commemorate the 1915 campaign on the Gallipoli Peninsula where nearly 25,000 young Australian men lost their lives in a bloody battle with the Turks. Most tourists to battlefields are seeking a reality or truth for the historical event. This research probes the visitor experience and the quest for authenticity.

The hypothesis is:

The authenticity of the ANZAC event is realised at ANZAC Cove via a personal experience and need for self-actualisation.

 

Method

The methodology was designed to test this hypothesis, from developing a latent context for respondents where their expectations would frame the dimensions of authenticity explored in later questions. The outcome of the survey was the use of median scores, to present a score for each authenticity dimension.

 

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 A self-administered survey questionnaire was developed and piloted with three respondents independently. These respondents confirmed the use of the reverse structure of particular statements to ensure a patterned response did not skew answers. A snowball sampling process of survey distribution was used to achieve a sample of twenty-eight respondents in a seven week period. This sampling method was selected in order to meet the small, specialised group of eligible respondents who were eighteen years of age or over, and had visited ANZAC Cove on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. Known individuals who met these criteria were invited to complete the survey and these respondents were then asked to identify one or more others in the field. They provided names of others in a snowballing process, to whom the survey could be sent electronically. Responses were returned by mail or email within two weeks of receipt. Twenty-eight responses were received.

 

Eight of the questions were designed to deliver data against each of the authenticity dimensions and facilitate cross tabulation against date of visit, age, gender, occupation and level of education, and whether the respondent had access to a tour guide during the visit. Three open-ended questions sought responses on why the respondents chose to visit ANZAC Cove, what previous information the respondent held, and expectations of the place or event. These questions provided a latent context for the survey responses, and helped to determine if respondents were dependent on pre-conceived notions of authenticity or pre-conceived cues for assessing authenticity. This supported validation of their assessment of the live experience as key to authenticity and substantiated the responses to the following questions on importance and value of the authenticity dimensions. The questions were analysed to obtain key words for cross reference with the descriptive impact indicators of each authenticity dimension in the Arts Authenticity Scale.

 

Question 6 contained ten statements requiring a response on a five point Likert Scale from 'not at all important' to 'very important'. Question 7 again required agreement on a five point Likert Scale. Particular statements in these questions provided data for the authenticity dimensions, and a median was used to calculate the score for these dimensions. It was decided to use the median rather than the mean because the median is more representative of what visitors experience or perceive, and is not affected by outliers. The median also presents a better outcome for small samples and for instances such as this study in which the data is graded rather than measured. Where more than one statement provided data for an authenticity dimension, then all results were summated and the mean used. Scores were compared and analysed to determine if age, gender, occupation or education influenced results, or if the visit date was 25 April or at another time of the year, or if the visit included a guide. Given the sample size (n=28), non-parametric tests were used to analyse the multiple-choice data through SPSS. The Mann-Whitney U Test was used when the parameter in question had only two possibilities (respondents were female or male; went to ANZAC Cove on ANZAC Day or not; were or were not involved in a guided tour), and the Kruskal-Wallis Test when the parameter had four possible answers (age group, occupation, level of education).

 

The following Table shows the statements for importance and agreement and the comparable authenticity dimension.

 

Table 3

Relationship of survey questions to authenticity dimensions

 

Question 6

Rate the importance of the following to your experience at ANZAC Cove, where 1 is not at all important and 5 is very important.

 

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Question 7

Rate your agreement with the following statements, where 1 is not agree at all and 5 is agree strongly.

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Findings

Question 1 required respondents to briefly describe why they chose to visit Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove. By avoiding framing the question as choices around motivation factors, respondents had to use their own words, causing reflection and context for later responses. The most common response (given by 32% of respondents) was a desire to visit the actual place where the events of 25 April 1915 occurred. Most of these respondents articulated their answer in terms of Gallipoli's contribution to the identity of Australia: 'Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove are iconic places in Australian history', '[I]t is important to walk the ground and study the terrain of a site of such significance in Australia's military history', 'I have always held a fascination about its importance in Australia's history and the rhetorical question which surrounds our participation (in every sense), "Why?'", and Gallipoli is an '[h]istorically significant place as an Australian'. Most answers referred to impact indicators of authenticity. One respondent wanted to visit ANZAC Cove because of the 'significance the Gallipoli legend has taken on in Australia, particularly amongst young people, in the past fifteen to twenty years'. Another respondent wrote of feeling 'drawn to the site', and another spoke of the 'growing cultural resonance and currency' that the 'Gallipoli "story"' has for young Australians. The importance of the physical place was summed up by one respondent who said 'I agree with Manning Clark in "the spirit of a place [sic]"' and went on to explain 'we cannot understand an event fully without visiting the location where it took place'.

 

Four respondents spoke of a family connection to the army (one of which was a connection with the Turkish army), and implied that this was part of their reason for visiting Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove. One of these respondents spoke clearly of a desire to 'get a feeling of what it was like'. This notion of empathy for those who were there, of sincerity and believability, and, by implication, appreciating the sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers was articulated by three respondents, one specifically wanting the next generation in the family to 'have an appreciation of the sacrifice made by many young men'.

 

Question 2 sought the date of the visit, in order to cross-correlate the visit on the actual ANZAC Day event at Gallipoli or a visit at any other time of the year, with responses on authenticity dimensions of the visit. The results for dimension 5, Sincerity belief and identity recognition, suggested that there was some significance in visiting on ANZAC Day (p=.05), but this is the lowest score within a Mann-Whitney U Test that suggests statistical significance, and further research would be needed to ascertain if other factors were involved.

 

In Question 3 respondents described the information that they had about events at ANZAC Cove before their visit. This ranged from general knowledge gleaned from family or school and broad university study, to extensive personal reading and professional interest in the field. This data was then correlated with the response to Questions 6(i) and 7(f) regarding their personal search for knowledge to provide an authentic experience. Results showed that of the twenty-four respondents who did their own research, or engaged with information by a tourist guide, their median score was higher than the median score of those who had minimal information before their visit. Twenty-four respondents were involved in a guided tour of ANZAC Cove and Gallipoli and rated having a guide who knows the history and the event and able to communicate this with a median score of 5. The predominant response about expectations was described as an 'emotional experience'. Fifteen of the respondents articulated their expectations at least in part in terms of what they expected to feel: 'emotion', or 'emotionally' occurred seven times in the twenty-eight responses, six other respondents expected to feel 'moved', an additional respondent expected that the visit would 'delight ... curiosity'; and another expected that it would be 'awesome, unbelievably sad [and a] life changing experience'.

 

The second most common expectation (nine respondents, some of whom also responded in terms of emotion or of being moved and are therefore included in the numbers above) was expressed in terms of gaining a greater understanding of the actual event, with some respondents wanting to get a sense of what it was like for the people who were there at the actual battle on 25 April 1915, and others framing their response in terms of gaining a greater understanding of the ANZAC event and its place in Australian history. The third most common response (five respondents, again, some of whom have already been listed) was articulated in terms of expecting to see many other people there. Three of these respondents expected to see tourists (one specifically expected to see other Australians) or a thriving tourism industry, one expected to see extensive crowds (and noted that there were), and one other expected to see other Australians.

 

Question 6 required respondents to rate the importance of ten statements about their experience at ANZAC Cove. The following table gives the median response, and percentage of respondents rating the experience as very important (5).

 

Table 4.            Experience ratings for Question 6

 

 

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The highest importance was seeing and being at the place where Australian soldiers fought (75%), personal time to explore (67.9%), access to all parts of the cove, the hills and the memorials and monuments; and that the event or tour is well organised (both 64.3%). These statements lead to high authenticity in the Scale dimensions 3 (Place acceptance) and 6 (Self-actualisation).

Question 7 sought agreement with eleven statements that explored the values of respondents. Table 5 gives the median response and the percentage of respondents who strongly agreed with the statement.

 

Table 5.          Value ratings for Question 7

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The strongest agreement was for the contribution of ANZAC Day events to Australia's identity (75%) and acknowledging respect of the Turkish government for Australia in relation to shared construction of memorials at the site (75%). These statements lead to high authenticity of dimensions 4 (Social meaning) and 5 (Sincerity belief and identity recognition).

Questions 8, 9, 10 and 11 provided demographic data as follows:

  • Most common age group 51-60 (42.9%) and 31-50 (35.7)
  • 79% male, 21% female
  • 86% employed and 14% retired (no students)
  • Highest level of education postgraduate (43%) and bachelor degree (25%).

Males scored significantly higher than females on dimension 1 (p=.007), but there may be other factors influencing this. Further research with a larger group will be required to show whether males do value Knowledge Transfer more highly than do women. When divided into two groups (50 and under, or over fifty) age appeared significant for dimensions 3 and 5; however, when scores were analysed according to the four age groups specified in the survey (Under 30; 31 to 50; 51 to 60; 61+) no significance was shown. Likewise, for dimensions 5 and 6, level of education appeared significant when the cohort was divided into those with a university degree and those without, but when analysed against the four options specified in the survey (Secondary; Diploma; Bachelor degree; Postgraduate degree), tests did not reveal any significance. For dimension 6, Self-actualisation, respondents who were retired scored significantly higher than those who were employed (p=.019). This could suggest that retirees have more time and inclination to develop their sense of self-actualisation, or that people who are employed gain self-actualisation from their work. Focus groups and further research would be needed to discover whether this finding has broader implications.

Limitations

A larger study would indicate whether the statistical significance shown is dependent on a particular factor, or whether there are other influences involved. A larger cohort may reveal clear correlations between date of visit, nature of preparation before the visit, whether the respondent had a guided tour, expectations the respondent had of the event or place, age, occupation, gender, level of education, and the impact any or all of these have on participants' experience of authenticity

 

Conclusions

Questions 6(iv), 7(d), 7(e), 7(h) and 7(i) were reverse scaled because the percentage agreement and median score were in the opposite direction of the variable of the experience dimension being tested. Thus, translating the means to the Authenticity Scale results in the following:

 

Table 6.          Authenticity of ANZAC Cove

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The total demonstrates that those who responded to the survey rated the authenticity of ANZAC Cove as 25.8 which according to the Authenticity Scale is high.

 

When referenced against the definition of authenticity selected for this research, it is understandable that with expectations of an emotional experience the total score for all dimensions of authenticity is in the range of 'high authenticity'. Prentice (2001) described the authenticity of an event or place as evoking an emotional experience through true engagement.

 

The implication for this Authenticity Scale is that, through a simple survey of importance and agreement statements, it is possible to measure the authenticity of an event or place. Given the extensive literature on the 'quest for authenticity' by tourists to heritage sites, particularly to ANZAC Cove, the Scale makes a contribution to research, marketing and management of cultural events and heritage tourism sites.

 

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