Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)



First Advisor

Kate Oswald Wilkins


Contemporary colonialism rides on the back of poverty tourism, shaping Third World Others into traveler’s expectations and desires. Study abroad, tourism and missions marketing create eight rhetorical personae (the Cautious Self-Preserver, Dangerous Scoundrel, Modern Attendant, Savior, Needy, Hands-On Consumer, Exotic Consumed, Heroic Adventurer) Western travelers can put on themselves and push onto the Other. These four character pairings reveal stark imbalance between the West and the Rest, the latter’s reality conforming to the mischaracterizations the West creates. Through analysis of the marketing text and images presented by top study abroad, tourism and missions programs, this study discusses the personae that emerge and suggests changes in personal and organizational marketing that must be made to ensure the proliferation of human dignity and the ceasefire of contemporary colonialism through poverty tourism.