The Hidden Courtyard, a Qualitative Study of the Riad as a Cultural Experience in the Medina of Marrakech
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This thesis examines the existing relationship between people, heritage, and representations, focusing on the riad as a case study of the appropriation of space and construction of meanings within the old city of Marrakech. The phenomenon of the riad-maison d’hôtes is analyzed as a new cultural experience for tourists as well as a space of identity formation. The analysis of tourism representations promoting these new spaces of leisure and relaxation, reveals that traditional Moroccan spaces have been transformed following a new consumeristic logic. The riad phenomenon has been analyzed as a system where all the actors are involved in the production and reproduction of meanings attached to places and people. Thus, the riad has been analyzed as space-icon, where all the social actors involved are contributing to the construction of a new discourse on the city of Marrakech.
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