Identity shows the origin and focus of a person's values. People define their social identity by joining different social groups. Social background, social interactions and gaining different experiences are the main fields of forming people's social identity. Tourism industry as a service industry whose development brings many economic, social and cultural changes for a society and human interactions play an important role in it, can have a significant impact on the formation of people's identity and their identity changes. Experiencing new opportunities through development of tourism can affect how women know themselves and rebuild their identity. As a large part of the workforce in the tourism industry, women are exposed to identity changes and transformations by being members of different groups and working in the new context of tourism, which is sometimes in conflict with their traditional values.The main goal of this research is to provide a thematic network analysis of the identity construction of women working in tourism, and specifically women working in ecolodges of Kerman province. In this regard, based on the interpretive approach, qualitative methodology has been chosen, and answers to the research questions and objectives have been chosen based on ethnography.
In ethnographic research, the sample size is different based on the time, the studied people and the research field. In this research, the sample size was selected based on the fact that the people have experience in establishing and working in one of the ecolodges of Kerman province and have enough time to answer the questions as well as personal desire. This group of women was selected as the informants of the research and the in-depth interview with them continued until theoretical saturation was reached. The researcher reached theoretical saturation after conducting fifteen interviews, however, she continued the interviews to twenty women. Necessary criteria for the selection of informants, including compliance with the maximum diversity of people in terms of age, education, social class, religion, ethnicity, city of residence and geographical area of residence, have been taken into consideration.
Attride-Stirling theme network analysis was used for data analysis. In the six-step process of analysis, 88 initial codes were reduced to 33 basic theme, 13 organizing themes, and a global theme of "women's identity transition from traditional dependence to modern independence in the context of tourism". The analysis of the theme network indicates that the experience of new opportunities through the development of tourism along with the positive and negative lived experiences of women in the past and now, as well as the activity in the existing social and cultural context, which includes the transformation of women's gender identity, women's beliefs in identity building, deconstruction cultural and social and feeling the need for change, leads to the construction of identity in different dimensions, including emotional construction of identity, psychological construction of identity, construction of communication identity, construction of local identity, construction of occupational identity, construction of economic identity, construction of dignity identity and construction of socially independent identity. These identity processes are the result of the interaction of women who have been involved in personal issues in the field of family institutions before entering the world of tourism, with the endless world of tourism and its various managerial, political, economic, cultural and social aspects.