ECOTOURISM ›› 2023, Vol. 13 ›› Issue (3): 408-419.doi: 10.12342/zgstly.20220160

• National Cultural Park and Heritage Tourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

How to construct national identity based on cultural heritages? A case study of the Grand Canal National Culture Park

An Zhuolin(), Zhou Shangyi*()   

  1. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • Received:2022-12-20 Revised:2023-04-06 Online:2023-06-28 Published:2023-08-04
  • Contact: Zhou Shangyi;


One of the purposes of national culture parks in China is to construct national identity. Based on the concepts of superorganism culture and organism culture, in conjunction with Heidegger’s concept of “Entbergung”, this paper analyzes how people’s identities on cultural heritages in the Grand Canal National Culture Park transform into their national identities by using the method of focus group and phenomenological reflection. Two conclusions are drawn from this study. Firstly, the national identity in the promotion of Grand Canal Cultural Heritages is a holistic culture, super-organic culture. Because of the “absence” of history and the “absence” of life, people are in the situations of “Verborgenheit”, and are obscured from understanding the cultural significance of cultural heritage. Secondly, this framework based on phenomenology can guide people to connect the superorganistic national identities with themselves in two ways: introspection based on body, and introspection based on rationality. On the basis of the two kinds of introspection, and by the processes of “Entbergung”, people can derive national cultural symbols that can be understood and identified. The finding of this paper provides implications for how to shape national identities in the constructions of national culture parks.

Key words: cultural heritage, cultural symbols, cultural identity, national identity, mechanism of national identity, national culture park