Now a Doctor

The Black Flag Cafe is the place travelers come to share stories and advice. Moderated by Robert Young Pelton the author of The World's Most Dangerous Places.

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Now a Doctor

Postby Dr. V » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:54 pm

As some of you might know for the last 5 number of years I've been working on a part time PhD about tourism to dangerous places. Earlier this week I passed the viva so I'm now Dr Victoria Lindsay-Towner. The title of the thesis is: A virtual ethnography of the Black Flag Cafe, an online forum for people who travel to dangerous places.

Part of the reserach agreement with RYP and Kurt was that I gave back to the community a summary of the reserach results and provided to any regular posters who were interested any resulting journal articles. I've not yet got round to any publications (apart from the conference paper I posted about earlier) but please find below the Dedication and Acknowledgements and Thesis Abstract.

Dedication and acknowledgements

This thesis is dedicated to Stefan (killed in Iraq, 2005), Brian (killed in Iraq, 2004) and Steve, who took me to dangerous places and made sure I came back alive and without whom I would never have started writing.

There are several people who have contributed directly or indirectly to the completion of this thesis.

First, I thank my parents for their continued support and my brother Dr Martin for taking time to offer both academic and technical advice throughout the writing process. Secondly, I think of several of my work colleagues who, over the years, have supported my progress and generously shared their own knowledge, advice and skills. Thirdly, the Black Flag Café: Robert Young Pelton, who provided valuable advice, was generous with his knowledge and who patiently and continually supported my investigation into his life, forum and other activities; Erik, whose time, technical knowledge and advice on matters relating to the forum were invaluable; and the forum members themselves who welcomed me into their online and offline lives.

In studying one online community, I inadvertently became a member of another group of dedicated people. Over the years I have valued the company and support of the members of the online community PhinisheD, which is moderated and supported by Dr Thomas.

I would also like to acknowledge the sage advice and professionalism of my supervisors Dr Keith and Professor Roger.


This research explores the followers of the book The World’s Most Dangerous Places. These tourists deliberately travel to dangerous destinations where there is a high level of violence due to civil unrest, conflict or war. The research has focused on the Black Flag Café, an online tourism-based community created by the writer Robert Young Pelton, author of the books Come Back Alive and The World’s Most Dangerous Places. This is a case study that has made use of virtual ethnography and descriptive content analysis to explore the forum and its members. The research has identified four factors which influence the forum members’ decision to travel to a dangerous place: a search for self-actualisation through “it” or peak experiences; a desire to improve self-image and to obtain status from travelling to dangerous places; a search for an “authentic” travel experience; and finally their awareness and perception of danger and acceptance of the residual risks involved in travel to dangerous places. The study shows that the forum members enjoy pushing the boundaries of risk, undertaking a form of edgework. The research also explores the forum members’ sense that travelling to dangerous places can result in other benefits including familiarity with death, gaining arousal from risk taking (flow) and the possibility of repeat travel to increasingly dangerous places. The conceptual framework developed from the research displays the danger tourist’s approach to travelling to dangerous places. This framework identifies five benefits which participants obtain from travelling to dangerous places: flow, self-actualisation, improvement to self-esteem, the achievement and/or maintenance of status and familiarity with death. While this framework has been developed for the tourists who travel to dangerous places, undertaking danger tourism, it could equally be applied to other high-risk activities.

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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby marie-angelique » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:59 pm

congratulations Dr Victoria Lindsay-Towner!!!
"Give me control of your TV and I could have you sticking bullets in the backs of peoples heads within a month." nowonmai

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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby Penta » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:01 pm

Well done, Doctor Lindsay.

Now get a life! :)
Shes never interfered with me. I have no complaints about her.
Same here.
Mega ditto.
I met her once and I found her to be a nice lady. Not kookey in any way.
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby Kurt » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:04 pm

Excellent news and I am quite happy to have played a part in your degree. (even if a small one)
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby JamesInTheWorld » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:07 pm

Great - now go get a job

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High Paying International Jobs
Iraq - Afghanistan - Asia - Europe
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby redharen » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:08 pm

Wow, that is so awesome. Congratulations, V! And best of luck with whatever's coming next.
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby Tacos » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:09 pm

congrats V
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby deselby » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:12 pm

Congratulations. Just remember, non-physicians who use the title "doctor" sound pretentious to many people, unless you're in Italy, where everyone's a dottore.
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby Bronco » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:13 pm

Congratulations! May you enjoy a fruitful and entertaining career full of exciting [but safe] adventures.
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby Dr. V » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:15 pm

JamesInTheWorld wrote:Great - now go get a job


I already have a very good, well paid one thank you, hence why I did it part time and funded it all myself.

Although.....I'm always open to offers for new even better paid job so do bear me in mind if anything exciting comes up :)
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby kilroy » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:17 pm

kudos on that. hmm, 'Dr V'. and also, you now have a moniker worthy of a supervillian. kudos on that, too.
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby RYP » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:21 pm

Hey doc it hurts when I pee.. .Can I show you??

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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby jose » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:27 pm

Congrats, I look forward to you informing the world why they are all wrong about DP's/BFCer's and we are all right. He He.
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby ktrout » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:18 pm

JamesInTheWorld wrote:Great - now go get a job


Yes, congratulations! You've milked this education thing as far as it can go!
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Re: Dr V Lindsay

Postby 2 Charlie » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:18 pm

Anyone else feel exploited and violated...
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