ANTHROPOLOGY OF TOURISM
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One of the seminal texts, at least in the field of tourism anthropology, should be traced back to Dean MacCannell‘s book The Tourist: A New Theory of the Leisure Class. MacCannell (1976) holds that tourism serves to be the glue of society, like the Totem in the aboriginal tribal organization. In contrast to other colleagues, of the caliber of Nuñez (1963), Van den Abbeele (1980), Turner & Ash (1975), MacCannell understands tourism as a total social institution, which beyond any ideological disposition, emerges as a natural result of global capitalism expansion. In consequence, leisure practices in general but tourism in particular gravitate furtherly toward the social cohesion necessary for society to be successfully working. Tourism seems to be more complex than a mere ideological instrument. Hence, MacCannell goes beyond articulating a bridge between structuralism and phenomenology.
For Nash & Smith (1991), anthropology was not only captivated by the multicultural dynamic of tourism as an object of study but also was concerned by the complex interplay (acculturation process) between hosts and guests. Promisingly, anthropology and ethnography have a certain potential to give a fresh insight into tourism research while laying the foundation for a catch-all theory that helps expand the current understanding of the phenomenon. This conceptual position has mainly marked tourism anthropology from its outset. In her book, Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism, Valene Smith argues convincingly that the burgeoning tourism growth has accelerated many uncontemplated changes that need to be investigated by social sciences. The discipline should start by differentiating between two major themes. On one hand, social fieldworkers should interrogate the role of tourism in the modernization process, but on another, the process of cultural change opened by globalization (Smith 2012). For Cohen (1985), tourism should be defined as a type of sacred play that revitalizes our social frustrations happening in the working conditions. In consonance with this, Nelson Graburn (2004) dubs the term secular ritual to denote tourism as a driver towards limonoid space (similarly compared to other institutions such as festivals or holy days) where the authority emanated from classic institutions are temporarily suspended (if not subverted). Having said this, tourism is mainly based on a ritual of reversal, where laypeople are in quest of something new that certainly lacks in their home class position.
At the same time, tourism crafts specific hegemonic imaginaries that are individually negotiated, internalized, or even rejected by locals. These imaginaries include discourses, stereotypes, stories, images as well as sensibilities carefully organized to decipher “the presence of the Other” in Western culture. In this respect, tourism imaginaries occupy a central position in the configuration of modern power in secularized societies (Salazar & Graburn 2014). As the previous short backdrop, tourism anthropology paved the way for the rise of an interesting body of knowledge chiefly oriented to responding to the nature of tourism as well as its future in the years to come. The first publications in tourism anthropology devotes their efforts in describing tourism as a global rite culturally enrooted in the modern consumption. But times changes, and problems too. The outbreak of new global viruses (like COVID), and the acceleration of climate change, without mentioning the recent radicalization of terrorism and political violence, or the expression of hostility against tourists, have essentially turned the attention of anthropology to new merging topics. Today, anthropology is pressed to give fresh answers to the global dynamics in a world characterized by extreme anxieties and uncertainness (Korstanje & George 2022). For that reason, this book situates as an editorial project which invites authors to bring some reflection on the nature and current problems of tourism (centered on the lens of anthropology and social sciences).
For proposal please write to Maximiliano Korstanje at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Submission Details: Book chapters should be written in English (normally between 6000 to 7000 words) and duly accompanied by an abstract and 5 keywords. Chapters should be accommodated to APA style as a main criterion of citation. Full length manuscripts should be sent to editor Maximiliano Korstanje to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 15 April 2023.