Publication date:30 March 2006
Length of book:298 pages
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
This innovative volume focuses on tourism through the twin lenses of cultural theory and cultural geography. Presenting a set of innovative case studies on tourist destinations around the world, the contributors explore the paradoxes of the tourist experience and the implications of these paradoxes for our broader understanding of the problems of modernity and identity. The book examines how tourism reveals the paradoxical ways that places are both mobile and rooted, real and fake, inhabited by those who are simultaneously insiders and outsiders, and both subjectively experienced and objectively viewed. The concepts of travel and mobility long have been used to explain modern identity and social behavior, but this work pushes beyond the established literature by considering the ways that place and mobility are inherently related in unexpected, even contradictory ways. Travel, the international cast of authors contends, occurs 'in place' rather than 'between places.' Thus, instead of offering yet another interpretation of the ways modern societies are distinguished by their mobilities-in contrast to the supposed place-bound quality of traditional societies-the chapters here collectively argue for an understanding of modern identity as simultaneously grounded and mobile. This rich blend of empirical and theoretical analysis will be invaluable for cultural geographers, anthropologists, and sociologists of tourism.
It is unusual to encounter a volume that actually advances the gigantic discourse on tourism. This one does it. Via a series of theoretically informed but non-doctrinaire studies of the ways tourists inflect places and vice-versa we get a glimpse of the future of tourism studies. Smart, readable, and essential for every tourist and tourism researcher.