Key figure of mobility: the tourist
(University of California, Berkeley)
Paper short abstract:
MacCannell theorized the Tourist in relation to his earlier construct "Staged Authenticity,"as "Modern-man-in-general," an alienated figure who sought authenticity "elsewhere." Later corrections posited a variety of tourists of which MacCannell's was one, fitting Urry's "Romantic Gaze."
Paper long abstract:
MacCannell theorized the Tourist (1976) in relation to his earlier construct "Staged Authenticity" (1973). Up to then tourists were often vilified with accusations of herd-like 'vacuous amorality' by Twain, Boorstin, Turner and Ash. MacCannell posited the tourist as a serious-minded 'modern-man-in-general' who suffered from alienation, for which the cure was 'authenticity.' But he failed to rescue the tourist from the commercial forces that profited from creating the 'staged authenticity' , in spite of his 'second gaze' (1999). The predominant encounter of MacCannell's Tourist has been to diminish his being 'modern man in general' to being a particular type of modern man. This productive correction led others to differentiate various categories of tourists. MacCannell had cleverly turned Marx on his head by showing that the modern middle classes were alienated by the multiplicity of representations, i.e. inauthenticity, which prevented them for seeing 'how the world really worked,' leading them to search elsewhere, in the past, the foreign, the non-modern, for the antidote, i.e. authenticity. But tourists who exercise the 'collective gaze,' prototypically blue-collar pleasure seekers in the early modern West and the 'modern' rest of the world, were and are the globally predominant form who were the ridiculed masses suffering the withering gaze of the intellectual snobs of the 19th and 20th centuries. Today we explore different forms of authenticity salient to tourists, but focus on 'the tourist' as an ensemble of differentiated mobile figures who build their experiences of tourism into the on-going narratives of their lives.
Key figures of mobility (ANTHROMOB)