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IUAES 2013: Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds. 5-10 August 2013.

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Evolving humanity, emerging worlds

Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013

(G42)

Tourism and anthropological theory and practice (IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism)

Location Roscoe 1.010
Date and Start Time 06 Aug, 2013 at 14:00

Convenor

Noel B. Salazar (University of Leuven) email
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Short Abstract

This panel of the IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism aims at bringing tourism and the anthropological study of it to the centre of the discipline by presenting a provoking set of papers that reflect critically on the relationship between tourism (scholarship) and mainstream anthropology

Long Abstract

Fieldwork-based anthropology and long-haul tourism share remarkably similar genealogies. Scholars have analysed in great detail the common historical roots of anthropology and tourism in romanticism, capitalist industrialisation, colonialism and the like. This partially explains why mainstream anthropology did, for a long time, despise tourism, both as a social reality and as an object of study. Today, anthropologists play active roles in tourism research as well as in planning and development, as guides, researchers, consultants, analysts or policy makers. The origins of the anthropological study of tourism date back to the 1960s. In those fifty years, dedicated colleagues have produced a rich set of analytical concepts and theories that have been widely influential within the interdisciplinary field of tourism studies. Within mainstream anthropology, however, tourism research still has difficulty shedding its reputation as being merely applied scholarship and tourism is rarely at the centre stage of the discipline. This panel of the IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism aims at changing this situation by presenting a set of thought-provoking papers that reflect critically on the dynamic relationship between tourism and mainstream anthropology. The participants address the following questions: Which innovative concepts and theories developed within the anthropology of tourism are relevant for the discipline at large and can shed new lights on important disciplinary debates? How can tourism and the anthropological study of it contribute to the development of ethnographic methods and methodologies? How can the anthropology of tourism play a leading role in advancing anthropological theory and practice?

Discussant: Nelson H. H. Graburn (University of California, Berkeley)

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Tourism after the East Japan disaster: Innovating anthropology through the study of tourism

Author: Shinji Yamashita (Teikyo Heisei University)  email
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Short Abstract

Examining tourism after the East Japan disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011, this paper theoretically, methodologically and practically intends to innovate contemporary anthropology concerned with reflexive modernity in the age of global mobility.

Long Abstract

The East Japan disaster that occurred on March 11, 2011, had a serious impact on tourism in Japan. The disaster was a complex one caused by three factors: an earthquake, a tsunami, and a nuclear power meltdown. After the disaster, the number of international visitors to Japan dropped by half in March 2011. The main reason was that the image of Japan's safety was shaken, especially due to the Fukushima nuclear plants' meltdown. As of March 2012, one year later, the number of international visitors to Japan overall has recovered almost to the same level as before the disaster but certainly has not been restored yet in the devastated areas. The disaster thus uncovered the vulnerability of the tourism industry. Focusing on tourism after the disaster, this paper examines the implications of "volunteer tourism" organized by NGOs that intends to support the people in devastated areas, while paying special attention to the concept of kizuna or "social ties." The paper is also concerned with a newly emerging tourism that emphasizes "learning" (manabi) from the painful experiences of the local communities in the devastated areas. The paper then considers the positive roles that tourism plays in the reconstruction process of the disaster. Rethinking the conventional dichotomies found in the anthropology of tourism - such as host/guest, leisure/work and domestic/international, the paper theoretically, methodologically, and practically intends to innovate contemporary anthropology concerned with reflexive modernity in the age of global mobility.

Traveling in Binaries and Cycles: Valene Smith's and Nelson Graburn's Contributions from Tourism to Anthropology

Author: Margaret Swain (University of California, Davis)  email
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Short Abstract

In the 1970s Smith and Graburn helped conjure up the anthropology of tourism, drawing from shared interests to develop distinct empirical and theoretical models of binaries and cycles. They continue to challenge anthropologists to travel with them to new frontiers of inquiry.

Long Abstract

Arguably the1970's California Dreamin' Mamma & Papa of the Anthropology of Tourism, Valene Smith and Nelson Graburn helped conjured up the field. They reinvented classic anthropological theory on exchange, rites of passage, and cultural diversity: applying these ideas to something new- global mass tourism. Drawing from their enduring interest as ethnographers of Iniut peoples and tourism in the Arctic, Smith focused on costs and benefits to local hosts for tourist guests, while Graburn engaged the cultural codes and changing aesthetics of indigenous tourist arts producers in the "fourth-world" Their research on tourists also led Smith to develop typologies in the context of rapid global change, while Graburn theorized motivations as ritualized experiences.

Choosing from their many contributions, I look at Smith's "Hosts and Guests" and Graburn's "Sacred Journey" paradigms, asking why or why not these constructs have traveled beyond Tourism Studies, what is the importance of this work to Anthropology in general, and is it recognized? Delving into critiques over 40 years, Graburn's and Smith's subsequent scholarship, and contemporary uses, we can see that their ideas of binaries and cycles have endured, advancing foundational Maussian concepts that embrace evolving global issues including mobilities, embodiment, performance, cosmopolitanism and indigenity. While these themes resonate strongly, tourism as a source of new thinking is Anthropology is barely legitimized after decades of squeamish postcolonial discomfort around the thin line sometimes between tourists and anthropologists. Smith and Graburn, with their colleagues, show the way.

The Self in the World and the World in the Self: Contributions from Anthropology of Tourism to Anthropological Theory

Author: Tom Selwyn (SOAS)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper seeks to substantiate the assertion of the Call text that anthropology of travel, tourism and pilgrimage (ATTP) has ‘arrived’ at the court of ‘mainstream anthropology’ bearing multiple gift and seeks to chart the contours of the new theoretical topography shaped by the ideas of the new arrivals.

Long Abstract

This paper seeks to substantiate the assertion of the Call text that anthropology of travel, tourism and pilgrimage (ATTP) has 'arrived' at the court of 'mainstream anthropology' bearing multiple gifts. It thus seeks to chart some of the contours of the new theoretical topography shaped by the ideas of the new arrivals, and identify some of both 'mainstream' (an unfortunate soubriquet that the paper will attempt ritually to bury) and 'travel/tourism related' theorists (a comparably unfortunate appellation) whose work most clearly interrelates and intersects. Amongst topics and authors to be considered are: the place of travel, tourism, and pilgrimage (TTP) in processes of global and local socio-spatial formations - in particular in relation to class and space (Bianchi, Boissevain, Kousis, Harvey and Lefebvre); the shaping of senses of self by TTP and other mobilities (Crick, Edensor,Tucker, Barthes, Dumont, Pocock, and Taylor); the political economy of cultural institutions and cultural production (Nadel-Klein, Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Veblen and Bourdieu); issues of home and home making (Rapport and Raman/Selwyn) aspects of travel/tourism related art, rhetoric, enchantment and ideology generally ( Graburn, Dann, Salazar, Picard, Andrews, Palmer, Hocart, Bloch, Gell, Pinney). Under each heading the aim is show how anthropology of tourism interlaces with anthropological theory more generally.

Going New Places with Two Indispensable Guides

Author: Julia Harrison (Trent University)  email
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Short Abstract

MacCannell's assertion that ethnography is vital to the study of tourists and Graburn's early attention to "tourist arts'' were important in the development of the anthropology of tourism, and presaged much thinking that emerged in the broader discipline at the end of the twentieth century.

Long Abstract

Dean MacCannell's (1973/1976) ideas of authenticity and his early suggestion that ethnography could be a vital and important methodological practice for the study of tourism and Nelson Graburn's early work on "tourist/airport arts'' (1969/1976) were important developments in the anthropology of tourism, and presaged much in the discipline at a broader level. This paper will provide an overview of some of the contributions of these concepts to anthropology, but also reflects on what these ideas offered as a critique, planned or otherwise, of anthropology in the second half of the 20th century. The generative thinking of these individuals provoked a reflection on the taken-for-granted parameters understood to be anthropology's subjects, methods, and capacity for meaningful contribution to social change. These ideas insisted we (finally) 'study up' (Nader 1969); understand (at last) that culture is synthetic at its very core; abandon the 'preciousness of our methodologies'; challenge simplistic conceptualizations of 'applied anthropology'; re-imagine 'material culture studies'; and, confront head-on the tenacity of colonialist thinking in the 21st century. I will draw on my own trajectory as how I came to be interested in the anthropological study of tourists /tourists over the past eighteen years and my early efforts in the mid-1990s to teach a course in the 'anthropology of tourism'.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Sponsors

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