Accepted paper:

Tourism: a contemporary rite de passage

Author:

Janusz Baranski (Jagiellonian University)

Paper short abstract:

Tourism is perhaps the most conspicuous example of contemporary ritual practices. Tourism, in contrast to the classical ritual, is characterized not in terms of liminal, but liminoid (Turner) – a kind of rituality which is fuzzy, decentralized and voluntary.

Paper long abstract:

Tourism is perhaps the most conspicuous example of contemporary ritual practices. The reasons for this are both historical, social, and existential. First, there is a genetic relationship of tourism and pilgrimage, the tangible expression of what is religious tourism. Secondly, in tourism is included a mechanism of integration/differentiation, maintaining social processes, both locally (region, nation), and globally. Thirdly, it is an important factor in an individual exclusion from the periodic daily routine. Tourism, in contrast to the classical ritual, is characterized not in terms of liminal, but liminoid (Turner) - a kind of rituality which is fuzzy, decentralized and voluntary. Both ritual and tourism have the quality of communitas, the relationship of basic, undifferentiated social relations and have a flaw character (Csikszentmihalyi), enabling nonreflexive sequence of events. Finally, in both cases we deal with the dynamic alternation of structure and antistructure. The first represents a stable social relations, values, norms, whereas the second represents the ritual (tourism) - an element of periodic instability, however, necessary for the stability of structure.

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