Exploring the role of tourism in the evolving cultures of the world
Donald Macleod (Glasgow University)
Movement, Mobility, and Migration
University Place 6.213
Start time:
9 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Tourism is a huge global phenomenon and has many impacts on culture. This panel invites theoretical and evidence based papers on aspects of this topic including cultural representation, acculturation, imperialism, commodification, development and dependence.

Long abstract:

This panel will explore, examine and analyse the interaction of tourism and culture. It will look at the way tourism becomes part of cultural transformation, promoting, destroying, and influencing aspects of 'culture' in the broadest sense of the term. Issues invited for discussion include the representation of ethnic groups and other identities; general acculturation between the visitors and the visited community; imperialism and asymmetrical dependence; the commodification of culture; cultural configuration through intentional marketing and interpretation. Cultural involution, cultural pollution, authenticity and cultural heritage are also areas of welcomed discussion. As a form of human mobility mainly for leisure purposes (business tourism and 'visiting friends and relatives' are also included), tourism represents an enormous reason for international travel, growing from around 25 million in 1950 to almost one billion international arrivals in 2011. Virtually every country is impacted by tourists, and many are increasingly looking to tourism as an economic opportunity. Anthropologists have only relatively recently begun to study tourism seriously, however, this crucially important phenomenon needs more research: where people encounter those from different cultures, prepare their own homes and local environment for the entertainment of others, re-organise their economy and experience radically different lifestyles and values through contact with tourists. This panel welcomes papers on the above topics or similar issues, especially those that are theoretical and comparative, based on fieldwork.