Accepted paper:

All Along the 'All-Inclusive Prison': external cultural influences and local habitus in Jamaican tourist destinations

Author:

Łukasz Kaczmarek (Adam Mickiewicz University)

Paper short abstract:

On the basis of findings from fieldwork on the local dimensions of power relations and mechanism of identity construction in Jamaica the author explains the tourism-related issues as rooted in both, external cultural influences and local habitus.

Paper long abstract:

The tourist industry is the main sector of Jamaican economy and also a powerful force in the Jamaican social life. Control over tourism-related capitals and revenues, the ways of their redistribution, inevitable resistance of the omitted or subaltern, as well as identity construction and representations building in order to achieve political or mercantile goals (Carrier 1995; Hall & Tucker 2004) are among the factors influencing power relations in majority of the contemporary societies. However, the interplay between tourism and Jamaican communities cannot be reduced to Jamaica subordination to the global capital, overwhelming neoliberalism and Western tourists needs evident in mass tourism expansion and symbolised by enclave resorts - 'The all-inclusive prisons'. Many of Jamaicans perform their own agency of everyday make do on the basis of the local habitus (see Bourdieu 1990). Tourism in this perspective is also exploited, not only exploiting. One potentially good illustration may be sex interplay between locals and visitors. Sexually based agency appearing in some circles of poor Jamaicans has been long described in terms of illegitimacy or social dysfunction (Clarke 1957; Kerr 1951; Simey 1946) before tourism got involved into this discourse. Tourism may be treated as another area of activity in this context. On the basis of multi-sited fieldwork on the local dimensions of power relations and mechanism of identity construction conducted in several destinations in Jamaica, and with implementation of ethno-historical perspective I describe the tourism-related issues as rooted in both, external cultural influences and local habitus.

panel G51
Exploring frontiers of tourism research and theory in Latin America and the Caribbean (IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism)