Anthropology of Tourism
ECTS credit: 6
Lecturer(s): doc. dr. Kravanja Boštjan
Cultural anthropology has been more visibly involved in the subject of tourism since 1970s. The initial and main research topic were intercultural connections and impacts of foreigners' (tourists') arrival to various local communities of the world. In terms of tourism research, the topics foremost dealt with are: the motivation for travelling; the types of interactions among the tourists, among the locals in tourist areas and between the tourists and the locals; the impact of tourism on natural environment and human behaviour within it; the semiotics of tourist promotional material; tourism as a global phenomenon and its consequences on a global scale; the role of tourism in development, with emphasis on the sustainable development of tourist destinations.
The course introduces the students to the history of tourism and its geographic aspects, the central part of the subject discusses tourism as a specific discourse and sociocultural praxis. The subject deals with political economic approach of the early anthropology of tourism first and is followed by discussions about relationship between tourism and power in different contemporary tourist spaces. The subject discusses classical studies of changes in global tourist geography (tourist development, tourist myths, leisure rituals and liminality of tourist travelling, acculturation paradigm) as well as concepts that deal with ethnography of contemporary tourism: authenticity, comodification of culture, the relation between tourism and identity, representations of heritage in tourism, global simulacra, the sustainability paradigm, the mobility paradigm, frontstage and backstage of tourist spaces, tourist enclaves and heterogeneous tourist spaces, cultural brokers in tourism, tourism in the light of information and communication technologies, thematizing of tourist products etc.
The objective of the practical classes is to introduce the students to reference ethnographies of tourist spaces. On this base, ethnographic fieldwork is organized on a chosen tourist destination, where students are guided to carry out an independent research of a chosen aspect of the destination such as its institutional landscape, its tourist products and with tourism connected everyday practices of its residents.