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January 13: Coping with Tourists

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ANTH 3120
Karl Schmid

COPING WITH TOURISTS • commodization doesn't necessarily damage • financial benefit, preservation and identifying culture • what commodization does and what authenticity is are culturally constructed • narratives of the Science Centre • want to tell you the story of something, want you to think about this place in a specific way • 3 discussion questions ◦ something related to theory, your key analysis ◦ something that you questioned about the site itself Coping with Tourism • Jeremy Boissevain • What are the possible social and cultural effects of having extensive tourism in your community? ◦ sometimes tourists outnumber locals ◦ beyond this enclaving effect • Questions of presence and pervasiveness ◦ way for your country to make money, but it's a very different kind of business ◦ changes the spatial dynamics of a place • Questions of power ◦ operate on a number of different levels ◦ inequalities of income • Questions of whose interests? ◦ who is really going to benefit from this? ◦ who are the stakeholders in tourism? ▪ people who have jobs in the tourist industry ▪ companies ▪ different levels of government that might have different interests ▪ businesses versus the community ▪ who is the money going to be balanced out • What about the 'host' and the 'guest'? ◦ dimensions of tourism and relationship that of the guest and host, discoursive language of tourism that is fairly pervasive ◦ implies a level of interpersonal invovlement ◦ often times mixed up with this kind of commerical economy: the hospitality industry ◦ pretending to be in that kind of relationship of the host and guest ◦ to what extend do these categories overlap, is it a technique of power in some ways? ◦ can mask some of the dynamiques going on • The industry of forced smiles ◦ have to smile all the time, emotional aspect to the job ◦ particularly in tourism, being the pleasant host ◦ national campaigns of people smiling, even educate children in schools about what tourism means, be a strong citizen and welcome the tourists and provide a cordial and welcoming atmosphere ◦ makes sense on one level, good to be welcoming, customer service ◦ is whose interest is this? ◦ people get frustrated with this, and it can effect tourism and change the whole dynamics Negative Issues • crowding roads • scanty clothing • heavy use of public facilities • loud, lecherous behaviour • inflated prices for food, rent • subject of stereotypes • infrastructure under pressure • divisions within communities • lack of privacy (photography) • "ugly American" behaviour • "Demonstration" effect • Environmental degradation • Lack of privacy • Pricing out of livelihoods Cultural Tourism • Double: Edged: • negatives but also some relative positives: ◦ can lead to some infrastructure development ◦ while there may be commoditization of culture, this may result in increased self-confidence, a positive image within the country, valuation of cultural practices ◦ greater familiarity with "the world" Case Study of Goreme • open museums, open space that is also demonstrating history and culture • not a big draw on the tourist circuit, but it's iconic enough • Hazel Tucker Questions concerning Goreme • how does a tourist destination develop and change? • What does 'local and global coming together' really mean? Does the local change? How do people cope? • How can we understand chnage and agency at the destination? Peasants and entrepreneurs • "peasant sociality" and the "limited good" • capitalist relations and competition • before they were farmers • the rock is very porous, perfect place for birds to nest • farmers would use structures, carving them from the inside, and create pigeon towers that would provide natural fertilizer • things worked along kinship networks • also competition, one of the ways that peasants competed was through this peasant sociality • they competed to remain equal ◦ trying to maintain a kind of equality within a group ◦ competing in a way that you demonstrate that you feel and represent those feelings of equality ◦ acting in a way that is most likely that everyone can participate ◦ if someone starts doing better, other people are affected ◦
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