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ANTH 3120
Karl Schmid

Tourism as secular ritual Culture analysis of tourism • Cultural beliefs, assumptions and practices shape the ways we interpret experience. Theorizing tourism • Theory: thinking process (analysis and synthesis) • Theorizing tourists 1. Motivations for travel 2. Social-spatial practices 3. Role of difference and inequality 4. Role of the body and senses 5. Differentiation of tourists 6. Consumption 7. Cultural context and past What we look at today… • Tourism as a secular ritual for the tourists • Concepts and elements of theory: • Symbolic inversions, anti-structure, liminality, rites of passage, communitas, carnivalesque Ritual • What is a ritual? Habits that you do all the time. Structured practices, and are embedded in meaning • Rites of passage (recreates the self) specific ritual that marks a transition in the individual example: wedding, graduation • Sacred journey (transformation of self) The ritual process in terms of Rites of Passage • Anthropologist Victor Turner 1. Separation—going other places to do a rites of passage 2. Liminal state (anti-structure/communitas)—liminality= the state of being in- between. Going into another world. Anti-structure= structure breaks down in ritual practices. For example, a space without adult supervision is an anti-structure stage. 3. Re-integration Communitas—sharing an experience with other people, like being locked in an elevator with other people Pilgrimage and the Ritual Process • Pilgrim journeys to ‘far place’ • Process of ‘separation’ • Liminal state: free from everyday obligations; anti-structure (because there’s only 1 form: for example, at mecca it’s all muslim people); communitas • Return to ‘familiar place’ • Re-integration with changed status Tourism as secular ritual • Like pilgrimage, offers change in status and may replace ‘sacred’ • Manifestation of need for change • Create difference: ordinary mundane/compulsory
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