The tourist gaze and the power of the visual
Tourist gaze—what is it? According to Urri reading
• A form of visual consumption.
• What are people consuming? What people are looking for, intangible things.
• One of the purposes is a way for the person to record memories, and
• A pleasurable and fulfilling activity, and an emotional experience of satisfying
• The tourist gaze increasingly involves techne (the intentional, human extension
of a natural process).
• Techne: Techniques, technology, and tools, to extend human practices. For
example, we use photography to extend our memories, and sharing this
consumption with your friends and family.
• The tourist gaze involves the consumption of signs (or collection of signs) –the
signs are constructions of meaning of a place, it has to go through this process of
being integrated into a cultural discourse. For example, the Eiffel tower is Paris.
• There are literal signs too: for example a sign that says “The grand canyon” so
people can find places
• The tourist gaze often involves a process of objectification
• Objectivity: something being unbiased/neutral (being outside of things, and
seeing something as it is) scientific.
• Subjectivity: we all experience things individually, we have different reactions and
relationships to things • The tourist gaze reflects the occularcentrism of the Western society
• Occularcentrisism= seeing as an important sense. Vision is a dominant privilege
Bentham’s Panopticon (surveillance)
• Bentham would say that being under surveillance changes us
• All the prisoners w