An Introduction to Tourism and Anthropology

An Introduction to Tourism and Anthropology

An Introduction to Tourism and Anthropology

An Introduction to Tourism and Anthropology

Synopsis

Introduction to Tourism and Anthropologysheds new light on the fast-growing field of tourism studies. In this one-of-a-kind book, Peter Burns explains how anthropology is the window through which tourism dynamics may be properly analyzed and evaluated. This title is a useful guide for the student with no prior knowledge of anthropology and its impacts on the tourism industry.

Excerpt

An increasing number of students are writing essays, dissertations and theses based on the social and cultural impacts of tourism. Two dangers arise. First, from the uninformed lecturer who may have a background rooted in quantitative research and/or business who may level the criticism that these types of essay are ‘unscientific’ and emotional rather than rational and empirical. The second danger is that they might be right! Students may in fact take a very lightweight, ‘surface’ look at a particular aspect of tourism and base their work on socially constructed interpretation rather than objective analysis.

This book is intended to illustrate how qualitative research, especially anthropology, has been brought to bear on the study of tourists and tourism. Anthropology is about fieldwork, recording of information, accounts of human culture and social organisation. Social anthropology in particular puts its interest in the close and detailed study of particular communities or sub-cultures. In this sense it differs from sociology which is usually more concerned with analysing social trends in society, often using statistical methods. We can see then that anthropology is a science par excellence to use for the qualitative study of tourists and tourism.

In writing this book, my hope is to introduce students to a number of key ideas (linked to their authors), explain what they are about, and direct them to the original sources. Thus if students find the work of Graham Dann or Valene Smith interesting, then they should go to the original sources! There is really nothing to replace reading an author’s own words, even if there are texts,

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