Tourism, Diasporas, and Space

Tourism, Diasporas, and Space

Tourism, Diasporas, and Space

Tourism, Diasporas, and Space

Synopsis

Diasporas result from the scattering of populations and cultures across geographical space and time. Transnational in nature and unbounded by space, they cut across the static, territorial boundaries more usually deployed to govern tourism. In a vibrant inter-disciplinary collection of essays from leading scholars in the field, this book introduces the main features and constructs of diasporas, and explores their implications for the consumption, production and practices of tourism. Three sets of mutually reinforcing relationships are explored:- experiences of diaspora tourists- the settings and spaces of diaspora tourism- the production of diaspora tourism.Addressing the relationship between diasporic groups and tourism from both a consumer and producer perspective, examples are drawn from a wide spectrum of diasporic groups including the Chinese, Jewish, Southeast Asian, Croatian, Dutch and Welsh.Until now, there has been no systematic and detailed treatment of the relationships between diasporas, their consumptions and the tourist experience. However, here, Coles and Timothy provide a unique navigation of the nature of these inter-connections which is ideal for students of tourism, sociology, cultural studies.

Excerpt

Rather fittingly, this book is the result of a transnational enterprise over the last two years. It is a celebration of the power of e-mail and the speed of telecommunications, of transgressing time zones and transcending geopolitical boundaries, and of an intricate multi-nodal social network with hubs in south-west England and in the south-western corner of the USA. It is the endpoint of a long and often arduous journey for both of us. It started with the realisation that tourism and diaspora are two prolific subjects of contemporary inter-disciplinary academic enquiry. In no small measure, their popularity as objects of their respective academic gazes stems from their position as defining features and conditions of the fin-de-millennium condition. Tourism, leisure and culture have become increasingly implicated within, reflections of, and transformed by, the restructuring of contemporary society and economy. Diasporas have rightfully been described as exemplars of transnationalism and the contribution of globalisation to the conduct of diasporic communities has been duly acknowledged. Somewhat surprisingly, among the burgeoning corpuses of attendant work, the establishment of explicit conceptual and theoretical linkages between the two themes appeared elusive. Although scholars of diaspora espoused the importance of routes and roots in the mediation of diaspora and diasporic identities, paradoxically they appeared reticent to explore the fuller implications of tourism for diaspora and vice versa. Equally taciturn were those in tourism studies who, by and large, overlooked diasporas as 'travelling cultures' in every sense of the term.

Or, so it seemed at the time. Since the start of this project we have uncovered reassuringly insightful, yet relatively fledgling interest in diaspora among tourism research workers. Like the concept itself, contributions on diaspora and tourism have been widely scattered among the literature, often to be found in the most unexpected and far-flung locations, and frequently taking unexpected, hybridized forms by lending theory, concept and method from a number of sources and inspirations. Diaspora is a topic area with which tourism academics have engaged, but one which has for the most part been bypassed and sidelined in the interests of other allegedly more relevant and critical debates. In producing this collection we contend that diasporas should occupy a more privileged position in tourism discourse. Diasporas are major communities and they challenge the hegemonic position of the nation-state in global society through their cross-border relations and mobilities, articulated not least through travel and tourism. A much deeper understanding of diasporic travel and tourism is clearly key towards a fuller understanding of mobilities in contemporary global society. Diasporas are also emblematic of the need to deploy new conceptual toolkits and fluid, reflexive

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