Tourism and culture

Authored by: Kevin Fox Gotham

Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  July  2010
Online publication date:  September  2010

Print ISBN: 9780415474450
eBook ISBN: 9780203891377
Adobe ISBN: 9781134026159

10.4324/9780203891377.ch58

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Abstract

Over the decades, scholars have sought to understand and explain the changing institutional, political, and socio-economic linkages between culture and tourism. Researchers have long theorized some of the central features of tourism and tourist experiences, and examined the impact of tourism development on local culture. Much scholarship has also investigated the ways in which local cultural practices and identities shape the production and organization of tourism at a grassroots level. In conventional accounts, tourism is a set of discrete economic activities, a mode of consumption, or a spatially bounded locality or “destination” that is subject to external forces. In contrast, recent research conceptualizes tourism as a highly complex set of institutions and social relations that involve capitalist markets, state policy, and flows of commodities, technology, cultural forms, and people. In this conception, tourism is embedded within broader patterns of societal transformation as well as local networks and cultural practices.

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