Authored by: Scott McCabe

The Routledge Handbook of Mobilities

Print publication date:  December  2013
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415667715
eBook ISBN: 9781315857572
Adobe ISBN: 9781317934134


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Over the last thirty-five years, the tourist has become the focus of intense scrutiny, initially amongst sociologists and social-anthropologists, and subsequently amongst a burgeoning field of scholars within tourism (or tourist) studies, giving rise to an eponymous journal along the way. The reason for this interest is partly at least that the tourist has become a perfect symbol of postmodernity. The opportunity for participation in tourism, as witnessed through tourism’s continued global expansion in emerging regions, marks a transition into economic modernity, but also highlights the role and significance of tourism within the mobilities paradigm (Urry and Sheller 2004). The tourist epitomizes all that it means to be mobile and all that it means to be modern. In Liquid Modernity, Baumann (2000) described how technologies have compressed space and time to enable distant friends and relatives to feel ‘closer’ to each other, and to transform how we understand other places and cultures, de-exoticizing and demythologizing them. The improvements in technological capabilities underpinning mobilities outlined in other chapters of this volume have intensified the flow and speed of such changes almost into the realms of science fiction.

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