Being a Tourist
272 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Release Date:01 Jul 2003
Release Date:15 Nov 2002
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Being a Tourist

Finding Meaning in Pleasure Travel

UBC Press

What is meaningful about the experience of travelling abroad? Whatfeeds the impulse to explore new horizons? In Being a Tourist,Harrison analyzes her conversations with a large group ofupper-middle-class travellers. Why, she asks, do these people investtheir resources -- financial, emotional, psychological, and physical --in this activity? Harrison suggests that they are fuelled by severaldesires, including a search for intimacy and connection, an expressionof personal aesthetic, an exploration of the understanding of"home," and a sensemaking strategy for a globalized world.She also reflects on the moral and political complexities of thetravels of these people.

Being a Tourist draws on a wide range of social theory,going beyond current debates of authenticity and consumption.Engagingly and thoughtfully written, it will be required reading forthose in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and, moregenerally, for anyone interested in tourism studies and travelwriting.

The flavor is ethnographic and particularistic; Harrison provides many conceptual frames through which to view the experiences of her interviewees, yet their own voices come through. This retention of individuality makes the book unique, providing an unusual narrative depth. The author's command of the theoretical literature is impressive ... Highly recommended. C. Hendershott, Choice
The stories told by these travel enthusiasts about their experiences provide one of the richest sources of data on tourism that I have ever read, so multi-layered and complex that it shatters many easy generalizations. At last we have tourist voices, insightfully analyzed and placed in context. A theoretically sophisticated discourse on travel, yet so clearly presented that reading Being a Tourist is a sheer delight. Edward M. Bruner, University of Illinois, co-editor of The Anthropology of Experience
Being a Tourist will undoubtedly come to figure as a benchmark study in the anthropology of tourism -- a book to which all subsequent studies will want to refer. Finally, a study of tourism from the tourists' point of view! David Howes, editor of Cross-Cultural Consumption: Global Markets, Local Realities
Julia D. Harrison, formerly a museum curator, is anassociate professor in the Department of Anthropology at TrentUniversity.



1 Being a Tourist

2 Making Connections

3 The Tourist Aesthetic

4 Journeying Home

5 Colouring the World’s Map

6 Coming Back



Travellers’ Biographies

References Cited


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