Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: The problem of false consciousness and its relationship to the social structure of tourist establishments is analyzed. Accounts of travelers are examined in terms of Erving Goffman's front versus back distinction. It is found that tourists try to enter back regions of the places they visit because these regions are associated with intimacy of relations and authenticity of experiences.

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Even though the beginning of tourism can be dated back to ancient Greece and the beginning of the modern era Adler in Chi 63 , it was not until well after colonialist times and the WWII in the 20th century that saw the beginning of mass tourism, which in turn sparked the theoretical considerations of tourism. In his article Enzensberger sees modern tourism still being motivated by romantic ideas of untouched authentic worlds.

This quest for authenticity then paradoxically falls in on itself since it becomes harnessed by the very same society that in all of its incoherency produced the need for authenticity in the first place.

If the modern world is incoherent and unorganized and therefore continually in search for authenticity and a kind of fulfillment, is it not because of the chaotic nature of the modern society that an idea of a stable, coherent and unified society is held. Is it somewhat an illusion that such an authentic past in the form of the rural and pheasant society would ever have existed? And, furthermore, if authenticity is indeed an illusion, how come we usually accept that illusion with such happiness, joy and content.

Dean MacCannell formulates his theory of modern tourism and approaches the question of authenticity in The tourist He uses the concept of staged authenticity to explain the tourist experience; people know what they are experiencing is not real and authentic but feel content with it anyway. To Goffman, all social action is play, and he uses theater as an analogy when he explains how people will alter their social roles according to their position front or back on the stage. The idea of people necessarily withholding some aspects of their personality will ultimately lead to a position where the tourist is always confronted with a staged play, never allowed backstage to experience authenticity.

Bruner and MacCannell have, however, different ideas about what is to be found backstage. For MacCannell the back is a place where secrets are only popularly thought to be kept but, in fact, do not exist While MacCannell explicitly denies the possibility of authenticity residing in the back regions, Bruner stated that MacCannell believes there is always true and real at the back 5.

Both MacCannell and Bruner are what I may call non-believers in authenticity. The same can be seen in archaeology. Cornelius Holtorf in particular sees authenticity as a highly contextual attribute that varies when an artifact or a heritage site is brought into a different context Holtorf ; Holtorf and Schadla-Hall Holtorf and Schadla-Hall write that less emphasis should be placed on the importance of authenticity.

I agree! The Tourist was first published in , and at that time postmodernism was not a well established concept. The end of modernity, and in a way the advent of postmodernism [although Zygmunt Bauman does not see the transition from modernity to postmodernity to be a form of liberation, but rather the modern becoming self-aware], is often thought to have happened right after the Holocaust Eaglestone 7 in Thomas If the beginnings of modern tourism are said to date to the postwar period after the WWII, then it is a truly postmodern phenomenon.

You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. Search Search for:. Adler, Judith. Origins of sightseeing. Annals of tourism research Baudrillard, Jean Ekstaasi ja rivous. Bauman, Zygmunt Postmodernin lumo. Bruner, Edward M. Culture on tour: ethnographies of travel.

The University of Chicago Press. Chi, Robert Toward a new tourism: Albert Wendt and becoming attractions. Cultural Critique fall Culler, Jonathan The semiotics of tourism. Framing the sign: criticism and its institutions. University of Oklahoma Press. Eaglestone, Robert Postmodernism and holocaust denial. Enzensberger first published in A theory of tourism. New German Critique Goffman, Erving The presentation of self in everyday life.

Anchor books. Holtorf, Cornelius From Stonehenge to Las Vegas. Archaeology as popular culture. AltaMira Press. Holtorf, Cornelius and Schadla-Hall, Tim Age as artefact: on archaeological authenticity.

European journal of archaeology 2 2 : MacCannell, Dean The tourist. Schocken Books. New York. Why it never really was about authenticity.

Society Thomas, Julian Archaeology and modernism. Urry, John The tourist gaze. Leisure and travel in contemporary societies. SAGE publications. Tags: authenticity , Holtorf , modernity , postmodernism , tourism , tourist theory. One comment. May 9, at pm.

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Tourist theory, authenticity, and archaeology

It can be manufactured by tourism professionals in theme parks, performances and such , but it can be the way that locals perceive what tourists want to see and experience — like tartan, bagpipes and whisky in Scotland. Real life and culture is often hidden or relegated to areas that tourists are not likely to venture. This concept was brought home to me when we visited the village of Metsovo, high in the Pindos mountains. A view of the village on a cloudy day. Like similar articles promoting tourism, an article entitled Metsovo: The Jewel of Epirus that appeared in Greece Is , a culture and gastronomic magazine, is not wrong: Metsovo is a unique place. According to any number of local guides, the village suffered financially in the recent past. But, in the s a local patron — Evangelos Averoff — helped to turn the village around by encouraging tourism.


Staged Authenticity: Arrangements of Social Space in Tourist Settings

No culture sees itself as having one among many possible versions of "reality. In contexts of cultural interaction, "realities" often are pitted against one another. The outcome is determined by the relative material power of the two groups. Under these conditions the dependent group usually experiences itself as "objects," of outsider observation, manipulation, and often of derision.


Staged Authenticity




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