The High Plains Society
Applied Anthropology


A Tangle of Anthropological Tourism: How the Consumption of Fantasy and Academia Share Common Spaces

David Piacenti

Using Susan Buck-Morss‘s Dreamworld and Catastrophe: The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West as a theoretical backdrop to study the intersection of anthropology and tourism, this article suggests an epistemological shift from structuralism to poststructuralism. Although a standalone theoretical piece, it also introduces each of the articles below as they comprise this special section on anthropology and tourism. Finding common epistemological threads among the four—those of Sorensen‘s Viking Village, Maestas‘s Native Anthropology, Reyes‘s critical epistemological treatment of tourism in Nicaragua, and Forgash‘s post-catastrophic commentary on tourism after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan—we collectively move beyond structuralist notions of object and subject, as is discursively implied in an "anthropology of tourism," to a poststructuralist approach, as is discursively implied in the new frame—"anthropological tourism."

The Applied Anthropologist, No. 1, Vol. 31, 2011, pp 2 - 6

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