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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Anthropology of Tourism

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Year 1

The course aims to (a) place the anthropological study of tourism within in a general anthropological context (b) explore the historical roots of contemporary tourism (c) identify some of the classical issues in social theory that have influenced the development of the subject and assess what contribution tourism studies have made to these (d) establish the primacy in the anthropology of tourism of good ethnography (e) ground the course in awareness of the global political economy of tourism(f) appreciate the policy implications of the subject (g) develop students’ semiological skills and (f) critically evaluate the subject’s future directions

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate:

  • An ability to understand the scope of the field of the anthropology of tourism;
  • An ability confidently to navigate through the various parts of the subject in order to come to a clear idea about its future intellectual development;
  • An ability either to compose a field research project with tourism as a dominant theme or to understand where tourism might fit into any other ethnographic field research;
  • An ability to co-operate with colleagues from other disciplines (such as cultural geography, history, development studies) with an interest in tourism;
  • An ability to comprehend and critically analyse policy documents in the tourism field;
  • An ability to apply lessons learnt during this course to engagement within the tourism industry.

Method of assessment

The written exam will count for 60%.1 pieces of coursework will count for 40% towards the final mark. First Friday of the term following that in which the bulk of teaching has taken place

Suggested reading

  • Bouquet, M. and M. Winter, 1987, Who From Their Labours Rest? Conflict and practice in rural tourism, Aldershot, Avebury.
  • Bruner, EM. 2005, Culture on Tour: Ethnographies of travel, Chicago,
    University Press.
  • Burns, P. 1999, An Introduction to Tourism and Anthropology, London, Routledge.
  • Cohen, E. 1979a. ‘Rethinking the Sociology of Tourism’. ATR 6(1):18-35.
  • Cohen, E. 1979b. “A phenomenology of tourist experiences”. Sociology
  • Cohen, E. 1973. ‘Nomads from Affluence: Notes on the Phenomenon of
    Drifter Tourism’. International Journal of Comparative Sociology 14(1-
  • Cohen, E. 1972. ‘Towards a Sociology of International Tourism’.
    Social Research 39:164-82.