Native Tours: The Anthropology of Travel and Tourism

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Press:Waveland Pr Inc Waveland Press (October 22, 1999)
Author Name:Chambers, Erve
Edition:0th Edition


We are all tourists in an increasingly portable world. 
Tourism has the potential to increase our understanding of other cultures and places.
Why then do so many of us try to avoid applying the term "tourist" to our own travels, and why are tourists so often disparaged and resented in the places they visit? For decades tourism has been regarded as a trivial activity, not worthy of serious intellectual interest.
In the meantime, it has become one of the largest industries in the world, transforming the places in which we live major towns and cities or the most remote regions of the globe.
Tourism is also the most intimate of all industries, bringing people of strikingly different backgrounds into close but also almost invariably transient relationships.
Chambers shares many of his own travel experiences and research in this book and invites us to explore the cultural and environmental consequences of our own travels.
He offers detailed case studies of tourism in the American Southwest, the Tyrolean Alps, and the Caribbean nation of Belize.
A unique feature of the book is Chambers' discussion of the development of Japanese tourism, as an antidote to the prevalent notion that modern tourism was solely an invention of the West.

From the Back Cover

"Chambers' book is a major contribution to the modern anthropological study of tourism and the best starting point for anyone interested in the field to learn the key theoretical ideas, contexts, and applied perspectives."  -- Tim Wallace, North Carolina State University

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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Comment List (Total:6)

  •     The book was required reading for my class, but it transcends just academic text, as it opened up my eyes to the anthropology of travel and what we consider as traveling
  •     This book gives a good overview of lots of different theories in Anthro and Tourism. She also spatters the book with various examples. However, it is wordy and not an easy read. In general, I would say if you are looking to really study, this is a good book. It is not a leisurely read.
  •     I had to read this for my senior seminar class, and at that point a lot of these were "no brainers" that we had heard a lot about before. Great introduction if you are starting out, or need a reference book, but if you already have your degree it's ok.
  •     As a fellow anthropologist in the field, I know that Erve Chambers has done the anthropology and tourism research and teaching community a great favor by writing this book which summarizes most of the key ideas that have been distilled in the field over the last 30 years. It is well written, easy to read, densely packed with ideas, concepts and examples and is the best book to use in introductory courses in the anthropology of tourism. If you are new to the field and don't want to take a course in it, this book is still the best thing on the market. It is also inexpensive and a great bargain.
  •     With a consistent and human approach Chambers describes anthropologic elements of tourism, going far beyond the economic relevance of the industry or the mere "satisfaction, reccomendation, revisiting" success factors in the actitivy. The text is profound and invites to reflection, yet is very understandable, opening the door for a greater discussion where tourism may play a significant role in everybody's enrichment and respect, thru authenticity, transformation and sustainability.
  •     This little book is now nine years old, but there is still no better text on the market for a course on the emerging field of the anthropology of tourism. Chambers covers a lot of ground in less than 130 pages, starting with the origins of modern tourism and ending with the issue of authenticity. The main concern is the impact of tourism on cultures, as people from the developed world travel in increasing numbers to the less-developed world. Specifically, what are the social, cultural, economic, political, and environmental costs and benefits of tourism, particularly for small scale societies and ethnic minorities? The focus is on cultural, ethnic, and indigenous tourism and ecotourism. The book is very clearly written and easy to follow, but not exciting to read. You will learn a lot from it, relatively painlessly, but it won't keep you up at night. Chambers covers the topic comprehensively, he has an excellent command of the relevant literature, and he has original ideas to contribute. The book is admirably cheap and it has a tough binding that will hold up well.

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