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Chapter 3 When the Desirable and the Feasible Converge Through Tourism Space

Culture and Society in Tourism Contexts

ISBN: 978-0-85724-683-7, eISBN: 978-0-85724-684-4

Publication date: 19 October 2012


Following the adage that “an image is worth ten thousands words,” this chapter will use ethnographic pictures to illustrate two main ideas. First, tourism should be analyzed as one of the names of power. It is so because tourism fractures the continuum of reality differentiating the elements; it constantly names and arranges them into cultural categories. It also channels the relations among those elements and engenders a distinctive time-space binomial (Bakhtin, 1937) that renders these relations meaningful to people. Tourism gives a peculiar sense to the social life of groups in destinations and, consequently, orientates their daily life practices. The second idea is that tourism is probably the most sophisticated elaboration of capitalism. It is a new historical mode of managing reality. It contributes to perpetuate the center–periphery exploitation system and makes feasible the conversion of any place into a desirable destination. It not only provides with the necessary materiality of transport, room and board, and entertainment for customers, but it also commercializes the intangible and produces new meanings. Thus, to study tourism implies to analyze that complex set of sociotechnical practices and devices that, linking the desirable and the feasible, enable certain social groups to spend their leisure time away from their quotidian, including what they do in those places and the social processes induced at their destinations.


Nogués-Pedregal, A.-.-M. (2012), "Chapter 3 When the Desirable and the Feasible Converge Through Tourism Space", Nogués-Pedregal, A.-.-M. (Ed.) Culture and Society in Tourism Contexts (Tourism Social Science Series, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 57-89.



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