ANSO141 | Autumn | 6 ECTS

Anthropology and Tourism: Encounters through Difference and Inequality

This course introduces students to the anthropological study of tourism, providing them with the analytical tools needed to understand this global phenomenon that is affecting the lives of an increasing number of people across the world. Tourism has become ubiquitous when discussing, for instance, issues of development, sustainability, heritage, authenticity, commoditization, intercultural dialogue, mobility, and privilege. Research on tourism offers methodological and analytical tools to understand, more broadly, how power, difference and inequality play out in the contemporary world, interrogating the historical role of colonialism and anthropology in the process. The course will consider the main theories and approaches of tourism in the social sciences, and pay particular attention to current debates on the relations between tourism, development, and socio-cultural change. Struggles for control over resources and livelihoods, cultural exchange and recognition, and the commoditization of identity and heritage will be among the themes addressed, grounding theoretical and methodological insights on the comparative analysis of specific case studies and ethnographies of tourism. Learning to critically navigate and assess the different dimensions and effects of tourism as a driver of globalization, students will ultimately be able to identify its key issues of contention, challenges and opportunities. The course will be structured around lectures, discussion of readings, and students' presentations.