What do we watch when we watch? Limits of visualism in the definition of authenticity in the anthropological tourism experience
AbstractIn this paper I investigate the way by which the anthropology of the senses and perceptions affects tourist’s experience. By utilizing the concept of authenticity and the way it is outlined by its existential value (Wang 1999), or as process of authentication (Van de Port 2004; Cohen & Cohen 2012), my aim is to show how it is negotiated and mediated with, amongst other, through the senses. In the specific field of tourism, although anthropology nowadays strives to regain more room to analyse the other senses, the one most linked to the tourist’s experience is sight. It is considered in this context as a set of gazes that the tourist imposes or is subjected to in his relationship with the Other, employing the camera as a medium that, as Sontag and Barthes affirm, is a weapon by which the gaze is limited, oriented and negotiated.
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