Bali and Beyond: Case Studies in the Anthropology of Tourism (Asian Anthropologies)



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Based on field research carried out over two decades, the author surveys the development of the anthropology of tourism and its significance, using case studies drawn from Indonesia, New Guinea and Japan. He argues that tourism, once seen as rather peripheral by anthropologists, has to be treated as a phenomenon of major importance, both because the size of the flows of people and capital involved, and because it is one of the major sites in which the meeting and hybridization of culture takes place. Tourism, he suggests, leads not to the destruction of local cultures, as many critics have implied, but rather to the emergence of new cultural forms.

The central part of the book presents a detailed case-study of the island of Bali in Indonesia. It traces the development of tourism there during the colonial period, and the ways in which “Balinese traditional culture” was developed first by western artists and scholars in the colonial period, and more recently by Balinese government officials in the guise of “cultural tourism.” The general theme of the “presentation of tradition” is also discussed in relation to Toraja funerals in the Indonesian province of Sulawesi, western visitors to the Sepik River in Papua-New-Guinea, and the small city of Tono in northern Japan which has become a center for the study of folk-lore.

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