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Tourism Imaginaries

Anthropological Approaches

Edited by Noel B. Salazar and Nelson H. H. Graburn
Afterword by Naomi Leite

304 pages, 20 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-367-3 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-335-4 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (August 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78238-368-0 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This book establishes ‘imaginaries’ as part of the conceptual apparatus of the anthropology of tourism [and] contributes to social anthropology more generally by exploring how tourism imaginaries intersect with broader cultural and ideological structures… The wealth of its ethnography, combined with its innovative conceptual approaches, exemplifies the strengths anthropology is bringing to interdisciplinary tourism studies.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

“With grounded ethnographic examples, the authors of each of the ten chapters demonstrate that critical analysis of tourism imaginaries is essential to understanding the social dynamics brought by tourism encounters… Because tourism imaginaries widely circulate and deeply permeate everyday lives in contemporary societies, the analysis in this collection offers broader insights beyond the study of tourism itself.” · American Ethnologist 

“A major strength of this anthology is the assertion that imaginaries are important to all participants in tourism, be they tourists, people visited by tourists, tourism promoters, governments, NGOs or others.” · Visual Anthropology

“…the high quality of each contribution, range of ethnographic locations and structural cohesion of the book is exceptional, offering both newcomers and experts alike an excellent resource to explore tourism imaginaries in new ways.” · Annals of Tourism Research

Tourism Imagininaries is essentially the product of robust anthropological work, providing a coherent body of research that addresses a crucial issue for the understanding of tourism.” · Anthropological Forum

“Now, two of the pioneers of the anthropology of tourism, Noel Salazar and Nelson Graburn, present a particularly satisfying set of essays exploring the issue from the perspective of the contemporary concept of cultural 'imaginaries.’” · Anthropology Review Database

“This is a fine text that engages with pressing issues in the anthropology of tourism. It takes an ethnographic approach to the work of the imaginary in the tourism engagement…this volume lies at the vanguard of engagements with tourism by anthropologists and represents the best scholars in the world collectively and thoroughly engaging with the topic”. · Jonathan Skinner, University of Roehampton

“…an interesting and timely collection of chapters that make an original contribution to academic debate about tourism imaginaries… A definite strength of the book is the contributions from authors from a range of countries (whose chapters are based on a wide range of locations around the world, some in Europe but most in the Developing World)”. · Duncan Light, Manchester Metropolitan University


It is hard to imagine tourism without the creative use of seductive, as well as restrictive, imaginaries about peoples and places. These socially shared assemblages are collaboratively produced and consumed by a diverse range of actors around the globe. As a nexus of social practices through which individuals and groups establish places and peoples as credible objects of tourism, “tourism imaginaries” have yet to be fully explored. Presenting innovative conceptual approaches, this volume advances ethnographic research methods and critical scholarship regarding tourism and the imaginaries that drive it. The various authors contribute methodologically as well as conceptually to anthropology’s grasp of the images, forces, and encounters of the contemporary world.

Noel B. Salazar is Research Professor in Anthropology at the University of Leuven, Belgium. He is co-editor of Keywords of Mobility (2016) and Regimes of Mobility (2014), and author of Envisioning Eden (2010) and numerous journal articles and book chapters on the anthropology of travel. He is vice-president of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, and member of the Young Academy of Belgium.

Nelson H. H. Graburn is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is editor of Ethnic and Tourist Arts (1976),  Anthropology of Tourism (1983), Tourism Social Sciences (1991), Anthropology in the Age of Tourism (2009), Tourism and Globalization (2010) and Tourism Imaginaries at the Disciplinary Crossroads (2016), as well as many other monographs and papers. He is a founding member of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism, and the Tourism Studies Working Group (

Subject: Travel and TourismAnthropology (General)


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